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Guest Spring 2012 - Jeffrey Paine



Hunger.

That was the word that stood out the most from our conversation with Jeffrey Paine.

Having spent the early years of his career in China, Jeffrey Paine has always been exposed to a highly competitive environment. After co-founding a market entry advisory firm there, he decided to move to the US, and worked in the equally demanding environment of Silicon Valley. Right at the heart of the Valley, Jeffrey Paine experienced it all – both the electrifying and palpable atmosphere of innovation that enveloped his work as well as the grueling 14 hour workdays, living off nothing but instant ramen. Yet it was actually his experiences in these two places that cemented the significance that ‘hunger’ held for him. To him, this determination and drive that he observed and felt was also what he believed separated successful entrepreneurs from the others.

Since his beginnings in private equity, Jeffrey Paine has moved on to become one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in Singapore. Most commonly known as the Director of Founder Institute and Executive Director of Battle Ventures, Jeffery Paine is also the CEO of Pyrks Pte Ltd and a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures. Aware of all his achievements, we were naturally intimidated as we prepared to meet him for the very first time. But he was rather different from what we had imagined him to be like. Exuding a sort of laidback charisma that immediately disarmed us, we quickly settled down into our discussion. He was friendly, warm and down-to-earth, and his earnest demeanor quickly dispelled all our fears.

Our short session with Jeffrey Paine was both enlightening and entertaining. Behind that exterior of a successful entrepreneur, lay an easygoing, quirky and passionate individual that loves ideas and innovation. In fact, the personal stories he shared were so infectious that we suddenly found ourselves considering careers as entrepreneurs at the end of the day. As he spoke about some of his mentees and the innovative ideas they came up with, we began to feel that very passion. There was just something different – a new gleam in his eyes, a different tone to his voice and a sudden life within him all emerged as went through the details and intricacies of the ideas.

But more than that, we felt his sincerity and concern for his mentees as he revealed minor details of their relationships in the process. As he connected with us, we could feel that same genuinity. He shares that he very much welcomes new ideas and new people, and that his network is a big part of his work and success. Being not only a mentor, but the person who set up Founder Institute in Asia, he is most uniquely qualified to aid starting entrepreneurs and provide them with sound advice – another reason why many have approached him or tried desperately to enter the program at Founder Institute. As he revealed more and more about the program and what took place at Founder Institute, we found out just how tough and yet fulfilling the experience could be. We also found out more about his company, Pyrks, which actually takes over the hassle of handling employee benefits from its clients. Thoughts of trying our hand at entrepreneurship, once again, slowly crept into our heads as we heard innovation after innovation from him.

Jeffrey Paine is an entrepreneur with a big vision and a warm personality. Lend him your ears and he will be more than willing to share his wealth of experience with you!
 


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