SINGAPORE – Ms Rachael De Foe was not happy with her career options in the communications sector, so she started her own company in 2020.
The 28-year-old Singaporean developed the strategic communications practice Redefy after recognising how reputation-building for start-ups and venture firms differed greatly from the public relations needs of mature technology companies.
Credibility around a company’s early-stage growth depends on closely aligning communication outcomes with key milestones such as fund-raising and accelerating go-to-market strategies for products or services, said Ms De Foe.
For her efforts to tell the stories of these fledgling companies, she made Forbes’ eighth annual list of promising young talent in the Asia-Pacific region.
Said Ms De Foe: “When I launched Redefy it was out of a deep dissatisfaction with the career options in communications... it’s been the most incredible journey building Redefy and now, I’m now more hopeful about the path forward.”
She is among Singapore’s 30 representatives in Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2023.
The list features 300 young entrepreneurs and leaders under the age of 30 across the Asia-Pacific region.
There are 30 people selected for each of the 10 categories: the arts (art and style, food and drink); entertainment and sports; finance and venture capital; media, marketing and advertising; retail and e-commerce; enterprise technology; industry, manufacturing and energy; healthcare and science; social impact; and consumer technology.
Of the 30 honourees from Singapore, six are non-Singaporeans who are based in and operate from Singapore.
Singaporeans on the list include co-founders of local video publisher Our Grandfather Story Cheah Wenqi, 27, and Matthew Chew and Ng Kai Yuan, both aged 29.
Singer Shye, 20, whose better-known songs include Love U and How R U Sleeping, also made the list. She is the youngest person from Singapore on the list. She released a new single, Flower, in May.
The founders of nine enterprise technology firms in Singapore also made the list.
They include Mr Shi (CJ) Looi and Mr Cyril Nie, both 29, co-founders of web-based editor PixCap; and Ms Angelina Terlaki, 25, co-founder of deep-tech firm Red Dot Analytics.
Others on the list from Singapore include Mr Lester Li, 25, founder of Singapore’s King of Fried Rice; Ms Samantha Thian, 28, founder of social business Seastainable; and Mr Hrishi Olickel, 28, chief technology officer of Greywing, which provides an intelligence and automation service for ship operators.
Greywing’s dashboard leverages technology to give crew managers all the insights they need for smarter crew changes.
The Forbes list acknowledges the company’s role in advancing maritime tech, spearheading industry firsts such as artificial intelligence chatbot SeaGPT.
SeaGPT can handle all e-mails related to port agency communication, clarify questions, and provide information to crew managers, saving time and reducing the risk of human error.
The Covid-19 pandemic was a big blow, but it also amplified the weak links in the global maritime value chain and gave Greywing an opportunity to plug that gap, while setting companies up to better weather future storms, said Mr Olickel.
For the Asia list, India leads the region with 75 honourees in the 2023 list, followed by China (34), Japan (33), Singapore (30), and South Korea (28).