To Thaw Tint, being selective about your own start-up is very important. You invest too much precious time in it for it not to be something you are really passionate about pursuing.
What’s your story?
I moved to Singapore at the age of 16 because I really wanted to study computers and programming. My first job was an employee in an IT startup that got acquired in 2011. This taught me first-hand about building a business and I experienced growing a team from 5 to 100 people. After that acquisition, I had my first stint as an angel investor and a venture partner to raise seed funding for what became one of the largest online classifieds in the region today. I am now focused full-time on my 3rd startup www.gtriip.com that does document-less access and check-in for offices and hotels.
What excites you most about your industry?
It is exciting to be doing something completely new to bring the next big thing of how a person is verified using various technologies such as biometrics. Being in the technology sector, we believe in creating progress and scalable value globally, no matter how small it seems at first.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Myanmar and spent my teenage years and a huge part of my adulthood growing up in Singapore. It is amazing to experience the rapidly changing and fast growing economy of Asia.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. For its great infrastructure, meritocratic society, transparent culture and efficient work ethics that are conducive for businesses and supportive for startups.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The greatest human achievements come from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, working together to achieve a shared vision. This is how mankind has achieved things together that no single person could do alone.”
Who inspires you?
Elon Musk, on his quest to push the human race towards sustainable energy and a multi-planetary species with space travel to Mars.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
According to the power law, it is usually just one company with exponential growth and huge market potential that returns the value of the entire fund for a VC. Venture investing in startups is a lot like buying lottery tickets in that way. Just like the VC investing money, a founder invests a huge amount time in a startup. Every founder should be really selective and sure about sinking their own opportunity cost and life into one they truly believe in and find worth pursuing. I have finally chosen mine.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Instead of worrying too much about my high school grades and trying to get into a good college, or waiting too long till I was 28 to start my first business, I would have started one earlier. The amount of exposure and lessons learned during my first few years of having my own startup and being outside my comfort zone, has been way more useful than what I would have learnt in a more secure job.
How do you unwind?
Reading books for inspiration. Playing computer games to sharpen strategy and tactical skills.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Tokyo. The place is a technology heaven for consumer electronics, robotics, computer games and toys. Great food too!
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Shameless plug for your business:
GTRIIP is an app that uses Touch ID for a faster and more secure office and hotel check-in and registration process. By sending guest profile information from app to kiosk without an internet connection, we simplify registration. GTRIIP provides instant document-less check-in and access to a property where profile has been verified. We partner with industry leading door lock manufacturers so our app can also open doors after a verified check-in. We are exploring more use cases and product features for our customers after check-in.
How can people connect with you?
via email at [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum 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/>