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Elise Tan

Elise has more than a decade of experience running accelerators and helping early founders to learn from experts and grow their business. She is the cofounder of Asia Startup Network, the largest non-profit network of > 2,700 startup founders, operators, investors and partners in Southeast Asia.

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She currently leads community and communications for Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, an early stage fund of $1.5 billion in AUM. There she creates written thought leadership and video content to help decentralise VC knowledge for entrepreneurs. She started Hard Truths by Vertex podcast, a top 10 podcast for entrepreneurship in Singapore.


Elise's venture journey commenced in 2011 when she led the establishment of the Singapore chapter of Startup Leadership Program, a global non-profit accelerator program with 12 classes with a few friends, and successfully garnering support from VCs and seasoned entrepreneurs. SLP Fellows (participants) have founded more than 2,000 successful startups including ixigo, Innoz, Runkeeper, SideTour, Shareaholic, Ubersense, Savored, Sharechat, and many others, which have collectively raised more than $4.6B+ in funding. Many have been acquired. Their augural Singapore based accelerator program saw 25 fellows who participated and paid S$600 each. Subsequently, she joined NUS Enterprise as an investment manager, where she played a pivotal role in securing the initial funding round for Shopback, orchestrated the first hackathon with SMRT in NUS, and did portfolio management (supporting several companies on their startup journey, such as business advisory and fundraising). 


After NUS, she did her masters in Business Administration at INSEAD. There, she was the president of the INSEAD Entrepreneurship Club. During the summer, she innovatively matched students with startups for internships, a pioneering initiative at INSEAD. She also interned for True Global Ventures, a super angel syndicate, where she had the opportunity to work in Silicon Valley and forged connections with investors there.


After graduation, she started the fundraising team at Entrepreneur First. There, she crafted accelerator content to guide deep tech entrepreneurs in understanding the intricacies of fundraising from venture capitalists, aiding over 40 startups in securing an average seed round of $1.4 million within 6 to 9 months from Demo Day. She also established a network of over 2,000 investors around Southeast Asia, India and USA. Subsequently, she brought her expertise to Longhash Ventures, a blockchain early-stage fund and accelerator, where she assumed the role of VP for fundraising.


As an active connector, she has made over hundreds of investor (venture capitalists, family offices and strategic angels) introductions to over 200 startups across various verticals (Blockchain, Healthtech, AI, fintech, software etc). 


Besides supporting the startups within the SE Asia and India community, she also believes in promoting youth entrepreneurship. She is an advisor to the NUS Angels Ventures, SouthEast Asia's first student run angel investment network and other organisations. During her bachelor studies, she spent one year in Philadelphia, working for a social media company and studying a minor in technopreneurship at the University of Philadelphia in 2008, under the highly regarded NUS Overseas College program.


Elise has guided hundreds of startups through her work previously at the NUS incubator, EF programme and True Global Ventures (internship). Many have raised further funding and even been acquired.

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