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Sang Yeon Hwang, Co-Founder of Heartisans

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Sang Yeon Hwang’s preventative health breakthrough, Heartisans, hopes to predict the onset of sudden cardiac arrest.

What’s your story?
We started Heartisans with the common goal of working on an idea or product that had the potential to add objective value to people. We met through a mutual friend in early 2014 and realised although we came from different backgrounds we had a lot of common interests and goals including the fact that both our families had a history of cardiovascular disease. We started brainstorming a wearable health monitoring system. It was in line with the macro level trends of most developed countries including aging population, rising healthcare costs and that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
We are currently planning to commercialise our blood pressure monitoring wearable in early 2017. It is a smartwatch that accurately measures blood pressure, a critical vital sign missing from wearables today. Our goal with this first product is to enable individuals with hypertension (high blood pressure) to have the unprecedented ability to measure and track their blood pressure anywhere, anytime.
We are also in clinical validation of our machine learning algorithm in a local hospital. The aim for this is to predict the onset of a medical emergency known as a sudden cardiac arrest up to 10 minutes in advance. As survival rate drops around 7-10% per minute without treatment and the fact that survival rates drop to 0% at 13 minutes, we want to provide an advanced warning and locate the closest AED machine to the individual’s physical location, to potentially save lives.

What excites you most about your industry?
Preventive healthcare is what definitely excites me. With the tremendous amount of new sensors capable of providing real time vital signs data and as these sensors get more sophisticated, it will really change the way we monitor our health. Enabling new research based on the combination of these sensors and disease prevention is one of our goals and we have already started this. There are a number of researchers using our wearable for this, one example is a PhD researcher from the Chinese University of HK who using it to study the effects of yoga intervention on Parkinson’s disease patients.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am originally from Korea but moved to Hong Kong with my parents in 1992 before the handover. I have lived in Hong Kong since then (though I completed my higher education in the United Kingdom). It would have been crazy as my parents had a choice of moving to Tijuana, Dublin or Hong Kong. I am glad they chose Hong Kong!

Heartisans Team 20160215_heartisans_logo

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
It’s got to be Hong Kong. What I love about Hong Kong is that setting up a business is extremely easy and straightforward. Moreover, it is an international city where expats can settle down very quickly which makes hiring foreign talent possible. For Heartisans, being within an hour to the manufacturing hub of the world, Shenzhen, also helps.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A fellow entrepreneur and a good friend of mine shared a quote with me that really stuck, “fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.” It has really helped me understand that all the ups and downs are just part of the process to get to where I need to go.

Who inspires you?
Elon Musk. I can’t think of any other entrepreneur that starts an idea or business with the main focus being the value it will create for all humanity. I think he just gets it.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
There is a great talk from Simon Sinek on, “Start with why” and it explains how, experimentation during uncertainty is crucial for some start ups.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have definitely started my entrepreneurial journey earlier. One of the most important things I have learned is to focus on being emotionally intelligent and ensuring that our team has all the tools they need to succeed.

How do you unwind?
Snooker, gym, read, TED talks and of course travel.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I don’t really have a favorite Asian destination, because I live in one of the most fast paced cities in the world, Hong Kong. I prefer places that are nice and quiet where I can appreciate nature. If I have to give an example then it’s got to be Palawan. I haven’t been to the Maldives yet!

Everyone in business should read this book:
I would probably recommend a book that is not business related.
“Sapiens, a brief history of humankind” by Yuval Noah Hariri

Shameless plug for your business:
It all starts with our Heartisans.
Heart – The heart is the inner core and most central part of anything and everybody
Artisan – Specialist in a craft
Join our growing team if you want to help fight cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in the world.

How can people connect with you?
Linkedin, Facebook or email – drop me a line at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
www.twitter.com/heartisanstech
www.facebook.com/heartisanstech
www.heartisans.com

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

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:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Chrystie Dao-Szabo, Founder of iPayMy

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Chrystie Dao-Szabo founded iPaymy for Business – a secure and easy to use
platform enabling SMEs to pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today.

What’s your story?
I’m Chrystie Dao-Szabo, and I’ve worked as an international banker for over 22 years. During that time, I travelled through Asia, Australia and Europe, and everywhere I saw how my clients struggled with managing their finances and keeping cash around.

I wanted to use my experience to help them, but I also knew the solution they needed didn’t exist yet. This pushed me to give up on my secure career, and instead look into the innovative world of FinTech for an answer.

This is how I founded iPaymy – at its launch, a platform to help consumers pay their monthly expenses using their credit cards. We’ve grown a lot since, and today, iPaymy for Business is a platform that allows business owners to use their credit cards to pay for rent, salaries, invoices and taxes, freeing up their cash for business-critical operations.

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most about FinTech is it’s culture of constant disruption, thanks to cool and innovative products and services coming out every day.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Vietnam, grew up in Australia and worked in Asia, Europe and Australia. Being raised by traditional Vietnamese parents meant that deep down I was still an Asian at heart, so I have a strong connection with the region.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It’s easy to do business, English is the main language, and the infrastructures like public transportation are great. Also, the government supports local innovation in multiple ways, like giving grants for SMEs and FinTechs.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep giving, and one day you will receive.

Who inspires you?
My parents. My father had a successful business in Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. After the war, my father was sent to a re-education camp for three years, which meant my mum had to bring up two young kids – a 3-year-old, me and my 4-year old brother on her own.

In 1980, we all fled Vietnam on a boat and arrived in Sydney, Australia via refugee camps in Indonesia and Singapore. There, my parents had to start over with nothing to their names and only AUD 50 given to them by the Australian government.
They went on to build several businesses in Australia!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The number of young and smart people who have carved out successful careers by founding their own startups (or joining really cool ones). When I was starting out my career, doing any of these was not a viable option; it was either working for an accounting firm, an insurance company or a bank.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I were starting out my career now, I would choose the path of joining a startup as you get to learn so much about running a business and how to assemble a winning team.

How do you unwind?
I like travelling to a beach or a resort destination and just relaxing by the pool or beach. I also like to unwind after work with a glass of champagne or wine, and a bowl of truffle fries.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. I love the people and the spicy Thai food.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The E-Myth. It’s a book series that dismantles common myths about entrepreneurship in different industries.

Shameless plug for your business:
With iPaymy for Business, SMEs can pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today. SMEs love iPaymy because it works like a credit card, but pays like cash.

iPaymy’s secure and easy to use platform reliably delivers payments to vendors while freeing up cash and providing access to interest free credit. Forget the delays and aggravations that come with traditional SME financing options. Schedule recurring payments, manage invoices, set payment reminders, and monitor payment status all from one dashboard.

It’s never been easier for SMEs to meet monthly payment obligations while keeping cash available to fuel growth, bridge receivable gaps, and make immediate investment in the supplies, services, and expertise needed to drive a growing business forward.

How can people connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn or contact me by email.
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrystiedaoszabo/
My email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
https://twitter.com/ceedeees

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:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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