Entrepreneurship and You: Yan Lin

If you are a local startup looking to venture overseas, or international startup looking to enter the Singapore market, you may be interested to be connected to Yan Lin who is able to provide you with strong knowledge of the Singapore and ASEAN markets.

Meet Yan Lin, Market Access Manager at the ACE International Centre and find out more about what she does at ACE and her entrepreneurial aspirations!

It has always been Yan Lin’s dream to start her own startup in the future. This is the reason that inspired her to be plugged into the ecosystem to understand it further before taking the plunge. The fast paced and ever-changing environment of the startup ecosystem has also provided her with continuous steep learning curve and motivated her to stay in the ecosystem.

Her journey in the startup ecosystem has thus far been a fruitful and rewarding one. Yan Lin works closely with local and international startups, providing support in their internationalisation effort.

In her role, Yan Lin leads market immersion trips and market access programmes to drive business leads and deals for the startups. Within a short two years in this role, she has led two-way startup market access for Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, France, Austria and Beijing. She is also involved in developing a regional connected ecosystem, the ACE Connected Ecosystem, to establish stronger connectedness among the startup ecosystems, especially in Southeast Asia. Today, the ACE Connected Ecosystem has an outreach to more than 25,000 tech startups across 15 cities and provides a regional platform for two-way market access and co-innovation initiatives.

“In my interaction with startups, both locally and regionally, I learnt that the startup journey is a challenging one. Some of the challenges include having difficulty in finding the right overseas strategic channel partners for market entry and navigating through the regulations in the different markets. Some startups also realised that they are unable to use their existing business model when expanding into a particular overseas market. They have to change their business model to ensure right product-market fit. Another challenge is in the area of hiring, such as finding the right talent for overseas operations in that country.”, said Yan Lin.

However, Yan Lin has also shared that there are various resources which startups could tap on to overcome their challenges. For example, one of that key programme she is involved in is the ACE Market Access Programme. It is a 3-week programme that supports later-stage startups with ready solutions and products to gain insights on the regional markets, connect to market experts and in-market partners, receive dedicated business guidance through mentorship, advisory clinics and seminars/workshops and the opportunity to pitch to investors for potential funding. Through such initiatives, startups are able to gain significant market traction by receiving business deals quickly and efficiently.

“My hope and dream for the startup ecosystem is for Singapore to be the innovation and startup hub of Asia. It is rewarding to see how I have a part to play in shaping the future of Singapore’s startup ecosystem and seeing our efforts paid off when startups under our care eventually succeed.”

“Lastly, for advices to startups, it is important to have a strong why for starting up. Be passionate about what you do and ensure that your startup is solving large enough market problem. That is my advice for those who wish to join the startup ecosystem.”