Category Archives: Entrepreneurs Interview

EIA 058 Market Opportunity for German “Green-Tech” Companies

Prof. Peter Sachsenmeier, Dr. Sandra Bell, Johannes Kreissig, Corinne Abele, Winfried Mayer, Claudia Sanders

Prof. Peter Sachsenmeier is a strategist, expert in complex technology management, industrial innovator and visionary. He is actively involved in knowledge transfer from research to industry, and combined outstanding appointments in academia with important posts in international companies. He combines deep technology knowledge with a keen sense of new business and management modes based on the digital transformation of all industries. With the national engineering academies of China and India, he has been engaged in smart city research and with the associated technologies for the last 15 years. In his International Innovation Center he leads smart city, green technologies, green materials and green finance teams. In 2014, Professor Peter Sachsenmeier 院士 received an award from the Chinese Green Rooftops association for his contribution to green ideas and technologies.

Dr. Sandra Bell is an accomplished business leader, lifelong China expert and visionary strategist. She has 20 years working experience in strategy, go-to-market, and e-commerce. She worked 10 years for The Boston Consulting Group, and had leading positions in Henkel and Hershey, both in Germany and China. Today she leads the China & India region for Viega. Viega is a family-owned company and a hidden champion from Germany. Viega is global market leader in copper press technology and hygienic & potable drinking water solutions for infrastructure buildings.

Johannes Kreissig is a visionary and thought leader in the field of sustainable construction. He has over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of life cycle assessment, sustainability assessment and strategy consulting. He worked for more than 15 years as a acting partner in the software and sustainability consulting specialist thinkstep. Since 2016 he has been CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council – DGNB, which is Europe’s largest network for sustainable construction. The DGNB certification system, a planning and optimisation tool for sustainable buildings and districts, which helps to increase real sustainability in construction projects, is DGNBs key instrument to achieve sustainable buildings for everybody – everywhere.

Corinne Abele is the Head of the Foreign Trade Information Bureau of Germany Trade & Invest in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Corinne has been living and working in China for nearly 20 years. An experienced journalist and economist, she has documented China’s economic development with analyses, articles and lectures. A big part of her work focuses on the observation and analysis of innovation-driven technology markets and industrial digitalisation in China. Her other main topics are environmental protection, renewable energy, engineering and competition in China. Since 2014, Ms. Abele has been heading the Trade Information Section of Germany Trade and Invest in Shanghai. Prior to this she worked in the same position in Beijing (2004-2012) and in Taipei (1998-2004).

Winfried Mayer, founded MPS in 1984 in Stuttgart MPS designs factories and industrial buildings in accordance with German standards and, depending on the area, according to local regulations. We also supervise local planning, take care of tender procedure as well as monitor and direct building operations on-site all over the world.
Branches: Shanghai, China; Pune, India; Beverungen, Germany
Projects: Over 500 projects in 25 countries

Claudia Sanders is with the Network for Architecture Exchange NAX, the Federal Chamber of German Architects (BAK) supports German architects of all disciplines, engineers and specialist planners on their way to new markets. NAX thus promotes planning quality and the brand “Architecture Made in Germany” abroad with a wide portfolio of formats and activities. NAX brings together export-oriented planners and mediates contacts between domestic and foreign colleagues, decision-makers, developers and investors.

Time Stamp

00:00:00 Introduction

00:00:10 Opening of Webinar by Peter Sachsenmeier

00:02:06 Delivery of Keynote by Dr Sandra Bell

00:17:00 Question to Dr Sandra Bell: What was the most famous building that you equipped with Viega systems?

00:18:20 Introduction of Expert Panel

00:18:47 Question to Dr Sandra Bell: What’s the market segments that you address in China and what kind of ecosystem do you need to be effective?

00:20:54 Question to Johannes Kreissig, Will sustainable buildings become more
important and how is this linked to smart cities?

00:24:03 Question to Winfried Mayer, What are the developments
with regard to industrial buildings in china?

00:29:54 Question to Corinne Abele, Are people becoming more aware of higher energy efficiency in private and industrial buildings and the changes in standards and quality criteria linked to this?

00:36:26 Question to Claudia Sanders, What contribution can German architects, planners and others make?

00:41:06 Question to Johannes Kreissig, What uh can be done about the prolongation of the lifespans and the prolongation of the life of this built-up infrastructure?

00:46:58 Questions to Dr Sandra Bell, What do you do with all those people that deal with waste electricity heating etc what’s the ecosystem that you need?

00:52:08 Corinne Abele adds to the question.

00:53:08 Questions to Winfried Mayer, What are the most required green building technologies now in China?

00:56:13 Question to Johannes Kreissig, Do you have any green building council ideas?

00:58:06 Sandra Bell adds to the question.

01:00:00 Winfried Mayer adds to the question.

01:01:16 Comment and Question from audience Member Mr Wang, What is the policy for carbon neutrality compared to China’s continuation in using coal and the recent worldwide price increase?

01: Peter Sachsenmeier gave an answer related to Germany’s us of coal.

01:02:53 Corinne Abele commented on the question related to the overall energy crises and how it affects the industrial commercial and private household prices in China.

01:06:12 Johannes Kreissig then expanded on the question.

01:07:45 Peter Sachsenmeier commented on the energy costs in Germany.

01 :09:14 Question to Sandra Bell, How to develop and hold on to a skilled workforce that can install Viega products?

01:11:08 Comment from Thomas Fritzsche writing in the chat as a working architect in China: that Chinese clients trust German us and expect from us to bring in new technologies and ideas.

01:12:29 Claudia expanded further on audience member Thomas Fritzsche comment and architects in general.

01:14:39 Peter Sachsenmeier ask Audience member Alex Walschewski question from the chat. How German/ European SMEs will be impacted by the “source locally” approach in China. Most of the time it means that Chinese customers will prefer a local supplier. What is your view on that?

01:14:47 Question answered by Sandra Bell.

01:16:00 Peter Sachsenmeier end the discussion.

01:24:00 Final Closing remarks from experts.

01:33:00 End

This podcast it’s made in partnership between ChinaTeam and AsiaBizStories

EIA 057 How Professor Laurie Underwood is Working in and with China Post Covid?

Laurie Underwood
Laurie Underwood

Laurie Underwood is an American professor, author and consultant specializing in cross-cultural business communications

She has studied worked and lived in Shanghai since 2002

Together with Prof Juan Fernandez at CEIBS, she has co-authored China CEO (2006), China Entrepreneur  (2009) and most recently China CEO II (2020). The audio book was released in June 2021. Book links below.

After around 10 years of work in Corporate Communications (most recently as Communications Director Asia Pacific for Air Liquide) she got her doctorate finished in 2019 and switched to consulting and teaching. She is a senior consultant with Sino Associates, focusing on intercultural business communications and crisis communications, and she teaches at several business schools including NYU Shanghai, University of Aberdeen, SKEMA and EmLyon.

Today, she speaks with us about the realities of working in China post covid, working with China if you cannot travel there because of covid, and more generally sharing advice from China CEOs on the challenges and opportunities of doing business with China today.

As well as

  • The answer to the most Northern City in the USA
  • Laurie’s career journey
  • Moving to China and reasons for staying
  • Career transitions and motivation for the changes
  • The origins of China CEO and China CEO II, 
  • The differences in the people performing the role of CEO in China
  • A hint at how they became CEOs
  • The routes to becoming a CEO
  • The personality traits that a CEO should have to not fail in China
  • How someone can fail at being a CEO in China
  • Laurie’s perspective on Westerners recently trying to move to live and work in China
  • The speed of change and the changes that have taken place
  • The freedom to reinvent yourself
  • What does the word “culture” mean to Laurie?
  • What do the different generations think about Career, Work and Entrepreneurship 
  • How Laurie’s classmates careers have changed
  • The recent need for Laurie’s knowledge and experience
  • Laurie explains why she isn’t a CEO
  • What she has learned from CEOs, and as a professor and consultant

so now without further delay let’s begin


EIA 056 Future Leaders in Sino-European Enterprises

EIA 056 Future Leaders in Sino-European Enterprises
Jochen Schultz, Qiang Rong, Wei Zhang, Stefan Sack, Hsiao J Chiu (Top Left, clockwise)

Jochen Schultz is the Managing Director and Member of the Board at China Netzwerk Baden-Württemberg, He has been supporting institutions and companies with professional training for 16 years (Schultz Professional Trainings). Which specialises in the development and implementation of qualification measures in China as well as for Chinese companies in Germany. In this podcast a recording of the webinar “Future Leaders in Sino-European Enterprises”, his role is moderator.

The keynote:

Qiang Rong who has dedicated himself for the Chinese city Foshan and German cooperation for more than 10 years Qiang represents the sponsor, Foshan Sino German Industry Service Zone. He has helped many companies from Germany to invest in Foshan and promotes the benefits of setting up in Foshan. The industrial service zone is also open to companies to setup from all part of the world.

The expert panelist joining Jochen and Qiang are:

Stefan Sack General Manager Zobele China – Director APAC Zobele Group

Zobele is manufacturing company with 2,000 employees located in Shenzhen. After completing his PhD Stefan has lived and worked in manufacturing in China since 2005, His various roles have been with German and Italian companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen.  He has also served as Vice President and Chairman of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai 2013-15.

Wei Zhang is the founder of Beijing For You International Management Consulting Co., Ltd, China which provides training, coaching and blended learning solutions to local and international clients in China. She has worked with many German companies in China, helping them identify and develop talent. Wei Zhang uses her unique insights and valuable experience to combat the rapid changes still taking place in China.

Hsiao J. Chiu is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of JP contagi Asia, an Executive search firm with offices in Germany, Switzerland and China. As a professional recruitment consultant and cultural hybrid, he has been supporting European and Chinese companies for more than 15 years’. Hsiao J. Chiu’s family are originally from Zhejiang province, with Hsiao being born in Germany and has been based in Asia since 2004.

The combined teams wide and varied experience allows them to tackle the following questions:

  1. What is the status quo of people management in China, what are the current challenges and how does this effect the leadership management?
  2. How to identify future leaders?
  3. How to qualify future leaders?

So now without further delay lets begin

Time Stamp

00:00:31 Introduction

00:03:43 Opening of Webinar by Jochen Schultz Introduction to keynote

00:05:48 Delivery of Keynote by Qiang Rong

00:25:26 Questions to Qiang Rong

00:30:26 Introduction of Experts

00:33:26 Discussion with Experts led by Jochen Schultz

00:35:26 Stefan Sack, Wei Zhang and Hsiao J. Chiu and Qiang Rong

01:22:17 Dr Tumis’s comments on Cultural aspects of trust

01:24:00 Final Closing remarks from experts

01:33:00 End

This podcast it’s made in partnership between ChinaTeam (on LinkedIn) and AsiaBizStories

EIA 055 How to Participate in the Boom of the Food and Beverage Market in China?

Frank Epping in 1995 founded CUP&CINO in Germany. He is still the sole owner and CEO of the company that started with coffee shops.

This podcast is a recording of a moderated webinar titled “How to Participate in the Boom of the Food and Beverage Market in China?” We fast forward to today where this entrepreneur along with his team are about to enter the Chinese market. They bring with them CUP&CINO’s own Coffee machine and business concept.

Kerstin Kaehler, Fabian Berndt, Maik Juengst on the panel and moderated by Adrian de Riz. They are all experts at doing business in China and give guidance to a CUP&CINO as it to steps into the new and unknown.

Frank Epping is in the audience listening. However, the keynote is delivered by Sven Keysers the Chief Business Development Officer of CUP&CINO. From this point on the podcast speaks for itself however. But, Sven does present a series of slides before the moderated discussion takes place.

If you’d like a copy of the slides visit China team on LinkedIn and make a request.

So now without further delay let’s begin.

Time Stamp

00:01:33Introduction of the experts by the moderator
00:03:40Delivery of Keynote by Sven Keysers
00:25:05Panel Discussion
01:22:17Closing Remarks

EIA 054 The Hive Podcast Series Learning to Podcast

Neville J McKenzie

Erin Soutar of the Hive Co-working Space Lavender Podcast studio in Singapore reverses the roles on Neville J McKenzie as he is the one discussing his thoughts on podcasting. The Hive has allowed AsiaBizStories to share the podcast on it’s platform. As Neville talks about the topic of podcasting generally.

From using podcasts in education

Neville: So then you’re not asking students to sit down and read or watch videos in the class. You’re actually sending them to a website or a podcast and saying, read listen to this then when we come into the classroom we’ll discuss what you’ve learned from it.
Erin: It certainly sounds like a better way of learning I suppose we just need to convince the parents now.

Building a community around podcasting

Neville: I find them very interesting. I get to meet a good range of people because podcasting crosses all sorts of boundaries and this is where I hope that we can build a community, because it’s not, it’s not about the competition between podcasters, because there’s and I think there’s a niche for everyone that is interested in podcasting.

In this conversation Neville gives a brief insight into the potential, and changes Erin’s mind on a few beliefs about podcasts and podcasting.

So now without further delay lets begin.

As well as:

  • Entrance to the world of podcasting in China and entrepreneurship.
  • A perspective on how the senses relate to podcasting
  • The challenges faced by podcasters.
  • His role in encouraging potential podcasters to give it a go.
  • What makes a successful podcast
  • What it means to build a community around a podcast.
  • The growth of podcasting in Singapore
  • Advice on the first steps to becoming or improving as a podcaster
  • The mind set of a podcaster
  • What effort and operating costs are involved in podcasting
  • Key points to consider when choosing where to hosting a podcast
  • What to focus on when building your audience
  • What to prioritise in order not to make a bad podcast
  • Engaging the youth with podcasts
  • Using podcasts for education and blended learning and the need to convince parents and students.
  • Convince Erin that she should not feel guilty about listening to free content and why it is good for the content producer
  • What podcasts listened to and used
  • Inform Erin that there is a podcast out there for every listener, you just have to find it.
  • Up and coming projects at the Hive Lavender.
  • How and why subjects are selected for the AsiaBizStories podcast series



EIA 053 London Barber Cuts into Singapore

Elvis Simon
Elvis Simon

Elvis Simon is a barber with 33 years experience as a salon owner and teacher of barbering in London, England. He has also founded the Quality Barbers Association, QBA, which is involved in raising the professionalism of barbers. His colleagues include some famous names in the UK barbering and hairdressing world such as Rudi Page the former sales manager of Dyke and Dryden, Derek Clements, former Artistic Director of Splinters International and MK a mens stylist with Andis. He has also worked on TV and film sets, first the 90s TV show “Dance Energy, where he planned the hair styles of the DJ Normski and then a film starring  Jean-Claude Van Damme, Until Death. Where he was responsible for the hair styling of British actor Gary Beadle of East Enders fame.

Our conversation took place when he took a break during his short visit as he explored the potential of the Singapore market. Generally everyone needs a hair cut and his introduction to someone thinking of becoming a barber or hairdresser…

If you don’t like what you’re about to do, don’t do it. because this is something that even when you want to get out of you can’t

With the average haircut taking 45 minutes and the nature of being a barber bringing you into intimate contact with thousands, Elvis has learned a thing or two about people.

I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I’ve seen people evolve from really clever to really stupid and you know in thirty years. Man has not progressed he has regressed, unfortunately. Just got thicker and thicker.

This podcast covers a lot of ground in the black barbering industry.

As well as

  • Why he founded the QBA and who else is involved
  • The events that led him to becoming a barber, learning from his elders and opening his own barbershops
  • How and the reasons why hairstyles have changed since the 60s and links to hairstyles dating back hundreds of years
  • Using hair as a tool for personal branding and the reasons why footballers such as Paul Pogba, Djibril Cissé and Matteo Guendouzi.
  • Being judged by your hairstyle and the effects of cultural biases
  • Why Singapore is now looking attractive to an entrepreneurial barber from London
  • The favour that got him into teaching and new opportunities
  • The latest trend in men’s hair care scalp micro pigmentation
  • Traditional black barbershop culture and how it is evolving to provide health information to the community
  • The limits in China for black haircare in the 90s and early 2000s and the DIY and self-help approach
  • Teaching and training other nationalities how to cut black people’s hair and what NBA players do in China
  • The request for a (free) haircut
  • Working in TV and Film and the challenges it posses
  • Barber—client confidentiality and a story he can tell us
  • The wisdom, knowledge and advice coming from the barber
  • How to approach embarking on a new and challenging venture

Thanks to Elvis for that great insight into his plans for the future in Singapore and the business world of Black Hairdressing. We wish him all the best

You can follow Elvis Simon on Instagram @ebs748

EIA 052 Scientist to Entrepreneur

Moses Katanga
Moses Kakanga

Moses Kakanga was born by Lake Victoria in the old capital Entebbe, Uganda where he attended school before moving to the capital Kampala Makerere University, the oldest university in eastern and central Africa. Where he graduating with a degree in biomedical laboratory technology.

Moses then went on to work for an infectious disease Institute for three years before returning to study for a Masters degree in structural molecular biology, which culminated with study at Birkbeck College University London. He then returned home and continued with his previous employer for another four years. He then decided on another round of graduate study finding a scholarship on the Singapore international graduate award. And move to Singapore to pursue a PhD in biochemistry.

From young Moses wanted to work in the medical field as a scientist. He was surrounded by several role models. His father was a practice in physician for 40 years and is still practising although semi retired. His mum is a nurse and many of aunts are nurses and growing up in a hospital community he saw he was exposed to many other role models in the medical profession. Initially he wanted to go to medical school but didn’t get the points before settling on biomedical laboratory science.

When he looks back he looks back Moses attributes his success to working hard, which was based on his desire to attend medical school and in Uganda like most countries required the highest grades and to be top of your class.

Moses believes he’s achieved everything he’s wanted academically. Initially he wanted to remain in academia and become a professor then after doing his Phd and living in Singapore he came to the realisation he wasn’t suited for a career in academia saying “If you wanna be in academia in the Western World you have to publish well. The pre-requisites are very stiff.”

It wasn’t the challenge of academia as his previous employer wanted him back, offering him a position in the USA for two years. But he realised he wanted to have a career in Bio-med Innovation  and create devices for unmet clinical needs.

Moses grew up in the 90s in Entebbe before leaving in 2004 to go to the capital, Kampala to study at the  Makerere University, which was a former College of the University of London and after independence it was handed over to the government of Uganda. It has the oldest medical school in Uganda. The medical school is ranked highly internationally is one of the top five in Africa.

During the time he studied there a lot of international students from Kenya and Tanzania

Moses then received a commonwealth scholarship and was attached to a scientist in Uganda. However the final six months were finished at Birkbeck, University of London while still attached to a Scientist in Uganda. He wasn’t lonely in London as he had cousins there and had a pleasant time.

Missing out on the scholarship didn’t feel so bad because Moses was young at 17 and his dad was a bit scared about sending him alone to Hungary where he would also needed to learn a new language as well as the fact that he was already going to university in Uganda.

Looking back at the time going it may have seemed like a missed opportunity but the other opportunities that have presented themselves have more than made-up for it.

The desire to develop by a medical devices arose during his Phd studies as he worked on Biosensors for screening anti-cancer drugs and his interest shifted to a desire on innovation, drug or devices development.

Moses feel that by remaining in academia he would not be able to accomplish as much due to the rigid and competitive career development.

The challenge he sees for a scientist entering the world of entrepreneurship, are a lack of business skills, which for example may be business model development, customer development, market access.

This lake is something that can be overcome by hiring a person with these business skills. Scientists can still learn the business side but it will take a little bit longer for a person that come from academia.

Currently  Moses is working with a CEO who is also a technical and scientific person and who also has developed the skills to handle the business side. He does get involved to a small degree. But his focus is primarily on the science and technology.

This is reflected in his title of Chief Science and Technology Officer (CTO).

Moses sees himself continuing in the role of technology building as his focus is on the science and being in charge of running clinical trails in order to bring them to the market.

Moses has always looked up to his father as a role model. A man “who set a high bar”. Next came his father’s boss who was a woman that came from a family of five doctors. He always looked up to them. He found these role models stimulated his interest in having a career in the medical field. The professor that supervised him On his PhD has also acted as a role model in ensuring that he completed his PhD and graduated.

As Moses enters the world of entrepreneurship new role models are beginning to appear one of which is Sir Richard Branson. Who Moses admires in the way he built his business from scratch. Through reading his books he has discovered that Sir Richard Branson started out with a lot of challenges in school but then found his niche and has built a number of businesses and has become a very successful business man. His methods have been cautious, unaggressive and without putting other people out of business. He also has integrity and consciousness. Although  Moses is in medical field he plans to follow Sir  Richard Branson on the business side.

A few days after our meeting Moses will be taking part in an event as the moderator with the title, “From Scientist to Entrepreneurial Scientist: The Creation of BioTech Companies”. The purpose of the event is to help motivate early stage start-ups in the field of biotech and med tech. And get mentorship and advice from experienced biotech founders who will share their experience on the transition of being a scientist, scientist entrepreneurs, starting their own companies from research in the lab. The main premise for young start-ups to get more added information and guidance from established scientist.

Three scientists are from the National University of Singapore, Duke NUS will share how they built their companies that was spun off from the University. The audience will come from a broad spectrum of Singapore, which will include academia and start-up biotech companies. A 127 people registered have registered so far. But Moses is being cautious and expects a turnout of 50 to 60% for the event.

Registration and entry is free via the website in collaboration.

SGInnovate is a government organisation that helps to develop tech ecosystems in Singapore. SGInnovate supports DeepTech entrepreneurs and start-ups develop their ideas into a marketable products and also helps them to fund raise.

27 Deep Tech can be a confusing term which is used for ideas that take a lot of time to develop for example developing a robot that requires patents and many of iterations in order to get to the final product. Another example is developing a medical device that requires development of a prototype, do prototype testing and looking for trials. The gestation period takes a long time. This is how Deep Tech is commonly defined. The time to develop a DeepTech product can be two years or three years or longer.

There is further ambiguity as it can also include AI algorithms used for imaging of cancer cells as it can uses AI for diagnostics methods.

There is a constant need for development in the Bio-Tech and Medi-Tech field. A constant need for new drugs and medical devices particularly in areas connected to the ageing population in Asia. As well as devices for mobility, which is also a growing field. Due to Asia’s ageing population so there will be an increasing need for biotech and med tech products.

If you consider the US in the Bay Area where, biotech and med tech is really big and you will see a lot of investors. In that the ecosystem in the US is well developed. While in Asia it has recently started growing and is predicted to grow bigger .

Moses reasons for starting a business in Singapore are that it is small country where everything is close. He completed his PhD at the innovation hub called One North, where there are universities with research centres and start-ups in the same facility. Also gave access to many people on different tracks due to their close proximity. The final piece into doing this venture is being able to get into an incubator that gives support in building the company.

At present the company consists of a CEO and Moses who is the CTO as it has only existed for eight months. They are still raising money and expect to hire a specialist in the medical device regulatory area in the second quarter of next year in order to facilitate the launch of the product into the different markets.

The first market to enter will be Europe where they are working with a number of hospitals on clinical trials and expect to get the CE mark. After that will expand in to Asia and the USA.

This order is chosen as buyer certification procedures are a little bit easier in Europe than getting an FDA. So like most medical companies in the world they tend to start off with Europe to get a CE mark because it’s a little shorter than the FDA. From there a move into Asia is fairly straight forward if you have a CE or FDA.

For the African market the company has to examine the reimbursement systems to determine who will be able to pay and may be considered later on after some revenues have been gained.

So the important first step is to prove the product is viable then once proved to raise finance and show that it works and then you can look up expanding into other markets.

The product is a device that was patented by his CEO to treat a genetic disease that causes bulging of an eye. It is inserted to reshapes a patients eye

It is a genetic disease and while it is not a common it does affect 15 million people worldwide particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

In the near future the priorities of the company are to raise money, build the start-up through clinical trials then bringing the device to the market and growing the business in to being a leading company in the ophthalmology space.

Faced with the low success rate of startups Moses takes the same approach he applied to his PhD where you go give your all to a project if it doesn’t work out you move on.

Since being involved with the startup Moses has had to gain new areas of knowledge. Taking a certificate in medical device regulations and importantly for a startup writing and designing investor pitch decks. In order to communicate the business to potential investors and containing, the business model, market, team and representing a snapshot of your business ant its idea.

37 As part of an incubator Moses was exposed to people that had a great deal of business experience who offer guidance on various aspects of business. Since his focus is on the technology side of the startup he’s not required to do much direct pitching and he doesn’t desire or see his role changing from being the back room CTO. Currently Moses is not looking to expand his role because as a scientist his interest is in the science behind the products not in the business side.

There is alway risk associated with a startup and Moses is confident that the project will be successful. Moses’s states “the co-founder and CEO holds the patent for the product and has been working on this project for more than two years. As well as being a scientist himself the CEO also has developed the necessary business skills to take the project forward.”, over those two years.

For those that wish to follow in his footsteps Moses offers the following advice, “Work hard, work hard” Moses says he has always worked hard his whole life.  He’s a person that thinks luck has played a part in his life since in various examples in his academic life luck has been there but it’s always a result of hard work. At secondary school He was always in the labs. He advises reading because many opportunities have come his way through reading books and papers. The missed opportunity to go to medical school in Hungary came from a newspaper article. During his undergrad I was able to apply for a scholarship which also came from a newspaper. His Masters he also received a scholarship through recommendation by a friend. Finally the PhD research opportunity in Singapore came from reading a journal. So summarising, it’s hard work with a little bit of luck but more hard work.

We thank Moses very much for this brief conversation on what it takes to go from scientist to entrepreneur and will keep in touch and we expect to keep in touch.

EIA 052 From Scientist to Entrepreneur was introduced by Andy Kerr of St James Wealth Management the company sponsoring “Scientist to Entrepreneurial Scientist: The Creation of BioTech Companies”


EIA 051 The Beginners View on Podcasting

Ann Morgan is new to the world podcast production and joins Graham Brown the founder of Asia Tech Podcast and myself in our latest conversation recorded in the Asia Tech Podcast studio for the Ask Me Anything Podcast, where we discuss podcasting with a focus on Ann’s questions as she navigates the world of podcasting from a complete beginner.

“Because funnily enough I know there’s a lot, we’ve talked about a lot about confidence and just getting on with things and for me actually doing the podcasts is a step, and I’m not saying it’s not scary, finding your voice and becoming natural at it and just making improvements

Anne’s passion is growing as she develops her project and works out who and where her audience is, and with the launch phase approaching the excitement is increasing for us both all.

““You’ve literally gone Live, or you’ve started to go live. Would you… Do you think you have to do a pre, some kind of pre-thing? Do you have to be on every single social media… What’s a simple way of doing it?”

Even though Anne has a non-technical background she has in our view comfortably reached the publish stage of her podcast production journey and constructed her website.

You can contact Anne on Linkedin and her website at

As well as

  • Ann describing her journey towards being a podcast producer from nowhere to recording four episodes, one hour in the studio with four colleagues on a roundtable
  • Publishing your podcast and the next step
  • After recording the podcast, the first thing, then what do you do? The editing and the process of making it live.
  • Choosing where to publish iTunes, Spotify, the next two Google, Stitcher
  • Including music in the podcast, Royalty free or buy, outsource or commission starting out at a low price or even free and the pitfalls.
  • Free music source websites as well as get a family member to create
  • Professional production can be low cost or costly, see fiverr
  • But do you need music at all just go straight into the intro, DIY approach, or use a voice over professional again see fiverr
  • Can someone not like your podcast because there is no music?
  • Domain naming your podcast, How to choose and where do I put my podcast. Server, Soundcloud, Blubrry, Possible problems, Free, Paid options, stepped options.
  • Where to put show-notes and integration with website
  • Audio file hosting. Taking the paid option with SoundCloud, Blubrry or the free one stop option for example with Anchor which is free, but has the potential pitfall of who owns the content.
  • Designing your Cover Art: The fiverr option the low price option, the restrictions and potential pitfalls
  • Publishing on Sound Cloud and iTunes followed by how do you attract an audience and who to hustle and how.
  • The confusion of subscribe and how to overcome it.
  • What are the platform algorithms doing and how to give the podcast a boost to reach escape velocity and get reviews
  • Should you launch 1, 3 or more podcasts, publish regularly or irregularly?
  • Different approaches to podcasting: Experimenting or putting out your podcast for business reasons
  • The effect on media of noise in the content world and the need to hustle.
  • The importance of producing something that is good, but remember it has to appeal to a specific audience that is interested.
  • How to make it easy for your friends and guests to share the podcast with the example of a ATP’s live card.
  • Brief explanation of getting onto SoundCloud without a website
  • The ATP’s live card, creating a template and where to get the guests picture
  • The challenge that appears after recording: the editing.
  • Eliminating excuses to not publish and overcoming the loneliness of editing
  • Preparing for the conversation it helps with editing.
  • What happens during the conversation the challenges and how to overcome
  • How to decide when to stop the editing process.
  • What to do with Ums and Ahs.
  • Annes choice of editing software
  • Summarising: The fact that Ann’s gone from zero to completing several recordings, which will soon be publish
  • Finally sharing the links to Anne’s podcast and website







EIA 050 Why You Should Podcast

Graham Brown is the founder of Asia Tech Podcast. This is our second one on one conversation and was recorded in the ATP studio for the Ask Me Anything Podcast, where we discuss podcasting with a focus on Asia along with the wider personal aspects of podcasting.

“Now a podcast is personal as you say. So really, I think this is a mistake people make this come to this they try and focus podcast on a very specific subject area, which is fine. However that may change over time, and it probably will like any human being you’re going to evolve and find new interests and so on.”

Graham is very passionate about podcasting and warning that this is revealed in the language he uses to express what he is doing with Asia Tech Podcast and podcasting in general.

As well as:

  • Graham’s podcasting series and conversations with other podcasters.
  • Some of the specific issues with podcasting in China, for example the blocking of Google web services.
  • Learning how to use web services outside of China.
  • Cooperation between podcasters by sharing podcasts.
  • Listener questions
  • The growing interest in podcasting in Asia, which likes Europe and the USA.
  • The show stopper question, what should I broadcast about? and how most people get it wrong.
  • The importance of telling your personal story that enables growth.
  • Evolution ending a podcast series and starting a new podcast with the story that you really want to tell
  • The host enabling the continuity of the podcast and dropping clues to their own personal experiences.
  • The difference between a podcast host and the traditional interviewer.
  • The listener eavesdropping on a conversation and building a relationship of trust with the host.
  • Breaking away from the traditional interview with Asia Tech Podcast’s Camp fire like podcast ‘the Grind’.
  • The audience as the third person in a conversation.
  • The difference between private conversations of the past and public conversations and its dangers.
  • Being able to witness peoples views changing and allowing people to grow.
  • The repercussions of Elon Musk smoking marijuana on the Joe Rogan show, changes in language and leaving in swearing and the ‘ums and ahs.
  • Errors during the podcasting recording process.
  • The individuality of each podcasters working in different ways.
  • The belief that everyone should have a podcast to tell part of the story.
  • Using the tools available to market yourself.
  • FEAR, the reason why people don’t market themselves in the way they should.
  • Podcasting as a way of bringing your thoughts together.
  • All you have to do is step up. You don’t need 1 million downloads. You just need to reach the people you need to reach.
  • The interest in how to podcast? Start off with your friends and asked the question, what should we podcast about?
  • The next question how long should a podcast be?
  • The different types of audience, just for, information, entertainment and edutainment.
  • The podcaster’s journey of improvement.
  • What’s a good length to start off with?
  • If people can find the time to binge watch Game of Thrones, why should you worry about producing a 3 hour podcast on your topic of interest and ignore the advice to keep it around 10 minutes.
  • The listener is in control and can pause the podcast.
  • Is the flexibility of podcasting up to the imagination of the podcasters?
  • The world before social media and the change it brought about, for example hijacking the heart.
  • Audio formats fight back against social media.
  • Did TV start the process of desocialisation or did it bring us together?
  • Mass broadcast TV losing its social currency versus video on demand.
  • Podcasting using the Starbucks model to reconnect people.
  • Increased understanding with audio and video communication.
  • Human to human hormonal response.
  • Turning humans to machines and the missing soul in AI.
  • Podcasting as a way of getting your thoughts together, germinating crystallising ideas.
  • An explanation of phatic communication.
  • The listener thinking through the conversation as it unfolds, agree or disagree.
  • Acknowledging that we could be wrong and in a years time we may have moved on.


Graham Brown on


EIA 049 Give the Unheard Entrepreneur a Voice

Graham Brown is the founder of Asia Tech Podcast. In this conversation Graham tells us about his journey from an AI graduate in the 90’s, when there was no demand, becoming an entrepreneur in several industries, going into semi-retirement to travel the world, before being lured back to the world of entrepreneurship in Singapore.

“If you were into music they were all made by Japanese companies and you had a stereo at home, which was Japanese and you watched it on a Japanese TV, and we learned about Japanese cars, samurai and ninja. Wow! This world just blew me away and I wanted to be part of that and I looked at where I grew up and just wanted to get out.”

The failures that often accompany entrepreneurs before the overnight success.

“We went from people playing like 10 to 15,000 dollars to speak, to be on a conference, to sponsor it, to be on that. To like the next week nothing. Crickets! just wants right to be on that they like the next week nothing crickets sorry. That completely went belly-up. So he has a wild ride. That was the second business”

This is the first time that Graham has appeared as a guest and the conversation was recorded in the studio of Asia Tech Podcast, where I also appear as a guest host.

So now without further delay lets begin.

As well as:

  • The first radio style interview in 2002 with an employee of Hewlett-Packard who later became the founder of Angry Birds.
  • The break into marketing, founding a property company, a telecom company.
  • How the switch between different Industries is an essentials part of peoples lives.
  • His life in Japan in the 1990s, returning to the UK and determined to start business even with no connections in entrepreneurship.
  • The big break to start his own business, a phone number in the newspaper and making 120 calls a day selling Financial Services
  • The lessons learned from working in a tough environment
  • Are you joining a cult? Overcoming the disheartening response from the people around him.
  • Silence and the quest for self-improvement.
  • The type of person that ended up in Japan in the 1990s
  • Why Graham idolised Japan and a graduate in AI 20 years too early, so go teach English in Japan just as the bubble bursts
  • 2 years in Japan
  • Returning to the UK after two years in the late 90s as the UK economy picks up.
  • The rumours of people walking out of university and picking up good jobs in the city.
  • Unable to get that job in the city so taking the job selling Finance in the city as a stepping stone
  • The first business building computers with his best mate and a marketing strategy based on what he’d learned in finance making hundreds of calls a day.
  • Building Computers the business fails after a year and his friends returns to a job
  • Graham left with the debt but determined to go as an entrepreneur with the debt paid off 10 years later.
  • The second business 1997-98 organizing meet-ups in pubs on the internet, meeting people on ICQ.
  • Reasons why around 2000 people started getting interested.
  • How confusion led to conferences appearances in the USA and opportunities with CNBC on the topic of Mobile and WAP commanding fees of $10–$15,00 to speak on a conference panels and then the following.
  • The effect of the Dot Com crises.
  • The third business the firs and only at the time to research “mobile phone usage with young people”
  • Rejection by Nokia but accepted by Disney, MTV, Intel, European Union, United Nations and the published UN report “Children and Mobile Phones”. (
  • The reasons why this business was a success why he got out with as much cash as possible, where he put the cash and selling the business to his partner and then sitting down with his wife and explaining what he wanted to do next.
  • A father selling ancient Japanese Scrolls around the world and why his wife understood the entrepreneurial world.
  • 2012 semi-retirement so let’s travel the world. First stop New Zealand, then Fiji, Hawaii, California, Florida, Cypress and back to London. Flew out the next day without even telling his mother to the Canary Islands.
  • Eventually settling in Lanzarote with blue skies, white houses, palm trees and a passion for Iron Man was ignited.
  • How his non Spanish speaking wife enrolled their son in a none English speaking local Spanish school.
  • 2 years in Lanzarote, iron Man and slow Internet connection next stop Japan, Island of Okinawa.
  • Wanted to get his son to learn Japanese.
  • 49 minutes
  • The difficulties of living on the Island of Okinawa, which led to a quick exit to Mainland Japan
  • On to Kugune makaigan and the bronze budda, and the surfing capital of Japan near Mount Fuji for two years. Leading back into the world of entrepreneurship by doing favours and keeping busy.
  • Brief dabble in the podcast world with Founder FM, which later evolved into ATP and the need to go to where the action was as there were few startups,
  • Now in a financially self-sufficient state the first thought in his mind was semi-retirement to Thailand, Phuket before he was turned-off this.
  • The next thought was the idea of Singapore, which he put to his family, which would require full commitment.
  • The questions of what makes him happy, the struggle and doing something or the life in?
  • The link between the excitement of making a full commitment that involves financial risk, burning bridges, risk, not trundling along, with the pain of Iron man.
  • Taking on a leadership role in pulling together podcasters in Asia.
  • The drive that comes out of proving the doubters and the voices telling you it can’t be done wrong
  • The pain of the teenage years creating the fighter and the motivator of producing of amazing things.
  • Graham’s vision for ATP in five years being the MTV of the startup ecosystem in the same way it changed the music industry for black music artists such as Michael Jackson and hip-hop.
  • The aim to bring amazing stories of people that are not recognised.
  • How to convince entrepreneurs to become self-promoters and reach out to VC’s and investors through story.
  • His belief that pitch contests are the wrong way to get entrepreneurs to tell the world what they do.
  • Give the unheard entrepreneur a voice
  • How do entrepreneurs startup, hire and connect with fellow podcast hosts.



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