Born in Kuching and based in Singapore, Joash Wee, General Manager of VCNC Singapore, became interested in tech startups during his university days. An avid follower of the technology space in Southeast Asia and around, Joash has experience in business development, partnerships, media relations, content strategy, and social media marketing.
During his early days, to learn more about how startups worked, Wee sought out an unpaid internship at tech media platform e27.
“The opportunity gave me valuable insights into what happens in the tech startup ecosystem,” he says. He eventually joined e27 as a full-time employee as their community manager and worked his way up to become the editor of their news site.
In 2012, while managing the selections for Echelon, e27’s flagship conference for tech startups, Wee met the core team of VCNC and later joined them to head the expansion of their couple app, Between, in Southeast Asia, with the hopes of enhancing offline relationships through technology.
The learning experience continued to fuel his curiosity and growth in tech startups. He also learned what the mobile services could do for its consumers. Joash was interested to find new ways to grow the online and mobile services and to see how these services could bridge brands with consumers.
Ask him about VCNC, and he is quick to reply, “VCNC focuses on the relationship space. Our main application, Between, is a private app for couples where we provide a 1-to-1 service for couples to privately chat, share photos, and keep track of their important days just with each other.
The second application that we just launched in Singapore, WhereTwo, aims to complement Between’s efforts by being a directory for date spots and activities recommendations.”
When he’s not reading up on the latest technology developments, Joash enjoys a good book, researching on personal investment strategies, and photography.
The New Savvy: Tell us has about yourself and your past has shaped you to be who you are now?
Joash: I became interested in tech startups during my university days. To learn more about how startups worked, I did an unpaid internship at e27. The opportunity gave me valuable insights into what happens in the tech startup ecosystem.
I later joined e27 full-time as their community manager and worked my way up to become the editor of their news site. During my time at e27, I was connected with the core team of VCNC and would later join them to head the expansion of their couples app, Between, in Southeast Asia.
This learning experience has continued to fuel my curiosity and growth in tech startups and what mobile services can do for consumers. I’m always interested in finding new ways to grow online and mobile services and see how these services can bridge brands with consumers.
The New Savvy: Tell us more about your business.
Joash: VCNC focuses on the relationship space. Our main application, Between, is a private app for couples where we provide a 1-to-1 service for couples to privately chat, share photos, and keep track of their important days just with each other.
The second application that we just launched in Singapore, WhereTwo, aims to complement Between’s efforts by being a directory for date spots and recommendations for activities.
The New Savvy: How is WhereTwo different from other similar apps in the market and how useful is it?
Joash: WhereTwo is a discovery app that helps you find the best places to go to for dates in Singapore. Whether you are a couple, or a single person going out on dates to find the right one, WhereTwo takes the pain of discovering new and exciting dining places or activities to do.
If you have a special occasion coming up, like an anniversary or a first date, the reviews on WhereTwo can help you decide whether the location or activity will suit your needs.
The New Savvy: What do you love about your job?
Joash: I love the challenge and responsibility of growing a relatively new service in Southeast Asia. From learning about different relationship cultures to understanding how to work with the right people in each local market.
The New Savvy: Can you name an individual who has had a tremendous impact on you? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Joash: My dad. He’s always there to guide me, especially in matters of personal finance management and investment.
The New Savvy: What systems have you set up in your business to help it grow?
Joash: Internally, we do weekly calls with our Head of International Business, based in Seoul, to keep him updated on what’s happening and how we are continuing our growth.
Each month, we have a global call for the different offices to share interesting things they have done so that others can see how to adapt it to their market. I also do regular chat or coffee sessions with my Southeast Asian team members to find out how I can continue to support them as they do their jobs.
The New Savvy: What creative things do you do to develop a friendly company culture?
Joash: Nothing creative. Since our global offices are usually small, new full-time global members start by spending time at our South Korean headquarters. That’s where they get to experience and learn the full VCNC culture. Activities like TCIM (Thank CEO It’s Monday) happens only in South Korea, where everyone gets to pose questions to our CEO, Jake Park.
At the respective global offices, we practice things like monthly company meals and unlimited leaves. Ultimately, we have a very family-like environment where everyone gets to enjoy the support of their fellow VCNC members.
The New Savvy: The best business idea you have that you’ll never use?
Joash: None. I usually test ideas that I have to find out if they are worth exploring further or if they should be discarded.
The New Savvy: What was one of your most defining moments in life?
Joash: Taking that internship at e27. It was the start of building my network in the tech startup space in Asia.
The New Savvy: If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
Joash: Take my Mandarin and Vietnamese language learning a lot more seriously.
The New Savvy: What are your attitude and outlook towards personal finance? Has it changed?
Joash: It hasn’t changed much since university. I’m always looking to save and invest for the future.
The New Savvy: What are your financial habits?
Joash: Paying myself first. I set aside my savings and amount to invest each time I receive my salary. I always ask myself if I need what I want to buy and if I do buy something, how long and how often will I use it.
The New Savvy: What financial planning have you done for the future?
Joash: Not a lot. Mostly investments in mutual funds.
The New Savvy: What will you like to learn more financially?
Joash: More about investing and planning for the future.
The New Savvy: Do you believe in the traditional roles of men and women?
Joash: No. I think roles should change with time and progress.
The New Savvy: Which women do you most admire in life?
Joash: My mom for choosing to resign from her full-time job and stay home to raise three children.
The New Savvy: How can we improve women’s relationship with money?
Joash: Keep on supporting and encouraging them to pursue their interest in building their financial knowledge.
The New Savvy: Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
Joash: Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Masayoshi Son.
The New Savvy: What are your favorite places to go in Singapore?
Joash: I’m a stay-at-home kind of person, so I rarely go out. I always prefer the comfort of home and cooking in the kitchen.
The New Savvy: Where do you go on a night out?
Joash: Dinner at Shinjuku, a Japanese restaurant at Cuppage Plaza, catch a movie at The Cathay, and maybe a cocktail or two at Jigger & Pony after.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in