Alumni Sharing Session

February 22, 2020

This afternoon, Kristen Yang (Global Head of Incubation, working at Oliver Wyman) and Aaron Tam (Global Head of Impact Research, working at Vivid Economics) carried out an Alumni Sharing Session that examined how Bridges for Enterprise (BfE) could better interact with start-ups and entrepreneurs from African and Asian regions. There were five main parts of this Alumni Sharing Session. Part I covered the general agenda of the meeting. Part II addressed key aspects of an initial engagement with start-ups, such as understanding the situation of a startup and building trust with a start-up. Following this, there was a simulation where BfE participants brainstormed questions to ask a start-up, which I personally found very insightful since I got to learn about engaging with start-ups in a constructive and productive manner.

Aaron and Kristen then moved onto Part III, which addressed aspects of successful engagement with a start-up, such as developing trust with a start-up and establishing mutual expectations regarding the processes of a BfE project. Part IV covered crucial questions for engaging with startups, such as understanding the impact of the end-goal, tracking success pre-conditions and promoting the impact of the project. Part V concluded by discussing how to conclude a project with a start-up, covering aspects such as how startups can receive actionable advice, how mentors can be satisfied with the professional impact they make, and how the BfE team can gain useful lessons.

Overall, this alumni sharing session gave deep insights into both the successes and shortcomings of past BfE approaches while engaging with start-ups. Aaron and Kristen provided valuable advice to the current BfE team on how to progress with future engagements with entrepreneurs and start-ups that approach our organisation. As a relatively new member to the BfE team, I got to learn about BfE and the amazing work that it does in greater detail and I am sure that all participants at the Alumni Sharing Session felt a similar way too.