Self-confessed “serial entrepreneur” Anne Cheng is no stranger to success (or failure, for that matter), having launched several B2B technology companies over the years. While two of these start-ups found buyers, a “much larger number” of her ventures did not quite take off. “But I believe, as an entrepreneur, failure teaches us a lot about ourselves and how to operate,” she says.
As such, armed with the experience of her past business endeavours, Cheng co-founded Start Up Nation (SUN) with Rachel Yang in 2011. Though it started as a business incubator offering seed funding to early stage start-ups, the company has since diversified. “We now have complementary businesses that support our investment business, like advertising-based businesses, a social impact division and a consultancy business,” she explains. While it is based in Singapore, SUN currently has networks and assets in 21 countries and diversified operations in three of these.
Passionate about social causes, Cheng also spearheads SUN’s Bean Sprout Project, which aims to establish social impact ecosystems in less fortunate towns and regions in Southeast Asia. Its past projects include raising funds to build a library in Cambodia and delivering food and medical parcels to the less privileged in Singapore.