SPH Magazines Pte Ltd (SPH Magazines) has launched TowkayZone.com, an online portal designed and created with small medium enterprises (SMEs) in mind. The portal was soft launched in September 2013 and officially launched today.
Built in partnership with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the site provides a platform for the SME community to exchange ideas and seek advice on technologies that can transform their businesses as well as on other issues pertinent to them. It will also allow business owners to increase their network and extend their market reach.
Since its soft launch, the site has attracted as many as 4,000 unique visitors monthly and generated more than 400 forum threads. It has partnered with more than 15 organisations to provide a rich suite of online resources, ranging from content, event discussions to forum engagement.
The site was officially announced by Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, at the DP Information Group’s 27th Annual Singapore 1000 & Singapore SME 100 awards dinner.
“I hope to see more SME owners, topic experts and industry players coming on board, to tap on TowkayZone to exchange knowledge, and to generate new ideas for your company and beyond,” Ms Sim said at the dinner.
Several business owners and experts have come on board TowkayZone.com as advisors, including Jackie Lee, CEO and founder of clickTRUE and Noisy Crayons; Prakash Somosundram, Social Media Director of YOLK; Eric Koh, founder of Travelogy.com; Tiang Lim Foo, Market Development Manager for Evernote Asia Pacific and Dylan Hu Dingren, Director for Poli Medical.
Eric Koh, Founder of Travelogy.com, said: "The idea of having a forum for discussing startups and entrepreneurship is welcoming. There has been a lot more interest in this area recently, with the government chipping in to help kickstart the ecosystem. I don't think there's a credible online discussion forum yet in Singapore for entrepreneurs.”
“The next step for the site is probably to have more organisations like ACE, SITF and IHLs (Institutes of Higher Learning), etc. to come on TowkayZone and use it as a bridge to support their entrepreneurial efforts in Singapore. Young companies need all the publicity out there,” said Jackie Lee, CEO of clickTRUE and Noisy Crayons.
He added, “Be it as a mentor or an entrepreneur, I find TowkayZone to have the potential to reach out and generate efficient conversations beyond the traditional 1-1 mentoring, giving visitors a many-to-many scale. That's where it will become a lot more interesting and useful.”
Tiang Lim Foo, Marketing Development Manager for Evernote Asia Pacific, said: "TowkayZone is a great undertaking to help the business community here in Singapore. I’m glad that we now have a common platform to discuss and discover new ways to tackle common business problems, and share solutions.”
“We were able to help and contribute in some of the discussions by sharing best practises in business productivity that we have learned from interacting with Evernote Business customers all around the globe. Naturally this also means there are business opportunities for us in the forums. I’ll love to see more people joining and participating to cross pollinate ideas. Only by creating a culture of learning and sharing can we grow the business community here better for the long term,” he added.
Terence Ang, Product Manager for TowkayZone.com, said: "Some business owners, or "Towkays", have accumulated a wealth of experience over the years but have never really shared the secrets to their success openly. Over time, we would like them to share these experiences, and pass on their wisdom to future generations of business owners."
He added: “TowkayZone.com is a business community portal that allows users to sign-up using their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, which will further enhance the potential for them to broaden their networks within the community. There is also a mobile edition of the website that users can access using their smartphones. This makes it even easier for business owners to interact and source for information on the site, especially when they are on the move.”