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Learning #3 - Storytelling: How to Turn Your Startup's Founder Narratives into Golden Assets

By Anna Ong


As the host and creator of 'What's Your Story Slam' in Singapore, I've witnessed the transformative power of personal narratives. In Asia's bustling tech scene, what sets successful startups apart isn't just innovation—it's the ability to tell a compelling story.

The Art of Storytelling: More Than Just Words

We're all wired to love a good story. In the realm of Asian tech startups, storytelling serves as a secret weapon, enabling founders to connect with their audience on an emotional level.

Founder Stories: Building Trust and Shaping Culture

Baring your soul and being authentic works. Sharing personal experiences, triumphs, and failures can turn your founder story into a trust-building engine. This narrative sets the tone for your company culture and reflects the values driving your business.

Link Your Story to Your Mission and Vision

It sounds simple yet it is really often missed by founders. To maximise the impact of your founder's story, it's crucial to connect it to your startup's mission and vision. Here's a roadmap:

  • Identify life events that align with your startup's goals.

  • Highlight the beliefs fuelling your mission.

  • Share the moment that sparked your passion for the industry.

Pitch Like a Pro: Make Your Story the Star

When pitching your startup, your founder's story can be the icing. To make a lasting impression:

  • Start with a hook that grabs attention.

  • Share a personal anecdote related to the problem your startup solves (bonus points for humour!).

  • Conclude with a clear call to action that relates to your story.

Crafting an Authentic Narrative

To create a genuine founder story:

  • Be transparent about your experiences and setbacks.

  • Show vulnerability by discussing your emotions.

  • Focus on pivotal moments that shaped your entrepreneurial journey.

Storytelling Superstars: Case Studies

Grab and Gojek are prime examples of Asian tech startups that have leveraged their founder stories. Grab began with Anthony Tan's quest for safer taxi rides in Malaysia. Gojek's Nadiem Makarim rooted his story in empowering local communities. These narratives have been instrumental in building trust and brand leadership.

Unleash the Power of Your Founder's Story

A captivating founder story can set your brand apart in Asia's competitive tech landscape. You'll forge lasting connections with customers, investors, and partners by strategically crafting and sharing your narrative.

For more insights on storytelling and communication skills, follow Anna on LinkedIn. Your startup's success might hinge on it.

About Anna Ong

Anna Ong is a firm believer that the shortest distance between two people is a story. Formerly a banker, Anna pivoted to her true passion—storytelling. She founded WYSH (What’s Your Story Huh), a consultancy focused on honing communication skills through theatre, storytelling, and improv techniques.

As the creator and host of ‘What’s Your Story Slam,’ a live storytelling show based in Singapore and Manila, she provides a platform for authentic narratives. If you’re looking to captivate your audience or lead with authenticity, Anna holds the storytelling secrets you’ve been searching for.

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