Monday, July 30, 2007

ASES Summer Camp

First of all, ASES stands for Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society. Other than the chapter in Singapore, it has other chapters all over the world. ASES Singapore is subdivided into the 3 university – Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU).

The reason why i have anything to do with ASES is because of Huimin. She has just become part of the ASES family and was involved with this particular summer camp.

It was a 3 days 2 nights camp, at NCRSS country club, which aim to promote entrepreneurship among students. Company visits were included as part of the itinerary. We visited Genometric Pte Ltd, Settlers’ Cafe and Stikfas.

Back to Day 1. I was suppose to meet the rest for lunch at 12pm but i was tired so i requested to meet at 1.30pm @ Tanah Merah MRT instead. The pick up point for the shuttle bus was near to the bus stop where i can alight from. So i was quite confident to reach there in time.

And indeed, i was on time; right on the dot, 1.30pm. Just as i alighted from bus 12, i saw the shuttle bus ahead of me. I made a mad rush and managed to catch up. Huimin alighted as the shuttle bus has a schedule to follow. It turned that another friend of Huimin is late. (Note : I was on time, Haha...)

Her friend, Shao Hao appeared in about 5minutes time and the next shuttle bus will only come at 2.30pm. So, we have no choice but to take the cab. It costs us $6, and it turns out that NRCSS is not that far away just that it will take a very long time for people to walk in. Maybe 1hour.

We reached the lobby and was introduced to 3 other people, Chee Long, Penny and Yuan Man. They had checked in and we were ready to go to our chalet. Yeah!!

Our unit was 33 and it is really big. A 2 storey house with 2 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 2 toilets, 1 dinning area, 1 common area and 1 BBQ pit. Mahjong set is provided for free!! Now that’s the important issue here. Haha... Mahjong.

Just after we settled in, we played some ice-breakers game and Cashflow 101. It turns out to be rather interesting, getting out of the rat race and stuffs. I would say it is the closer-to-real-life-kind-of-Monopoly board game. The funny thing is, none of us know how to play. So we followed the instruction manual step by step, calling people here and there to find out more about the game.

It took us 3 hours to finish the game and it was an impressive game as we started without knowing anything to knowing something at the end. Haha... Due to time constraint, we decided that the first person to get out of the rat race wins the game. And the winner is none other than, ME!

Dinner was next. Hong Ting bought the dinner for us and conducted personality test for all of us. I was an ENTJ, same as people like Steve Jobs. Woo hoo ~ ~ after which, it was MJ time!! And i lost. Damn!

Next morning, we rushed off to the first company, Genometric. It was interesting to realize that a Singapore company is working on the software industry and their products look impressive.

We headed for Settlers’ Cafe, the one at North Canal Road. The boss, Colin, was a good speaker and he has detailed slides for the presentation. Thru him, we learnt more about the beginning of Settlers, the competitors, their future plans. Right now, there are 3 main players, Settlers, Mind’s Cafe and PitStop Cafe. It will be interesting to see how these cafes outdo one another. Would there be new cafes coming up? Is the pie getting bigger?

Last but not least, we went to Stikfas. To those who don’t know about them, Stikfas is a stick-man kind of toy. They can be assembled and rearrange according to the users’ preference. The man behind the company is Mr. Ban, a designer himself. With US as the biggest toy market, Stikfas has successfully gained a foothold in it and not forgetting Japan and Europe, it is sure expanding.

We were showed a few home made videos which were made by fans. Very impressive i would say. The videos were well made and they are of a certain standard. Judging from these videos, we can see how much the fans liked Stikfas.

Dinner was BBQ, and it was my 2nd one for the week. Gosh...

Actually, i was rather tired throughout the camp. So, i guessed i wasn’t as spontaneous as before. I tried very hard to stay awake during the company visits. Not that the visits were boring but i was just too tired...

Overall, i enjoyed myself, made new friends, learnt new things. And i am just glad to be back in the eco-system.

The entrepreneurship eco-system.


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