Singapore Startup Advice with Aidan Huang, Founder of One Xtra Pixel

Aidan, please introduce yourself…

My name is Aidan Huang. I’m Singaporean and I founded Onextrapixel, an online web design and development publication in early 2009.

What are the challenges of doing business in Singapore?

For us, web design and development is not particularly sought after or hot back then. Singapore has always been a follower on trend in the web design and development industry.

What advice can you share with entrepreneurs looking to venture into Singapore to start a startup/business?

Starting a business in Singapore is actually quite hassle free. The key here is the limited lack of target audience as our nation population is really small.

It’s great to base Singapore as a headquarter due to the geographical location, huge diversity in culture, races etc, eventually extending out to other countries and reach more audience.

What is the best way to become a part of the local business community to meet people and make connections?

There are lot of conferences and seminars where business can get together for exchange programs.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the startup ecosystem in Singapore vs. other countries in the region?

There are several support policies such as funding, grants and loans set up by the government to help start ups.

While those initiatives are encouraging, start ups have to face fierce competition among a pool of small amount consumers.

What are the most difficult and the easiest parts about doing business in Singapore?

Singapore is one of the easiest place to do business for start ups in terms of business regulations.

While being one of easiest place to do business has its pros, it has resulted in fierce competition and high cost of running a business.

How should a new business decide where to locate in Singapore? Are there any hotspots?

Singapore CBD area is a hotspot for business. As the island is small, accessibility is not really an issue and for start ups, locating away from the CBD is preferred due to lower cost.

What’s the best way to find and hire exceptionally smart talent in Singapore?

Internship is a great way to uncover talent here with a lower cost. You can engage them in local university, polytechnics, etc

What’s your advice to Singapore based entrepreneurs looking for investors?

There are many options in Singapore that entrepreneurs can turn to for investors or Angel/VC.

There are in fact, quite a few acquisition of start ups by major company here too.

The investment scene in Singapore, in my view, is too business-model oriented. There’s less acceptance of investing in web start ups, and less comfort with failure.

What business opportunities do you see emerging in Singapore right now

Tech start ups is a sector the Government is pushing.

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