These are the 24 trailblazers from Singapore on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2018

Shopback’s Josephine Chow and Lai Shanru, as well as Secretlab’s Alaric Choo and Ian Ang, were among the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2018.
The Straits Times, The Business Times

Singapore can be proud of its young movers and shakers.

From the arts to consumer technology, 24 trailblazers working out of Singapore have made it to the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2018.

Themed “Disruption and Innovation”, the list this year features 300 young talents under the age of 30 from various countries across Asia Pacific.

While China dominated the 10-category list with 59 names, Japan tied with Singapore at 24 names. At the same time, Malaysia churned out 13 names, while Hong Kong had 12 entrepreneurs featured.

Here are the 24 under-30 talents from the Lion City who have earned their stripes with hard work and major contributions to their dedicated fields of work.


Jackson Aw, 28, Founder, Mighty Jaxx

The Straits Times

Jackson Aw’s design studio was started in 2012 with a $20,000 loan, Forbes reported. Fast forward six years later, it is now a multi-million dollar-company.

Aw’s company has made a mark in the toy and figurine world, achieving some big-name collaborations with brands such as DC Comics and New Balance.

Jingna Zhang, 29, Photographer

The Straits Times

Born in China, Zhang moved to Singapore as a child and picked up air rifle for her secondary school CCA. She then went on to become a national air rifle team shooter for the nation.

Today, the Singaporean is a famous fashion photographer who held her first solo exhibition at age 20. Her work is regularly seen in international fashion and luxury magazines.



Akim Arhipov, 23, CEO, BAASIS ID

Akim Arhipov’s blockchain-based tool is a digital keep which helps financial services verify and store customer data, Forbes said in its feature on Mar 27.

According to Baasis ID’s website, the company was formed to give companies “a tool to speed up operational processes, provide ultimate security and to form trustworthy relationships through compliance with regulatory requirements”.

Zack Yang and Louis Liu, both 24, Co-founders, FOMO Pay

Louis Liu (centre) and Zack Yang (right)
Lianhe Zaobao

Zack Yang and Louis Liu’s Fomo Pay is a multi award-winning alternative payment platform used by merchants to accept transfers from e-wallets with a QRcode solution.

The duo launched the product in 2015, and is now used by retailers such as Marina Bay Sands and Chanel.

Jackie Tan, 28, Co-founder, fundMyLife

FundMyLife is a financial planning platform that connects users with financial advisors based on the questions they ask.

According to Forbes, Tan was inspired to produce fundMyLife after his father contracted lung cancer, only to find out he had bought unsuitable insurance.



Yoan Casimir Joseph Kamalski, 28, Co-founder, Hmlet


Yoan Kamalski’s Hmlet is a co-living startup which leases, refurbishes and reshapes rooms and apartments in Singapore and Tokyo, Forbes said.

These millennial-targeted apartments are then sublet on a monthly basis.

Julius Tan, 29, Founder, Electrify Pte Ltd

Julius Tan

Electrify, an energy retail marketplace, allows consumers to compare electricity prices from multiple retailers and purchase directly from them, Forbes reported.

The company claims to have facilitated $3.8 million (S$4.97 million) worth of transactions since March 2017.



Crystal Abidin, 29, Anthropologist, Jönköping University & Curtin University

As a socio-cultural anthropologist, Crystal is interested in exploring young people’s relationships with Internet fame, self-curation and vulnerability.

She has won over 70 grants and awards, and authored more than 30 peer-reviewed academic publications in top journals and books, Forbes said.

Milan Reinartz, 29, Founder, Postr Media Ltd

Milan Reinartz’s startup creates apps that allow users to gain free data and minutes by watching customised content and advertisements on their smartphone lockscreens, Forbes said in its feature.

It now has 30 employees in New Zealand, Singapore and Portugal.



Tushar Khandelwal, 29, Co-founder, Voyagin

Travel platform Voyagin was acquired by Japan’s Rakuten in 2015, just three years after it was launched.

Aside from tourist activity bookings, Voyagin also allows travellers to make bookings at 150 Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan.

Keyis Ng, 30, Co-founder,

The Straits Times

Entrepreneur Keyis Ng was inspired to start Cafebond after trying high-quality coffee during a holiday in Melbourne, Australia.

The coffee bean e-commerce platform now supplies beans from independent roasters around the world to coffee drinkers in Asia.

Alaric Choo, 30, and Ian Ang, 25, Co-founders, Secretlab

The Business Times

If you’re a gamer, you would have heard about Secretlab.

Alaric Choo and Ian Ang, both gamers themselves, have created one of the most comfortable and well-known gaming chairs in the world.

Today, Secretlab’s reach has extended beyond gamers and its chairs can be found in clinics, law firms and other professional establishments.

According to Forbes, the company has annual sales of more than $15 million.

Josephine Chow, 29, and Lai Shanru, 29, Co-founders, ShopBack

Lai Shanru (left) and Josephine Chow (right).
The Straits Times

Who doesn’t love cash rebates?

Josephine Chow and Lai Shanru are among the co-founders of Singapore’s ShopBack portal.

The company now has 3.5 million registered consumers across six countries, and in 2017, raised $25 million in a funding round led by Credit Saison.

Nyha Shree, 28, Co-founder, is a social media commerce tool which facilitates instant transactions on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, Forbes said.

Since launching in May 2017, it has worked with around 3,000 businesses worldwide, including Unilever and Disney.

Nyha is also the COO of the AI-based platform.



Dinesh Balasingam, 29, COO, The Chope Group

Foodies in Singapore know Chope very well.

According to Forbes, Balasingam took up the COO role at Chope in 2011, growing it and employing 150 people since then.

The online restaurant reservation portal has over 2,500 partner restaurants, one million registered users, and is currently operational in eight cities.



Yip Pin Xiu, 26, Athlete, Paralympics

The Straits Times

Yip Pin Xiu is a star in the world of sports.

Not only is she a three-time Paralympic gold medallist, she also holds two world records.

The backstroke swimmer, who was born with muscular dystrophy, has also helped to highlight the achievements and treatment of disabled people in Singapore.



Adrian Ang, 28, Founder, AEvice Health

This young CEO is the founder of AEvice, a biomedical startup behind the BioAsthma for asthmatic children.

The wearable device monitors sounds made by its user’s lungs and sends an alert to the child’s parents when abnormalities are discovered.

Dinesh Visva Gunasekeran, 25, Founder, VISRE

A doctor himself, Dinesh started Visre to help raise awareness and encourage early detection of eye diseases.

Forbes reports that he developed the technology after volunteering at eye screenings held for the underprivileged.

Duong Tong, 26, Co-founder, Homage

Homage is an award-winning healthcare platform which matches the elderly with the in-home caregivers they need.

Duong met his fellow co-founders Lily Phang and Gillian Tee through angel investors. 

Their platform was so unique that it was even mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day speech in 2017.

Esther ChunShu Wang, 30, Founder, Joytingle

The Straits Times

Esther Wang’s Joytingle, specialises in child life programs, patient engagement, pediatric education and hospital play speciality.

One of its products is the Rabbit Ray, which teaches children about medical procedures such as injections, vaccinations and intravenous drips.

Forbes said in its feature that Joytingle now counts renown medical facilities such a Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre and Great Ormond Street Hospital as its customers.

Min Hao Wong, 29, Founder, Plantea

Have you ever heard a plant talk?

According to Forbes, Plantea is a startup “focused on the development of agricultural nanosensors capable of real-time evaluation of plant health”.

This allows plants to “talk” and inform their growers when they need more water, or when they are ready to harvest, Forbes says.

Wong, a graduate student at MIT, also serves as deputy scientific director of the Center for Disruptive and sustainable technologies for Precision Agriculture in Singapore.



Qin Yunquan, 28, Co-founder, Kapap Academy

The Straits Times

Qin, a self-defense trainer, is armed with a passion to empower “ordinary people with realistic self-defense”.

As a trainer, she has trained thousands of disadvantaged women and children and taught them how to defend themselves physically.

In 2017, she became the first and only self-defense instructor to be conferred the Young Leaders Award by the Queen of England.


Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Jingna Zhang had moved to Singapore as a teen air rifle shooter. She had actually picked up the sport for her school CCA after moving to Singapore as a child.