“Consumer Web in Focus” with Joi Ito

Joichi ItoI bring good tidings. Experienced entrepreneur-turned-angel-investor and CEO of Creative Commons, Joi Ito will be stopping over in Singapore for a day, and upon my request, has graciously agreed to spend the morning of 15 June to share his insights on Consumer Web with us.  In addition, 15 6 lucky consumer web start-ups will get 10 minutes each (totaling 1 hour) to pitch to Joi what they’re working on, and seek his advice and opinions.

The good part? Participation is free!  The bad part?  Unfortunately, I couldn’t arrange for more start-ups to benefit from the one-on-one  sessions with Joi.  As there will be limited slots (and time!) available for the private break-out sessions, if you’re keen to pitch to Joi, help me out by (1) preparing a 10-slide deck adhering to the 10/20/30 principle by Guy Kawasaki, (2) uploading it to Slideshare and (3) posting it as a link to the FB event/embedding it as a comment to this entry.  I’ve tested it out and it works, although the embedded slides don’t play pretty with gravatar images the way my theme is structured.  I will leave the selection of the 6 start-ups to Joi himself (yes! let someone else be the fall guy *nudge wink*).

If you’re concerned about revealing your secret sauce – I really didn’t think this should be an issue, as you shouldn’t be wasting your life on it if your product is so indefensible and easy to replicate – feel free to prepare two versions; one for posting here and another for the pitch itself.  However, I should remind you to keep both versions equally short, as time is scarce.

An interview by The Independent, posted to Youtube on 1 May 2009

I had the good fortune of meeting Joi during one of my countless forays into the Valley last year – one of the countless perks that comes with working at Infocomm Investments, reaching out to VC-backed startups to facilitate their expansion into Asia through Singapore.  Apart from being open and a total gentleman, Joi is a perfect example of the sort of ‘smarter money’ that I feel Singapore currently lacks.  I’ve arranged for him to meet with IDA, MTI and NRF representatives, so let’s hope something meaningful can come out of those.

Thanks to Prof Desai and his team (Adeline and Vanan), I’ve been able to secure the venue.  I promise to edit this post with more details as things gets finalised. Suffice to say for now that I’ve booked his time, and some form of sharing and pow-wow session will be taking place with Joi and the Singapore community come 15 June 2009. I’ll be on the phone with Joi later this evening to seek his views as well. Joi has also found the ‘open’ nature of the event highly agreeable.

I also welcome all suggestions and comments, though I’d appreciate if you keep them constructive. I am still thinking about something meaningful for the rest of the crowd to be engaged with while the private break-out sessions are going on, so help me out with that.  One idea I have is to prepare 2 adjacent rooms with concurrent sharing sessions by the 6 start-ups (rotating through the 2 slots), after they have met with Joi. I intend to make this a learning experience for everything, so it’ll be great if the 6 lucky start-ups share what they have learnt from the brief 10 minutes with Joi with the rest of the crowd.  Once the one-on-one sessions are over, Joi will join the networking crowd for the last 30 – 60 minutes of the programme.

Facebook Event Listing

Date & Venue

15 June 2009

SMU Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Professor Desai has agreed to host the venue – thanks Prof!)

Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Level 1 Seminar Room 1.2

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Proposed Schedule

09:00 – 09:10 – Welcome by SMU BIG

09:10 – 09:20 – Opening speech and Welcome

09:20 – 09:50 – Presentation by Joi Ito on Consumer Web and his experiences as entrepreneur and investor

09:45 – 11:30 – Networking session (first 10 and last 30 minutes to include Joi)

10:00 – 11:00 – 10-minute break-out sessions by 6 start-ups (in parallel with networking above)

Admission & Capacity

Maximum of 50 – 70 pax, with 6 consumer web start-ups (2 pax max per start-up) for the break-out sessions.  No sign-ups are needed for the first half of the event – as many people as the venue can safely accomodate

Update: Thanks to everyone for making the event a success, more on it at this entry.

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.