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Philipp Kristian Diekhöner, Singapore Organiser of DrinkEntrepreneurs



Blending an ecletic range of skills from design thinking and innovation consultancy to brand and design leadership in a whirlwind career, Philipp is best described as an integrative thinker who loves to create, facilitate and curate beautiful alternatives to the status quo.

A colourful melange of east and west with an infectiously optimistic vision of the future, Philipp nurtures a passion for transforming people’s perspectives of the everyday, turning complex realities into intriguingly simple and intuitive solutions through the alchemy of brand and business innovation.

An avid design thinker, Philipp enjoys galvanising teams and nurturing vibrant innovation cultures, translating creativity and vision into sustainable business and social impact. Inspired by the Bauhaus school of thought and his early-age exposure to Asian culture and heritage, he loves to invent better and sustainable models of value creation that elegantly fuse simplicity and functionality with beauty, poetic value and cultural relevance.

Advising SMEs, blue-chip clients and the public sector in various capacities, he has had the chance to impact diverse industries, including healthcare, travel management, professional services, hospitality, events, software, telecommunications and real estate. Driving change as a management consultant, entrepreneur, brand strategist, lecturer and innovation facilitator in Singapore, Germany, Netherlands and France, Philipp is an explorer at heart: A continual source of novel methodology, his contributions challenge industry practice with more effective alternatives.


What exactly is Drinkentrepreneurs and what is its objective?

DrinkEntrepreneurs is the world’s largest startup networking event organized 100% by volunteers. Entrepreneurship is the single most accessible form of economic empowerment. We’re dedicated to spread the word and share our passion for entrepreneurial ways of life, linking people from various stages of the entrepreneurial journey, all industries and all walks of life. Our events are co-created by an eclectic bunch of people who learn, laugh and enrich each others’ perspective in a relaxed atmosphere accompanied by a drink or two.

Could you walk us through the process of starting up Drinkentrepreneurs in Europe and Singapore?

DrinkEntrepreneurs is spread by a growing group of organisers and supporters. In 2013, my friend Pol Maire went on exchange to Singapore and hosted the very first de in Singapore. We decided to find a way of keep the event alive together, and as he left for France a couple of months later, I took over. Thanks to some luck and a great crowd, we’re now looking back on a formidable year and, very recently, a nomination by I-S magazine as a contender for best creative networking event of the year. Without Pol, we wouldn’t be here today.

How has it been like managing the organization since?

It’s fantastic to be working with close to a hundred passionate volunteer organisers around the globe. That said, rolling out initiatives internationally is a challenge, as we are extremely organic and coordination is challenging given multiple time zones and interfering day jobs. That said the culture and spirit of our events is really what matters most, so it’s remarkable and surprising that we somehow manage to spread it around the globe with minimal overhead in managing the organization itself.

Did you find anything particularly difficult during the startup? How did you overcome it?

It’s tempting to take up sponsorship offers, but until recently we have been very restrictive as regards that. Only in 2014 did de globally begin to open up and endorse a more commercial perspective, as we started to realise that our network offered immense value to companies and that it would be great for top brands to amplify our cause. We’re quite proud that we build de to its considerable size without any investment or sponsorship, but now it’s time to enter a new stage, in which we focus more on nurturing the right regional partnerships.

How was the initial reaction towards DrinkEntrepreneurs. Were there different responses in Europe vs. Singapore?

In Singapore, people weren’t used to the type of relaxed, laid-back networking event that de is, and to our great delight it was received very positively from the start. Little is as motivating as doing something you know people are looking for. I like to think we owe it to our awesome crowd that we’ve become a key element in the startup ecosystem here in Singapore.

How did you guys build traction for the events at your respective locations?

Things started rolling quickly – apart from submissions to the liste27 and a few other start-up calendars in initial month, we relied on word-of-mouth and organic spread. Within three months, the average crowd stabilized around 50-70, which was just right for me to still get a chance to speak with everyone as a host. This is the personal touch we’re keen to retain in all our events.


What can you tell us about the industry? Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?

We started our first event business nearly a decade ago, and I’ve always loved pioneering events that become cultural formats and serve as a watering hold for like-minded but diverse crowds. Events are nothing but experiences – as organisers, we simply allow them to happen in a way that delights attendees. I like to think that, to create a great event, your objective cannot be commercial. Recall for once the best ones you’ve been to – probably private parties, corporate anniversaries, or nightlife events celebrating an occasion or lifestyle. Notice how the primary objective of such events is to celebrate the moment – that’s what exceptional events do extremely well. A word of advice – if you want to make a lot of money in events, there are two options: Create amazing events with no agenda and keep people coming back for more, or go for low-key events that lure in the masses. As an attendee, I encourage you to mingle with the right people and show up at the right events – I’ve not had to pay for any single one I frequented in the past year.

How have you managed to stay relevant in this industry?

People enjoy our events, and they’re free. We have recruiters, VCs, start-ups, corporate crowd and visitors from the region joining us, who together make for a truly interesting bunch. People take initiative to say (and compliment us) that we’re very different from the rest of events out there. That’s all there is to it, really. (A big thanks to everyone supporting us, btw.)

What are your future plans for Drinkentrepreneurs?

Globally, we’re working on a novel platform allowing entrepreneurs to connect internationally to offline networks and resources. Regionally, we’re building partnerships with corporates that agree to support our vision for a new generation of networking events. At the same time, we’re expanding our network, and if all goes well will be launching soon in Tokyo, Japan, and other APAC cities.

If you could start all over again, would you change anything about your approach? If so, what?

Loads. Our name may be catchy, but not everyone understands why we’d call ourselves that way. In fact, it just so happened. While people may endearingly give us nicknames (my favourite one was ‘DrunkEntrepreneurs’), our event crowd is without exception polite, cheerful and moderate in their drinking habits. That said, we’ve run events that nearly turned into a party (for example, brimming the second floor of Maison Ikkoku with nearly 65 people).

What do you think about startups in Asia vs Europe? 

Singapore is trying hard to incentivize entrepreneurship, but I feel people here aren’t the born new generation of entrepreneurs quite yet. Many businesses here feel much more focused on bottom line and ‘just starting something’ than really going for radical new ideas and impactful challenger value propositions. I’d like to see the scene have more faith in doing the outlandish stuff. Why rely on the US to supply it to the world when in fact we have a perfect playing ground here in Southeast Asia?


What are some personal principles or personal values that guide you and your career?

My life revolves around existential philosophy, faith and a healthy dose of childish playfulness and imagination. Respect for etiquette and tradition matter greatly, but so do highly innovative thought and deed. Above all, I hold extremely high standards against myself and others, while I’d call my self highly compassionate at the same time; counting my blessings and upkeeping and unwavering determination to make the world fairer and motivate humans to be good in all senses of the word.

As Hermann Hesse said, every individual must find their perfect spot on the continuum of individualism and conformity. A friend once called me an ‘eloquent rebel’, and I find that befits my description rather well.

What is your definition of success?

Doing good and doing well at the same time, and having due influence to spread a culture of empathy, mutual understanding and flourishing creativity wherever you are. It’s an exacting balance of adding value to other people’s lives and enjoying life to the fullest – in ways that are faithful to your sense of personal identity.

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I was born the only son in an entrepreneurial family… my dad runs a German technology and management consultancy. I’m grateful for never having another perspective growing up. There’s immense joy to be derived out of the freedom of running your own business, and I’m extremely keen to return in full fledge to the start-up world sooner or later.

What do you think are the most important things entrepreneurs should keep in mind?

In my eyes, a big challenge is keeping one’s ego in check while being super-confident at the same time. And being sure to remember that good intent and purposeful business practice is extremely important (at least if you want to derive ongoing satisfaction from your work). Plus, accept that your product/service will be perpetually flawed, and that you’ll have to keep refining. Complacency and arrogance are perhaps part of the reason why the user interfaces of most major internet start-ups are terrible, and far behind industry best practice.

 In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?

I’d love to say great ideas, but the reality is single-minded focus and extreme dedication. Second, a team unifying two skills – creative genius and determined execution. Usually, these will be two different people, but those who have both are enviably the real heros of the startup world. Oh, and did I mention unwavering optimism?

 Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there?

Three things.nChance favours the happy (and connected) mind. Hard work needs soft skills. Not judging a book by its cover is only possible if you are willing to read. People judge you not by who you are, but by how you tell your story.


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“When Adam Draper does Crypto Standup, Singapore listens”



I live and work in Singapore and Santa Monica. Yes, I am blessed. However, my life has been by design, I think of what I want and so I make my life choices and make them happen in my life. Hence the bi-continent living and that comes with bi-continent and now global community living, being and ecosystems building. So I am now never surprised when one part of my world meets another.

I went to Wavemaker Partners venture capital event this evening, keen to meet Adam Draper, who is one of the many great presenters at Crypto Invest Summit, April 30- May 2 in Los Angeles.

Since I actively support leaders who are building scalable, sustainable businesses and movements for the betterment of many; of course I am learning about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. I had been keen to report on the Crypto Invest Summit as I would be back in May to LA for my PhD programme. I was in communications with the organizers. However, I am being awarded an award at the Women Economic Forum in Delhi that same week and could not be physically present.

Still I wanted to report on the event, somehow.

I wanted to listen to the speakers and support some of the speakers who are already friends and experts I rely on for greater insights on cryptocurrency. I like learning and sharing with the greater audience, I have in Asia what I am learning from the US and vice versa. So I feel I had my chance tonight to do a bit of that.

I could not help but smile as Adam Draper shed light into his world of investing in more than 85 crypto related products because he was such a breath of fresh air to the last few Blockchain and Financial conferences I have been reporting on; especially here in Asia.

He just says it like it is.

He kept stopping the audience when they said Blockchain and he said, “You know you really mean cryptocurrency.”  He hit the nail on the head because I have seen so clearly how this phrase had been said in Singapore time and again – “I am not into cryptocurrency but I believe in Blockchain.”

When he said how there was an incongruity as he sat across bankers who personally invested in cryptocurrency and when faced with an inbound of requests from their clients on the same investment; are tied by regulations and are unable to respond.

Here’s some of his best lines. If you don’t laugh or “ah-ha” the way I did, you probably just had to be there. The truth is funny because it calls out for something we all see but sometimes just do not want to admit.

There is a growing understanding of the underlying thematics that the cryptocurrency world has been experiencing as the interface between centralize; de-centralize and personal autonomy becomes more and more apparent and lines get drawn.

Adam Says:

1) The newest phenomenon is that some of the ICO founders are now just so rich from their ICOs that they really don’t need to work on the project they asked for money for.

2) For the crypto-world, money doesn’t matter anymore!
They need talent

It’s so founder friendly now.

3) What Bitcoin made us ask is “What is money?”

The next question is “What is government and governance?”

He highlighted if an entrepreneur is looking for a problem to solve., then the entrepreneur is always looking for horrible industries with poor services and high costs. So yes – Governments are those horrible industries and they need to be disrupted.

4)  Any company who comes to an investor and leads with how much ICO has raised; is a red flag. Leave immediately and go read a Harry Potter book instead.
If they are leading with value and not the problem they are solving. Beware. (read more here

5) If you are going to invest in where the brains are. It’s in crypto.

6) Philosophically, Coinbase is against ethos of what Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency movement is trying to do. However to do such a move from fiat to digital currency, there would need a way to do that. So Coinbase acts like a browser does for internet. One day there will be no need to cash in or out as everyone is already there on digital. Cryptocurrency is the exchange of value. His advice and we know his bias as he is invested in  Coinhako; is to hold onto an exchange for 3-5 years since onboarding of all users to the new digital currency will take some time.

Adam met with many banks and government bodies on his trip to Singapore – I hope they got his truths.

I ended the night by thanking Adam for making me laugh. He reminded me of how much I miss LA.

Want more of this?

If you are in LA on April 30 – May 2.



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Callum Connects

Adrian Reid, Founder of Enlightened Stock Trading



Adrian Reid escaped the rat race and became a knowledgeable trader. He now shares his trading knowledge and empowers others to take control of their stocks.

What’s your story?
After working 12-16 hour days in the corporate world for many years I had a moment of realisation on the 1 hour bus ride to work. It was here at this moment in time, I realised that I felt trapped, desperate and isolated. Trapped in a job I hated, and a life I had not designed. I had long been interested in investing, but I made the decision at that point to become the best trader I could possibly be and escape the rat race.
My dream was to be free; free of the 9 to 5, the commute, the stress and the exhaustion. I threw myself into my stock trading research and study and emerged 3 months later with the trading rules that would ultimately buy me my freedom. I am now retired from the corporate world, I trade full time and share my knowledge with other aspiring traders through my online education program which puts them in control and empowers them to take control and accountability for their trading results.

What excites you most about your industry?
So many people are trapped in jobs they don’t like or are feeling immense financial pressure in their life. Trading education is typically done extremely badly today because of the conflicts of interest in the industry. Fund managers want to hold onto your money forever; brokers want you to trade more frequently; forex brokers want you to use more leverage. Why? Because that is how they make their money.
By teaching traders how to develop and test their own stock trading systems I am able to empower them to find trading rules which fit their own personality, objectives and lifestyle. This is the only way for new traders to be successful. This process transforms people’s financial future, their relationship with money and wealth and gives them hope. I love that!

What’s your connection to Asia?
I recently spent 3 years living in Singapore which I absolutely loved. This put me in a good position to observe the other Asian markets. As a stock trader I am interested in many markets and economies around the world, however the Asian markets have some of the best potential for trading profits. I have traded stocks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo and I have developed trading systems that work in many other Asian markets as well.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city is Singapore. After living in Singapore for 3 years my family fell in love with the city. Life is great in Singapore for the whole family and the pro-business and investing policies of the government make it a wonderful place to build your financial future as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
On a personal front: Find something you love, throw all your energy and passion into it.
On the wealth front: Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Take control of your finances and always accept 100% responsibility for your investment decisions.

Who inspires you?
My wife Stephanie inspires me. Her commitment to everything she does, her compassion, her insights into people and her ability to uplift those around her, make me want to be a better person.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
No matter what we think we know, there will always be a different perspective that can change our opinion. In my own trading, I continually find that the truths I cling to are not absolute and they can be misleading if held onto dogmatically. Striking a balance between taking a stance and knowing when to change that stance based on new information is critical in all areas of life.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more action earlier on. My fear of mistakes (which still limits me on occasions, like most people) has always proven to be baseless. Playing small to avoid the embarrassment or pain of mistakes is very limiting and I would have taken more action earlier, if I had my time again.

How do you unwind?
To unwind I like to read, meditate, run and ride my mountain bike in the forest.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I just love the small island resort at Batu Batu. It is beautiful, isolated, quiet and surrounded by clean water, full of sealife. After a week at the resort I felt like a different person.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto. This book teaches the art of clear and structured communication. My time working as a business strategy consultant gave me a great appreciation for the importance of communication in business. Clear and effective communication can solve a myriad of challenges in your business and professional life, and as a strong communicator your employment prospects, business relationships, team performance and family life are all dramatically improved.

Shameless plug for your business:
Enlightened Stock Trading ( is the only stock market trading education business that empowers you, as an individual trader. It shows you how to design and test your own unique stock trading system that fits YOUR Personality, Objectives and Lifestyle. We have no conflicts of interest and we are focused on teaching you how to trade stocks profitably in a way that fits your life.
After working through the Enlightened Stock Trader Certification Program you will find yourself confident and empowered with your own battle tested trading system and trading plan to guide you through the markets.

How can people connect with you?
Email me directly at [email protected] or through my Facebook Page (

Twitter handle?

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
Download free copies of his books here:

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