TiE Singapore – Engineering Management in Tech Startups

Earlier this year in August, I was invited to attend TiE Global’s annual retreat in Bali and experienced the camaraderie of the TiE network first-hand. I bonded with many other Charter Members over glasses of sake and got myself a new moniker; Ashok Rao (Chairman of TiE Global) thought “motochan” wasn’t snazzy enough and went on to introduce me to everyone as “Jimmy C“. I was subsequently inducted into the Singapore chapter of TiE as a Charter Member, and accepted the honor to serve the community as Chair of the TiE Singapore “Technology” Special Interest Group (SIG).

We’ve been forced to make a last-minute change in venue, though not by choice. We’ll be sending out reminder emails with the updated venue to all who have already signed up with us. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

We’re organizing our first event for the SIG next Thursday evening from 6.30PM – 8:00PM at the Auditorium Seminar Room at INSEAD Plug-in@Blk71 and I’d like to invite you to join us for a panel discussion on the topic of Engineering Management in Tech Startups. Thanks to TiE Singapore and INSEAD NUS Enterprise, the event is free for everyone, but we’d greatly appreciate it if you could pre-register with us.


We all hear how tech startups thrive by hiring the very best and keeping things lean. Posterous co-founder and former Apple software engineer Sachin Agarwal once described on his blog how Apple operates its engineering teams “like a huge startup”, by hiring very few but very intelligent people who are moved around to work on different projects as needed. Yet, in any tech ecosystem, top engineering talent will always be in scarce supply. Scarcer still are good managers who can eke out the best that their teams have to offer, in order to keep up with the ambitions of their founders.

Entrepreneurs get all the attention, be it from a successful financing round or an exit. It’s about time some love is given to the chaps who actually designed and built that shiny gadget you have in your hands, or that web service you can’t live without.

On the eve of 20th October, TiE Singapore presents a panel discussion on the often-overlooked topic of engineering team management. Join James Chan (Principal, Neoteny Labs) as he chats with a distinguished and experienced panel of engineers to uncover the pitfalls and best practices of building and managing engineering teams in tech startups, with guests Toivo Annus (previously co-founding Head of Engineering, Skype), Andrew “bunnie” Huang (co-founder & General Manager of Asia, Chumby), Steven Chan (ex-Paypal software engineer & co-founder at Tinkertanker) and Mike Grafton (Director of Engineering, Pivotal Labs Singapore).

Event Venue & Schedule

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Seminar Room, #02-18 – 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139951

6:30pm: Guest Registration & Networking

7:00pm: Welcome Address by TiE Singapore Charter Member & Chair of TiE SG ‘Technology’ Special Interest Group, James Chan

7:05pm: Panel Discussion

7:40pm: Q&A Session

8:00pm: Light refreshments & Networking

How to get to Blk71 from INSEAD

For those who are wondering how to get from our original location to Blk71, here’s a map to help you out.

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Why you should Attend?

Any business or product plans of tech companies are moot if the engineering team is unable to deliver the goods. Hear the panelists’ “war stories” and learn about the pitfalls to avoid, best practices to adopt and useful ways to hire, motivate and retain your engineering team.

Who should Attend?

Senior management of companies that develop or employ technology will understand and appreciate their CTOs and inhouse or outsourced engineering teams better. CTOs are welcomed to join in the conversation during the Q&A, and commiserate with their on-stage panelist brethren. Engineers who belong to teams will start to see things from their supervisors’ and CTOs’ perspectives. Everyone else will at the very least enjoy a great evening of intelligent conversation and fantastic networking.

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+.