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Our Story

Asia Startup Network is about coming together to nurture the nascent startup community and giving back to the weak, the vulnerable and the fatherless too.

Elise Tan was in between jobs when she started Mentor For Hope with friends like Janet Neo and Sharon Yeo in 2020. Their goal was to unite the community of investors, partners and corporates to help founders tide over the COVID crisis. MFH is an impactful mentoring initiative initially supported by the Temasek Foundation under the OSCAR grant. The initiative facilitated 525 mentoring hours for 300 founders adversely affected by the COVID crisis, connecting them with invaluable insights from 250 investors, ecosystem partners, and experts.

In 2021, we organised Makan For Hope festival (with zero budget), a remarkable series of 30 virtual roundtables featuring VC managing partners and founders from notable startups like PropertyGuru, Shopback, and Carousell to share insights and tips ranging from fundraising to market expansion to guide early founders on their startup journey. The festival drew participation from 500 attendees. Since then, Elise, Andrew and their dedicated team of volunteers have diligently expanded the community, orchestrating various events and collaborating with community members to assist startup founders in forging meaningful connections and accessing vital resources. 

Over the years, they organised many events (thanks to our sponsors and partners!), forged numerous connections and the community grew to 2,700 strong today.

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