DBS launches programme to help start-ups and SMEs grow their business and network across Asia

Singapore.07 Oct 2014

DBS BusinessClass helps members seek business advice from a panel of advisors, connect with investors and fellow entrepreneurs

Singapore, 07 Oct 2014 -

Start-ups and SMEs can now seek business advice and opportunities across Asia with DBS BusinessClass, a new programme delivered through a mobile app. Through DBS BusinessClass, entrepreneurs can consult and connect with industry experts, investors and fellow entrepreneurs. DBS BusinessClass members can also access news and articles on topics pertinent to starting and running their businesses and attend exclusive networking events.

Lim Chu Chong, Head of SME Banking, DBS Bank said, “We found that fast-growing SMEs need help connecting with investors and experts when they are scaling up their business. By building a mobile platform which allows SMEs to access business advice, insights and exclusive networking opportunities, we hope to help SME owners build social capital and sharpen their competitive edge. We are committed to a culture of continuous innovation so as to make DBS the SME bank of choice for entrepreneurs.”

Tap on community wisdom and expertise
DBS has garnered the support of more than 20 business experts, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors to join DBS BusinessClass’ panel of advisors and more will be coming on board in the coming months.

DBS BusinessClass’ panel of advisors:

NameCompanyArea(s) of expertise
Lim Kuo-Yi

Partner, Monk’s Hill 

Venture Capital & Private Equity
James Tan

Managing Partner, QuestVC

Venture Capital, Entrepreneur
Tan Choon Seng

Chairman, Trustcott Group
Founder, Link2 Ventures

Angel Investor

Dr Alex Lin

Head, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd       Venture Capital, Entrepreneur
Jeffrey PaineFounding Partner, Golden Gate VenturesVenture Capital
Turochas FuadFounder, travelmobEntrepreneur
Rosaline Chow KooFounder, CXAEntrepreneur
Supriya Singh

Associate Director, JAFCO Investments  

Venture Capital
Zechariah ChanPartner, Lee & Lee PartnershipIntellectual property law
Volker HeistermannManaging Director, Yushan VenturesVenture Capital
Darius CheungFounder and CEO, 99.coEntrepreneur
Brian KohDirector, NUS EnterpriseManagement Consultant, Entrepreneur
Andy ZainManaging Director, Mountain VenturesVenture Capital
Dennis GohFounder, HungryGoWhereEntrepreneur
Mohan BelaniCo-Founder and CEO, e27Entrepreneur
Casey LauCo-Founder, StartupsHK Entrepreneur, Technology
Dr John NgPresident, Meta CounsultingBusiness Consultant
Callum LaingCEO, Entrevo (Key Persons of Influence)Business Consultant
Surender DhaletaEditor, e27Marketing
Keith NgPartner, Lee & Lee PartnershipM&A/Corporate Law
Keith TimimiChairman, VML QaisAdvertising & Marketing

Entrepreneurs can reach out to any advisor simply by sending them a chat message on the app. If they have a burning question or an issue they are grappling with, they can start a topic, tag the appropriate advisors and have an online discussion with fellow entrepreneurs and experts anytime, anywhere.

The programme and mobile app will be rolled out regionally so entrepreneurs can also meet other SME owners from DBS’ other key markets of  China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Dr Alex Lin, Head, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd and a DBS BusinessClass advisor, said: “DBS BusinessClass is a good initiative to help bring the fragmented tech start-up community together.  Most of our local start-ups lack the necessary experience and require a lot of guidance from successful entrepreneurs and mentors who can help to shorten their learning curve by sharing their personal experience. Apart from that, I hope that through DBS BusinessClass, start-ups can find business partners, investors and business opportunities to help them grow their business further. I look forward to the platform playing a bigger part in nurturing the start-up eco system in Singapore.”

Some of the advisors and experts you can expect to meet in the DBS BusinessClass programme are: (from left to right) Darius Cheung, serial entrepreneur and founder of property search startup 99.co; Zechariah Chan, partner at Lee & Lee; Chan Li Han, co-founder of award-winning optical hardware startup, DynaOptics

Networking opportunities
DBS BusinessClass members can look forward to exclusive events such as roundtables and seminars where investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts will come together to discuss solutions to meet challenges faced by start-ups and SMEs. Key learnings at each roundtable will be distilled and published on the DBS BusinessClass mobile app. Since March this year, DBS has organised more than 10 events to help SMEs make sense of matters pertinent to running a business, including funding, cash flow management, financial modelling and fund raising.

Access DBS SME banking solutions on the go
Through the DBS BusinessClass mobile app, start-ups and SMEs can also instantly reach the bank’s relationship managers through the app’s chat functions, and get their banking questions answered on the go. They can also access business tools online such as a loan calculator which calculates monthly instalments and interest paid for a variety of business loans.

A working capital tool is also available via the app which allows companies to calculate their cash conversion cycles instantly. The tool also offers tips on how these firms can obtain more operating cash flow.

Stay on top of market trends
Community managers will curate, select and tag relevant news and articles for DBS BusinessClass members every day so they can have, at their fingertips, news and events that impact them directly.

The DBS BusinessClass app can be downloaded for free on iOS and on Google Play. All new BusinessClass members can ride in style with a SGD 20 Uber voucher when they download the app and sign up to be a member.

Discover how DBS BusinessClass helps SMEs with connections, advisory and insights.  

About DBS

DBS - Living, Breathing Asia

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 250 branches across 17 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings, is among the highest in Asia-Pacific. DBS has been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been named “Asia’s Best Bank” by The Banker, a member of the Financial Times group, and “Best Bank in Asia-Pacific” by Global Finance. The bank has also been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for six consecutive years from 2009 to 2014.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking activities across Asia. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. These market insights and regional connectivity have helped to drive the bank’s growth as it sets out to be the Asian bank of choice. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 20,000 staff, representing over 30 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.