F5 Collective’s Reconnaissance Journey to Hong Kong and Singapore

Written by: Bree Kirkham

 F5 Collective CEO Tracey Warren and CCO Bree Kirkham travelled to Singapore to host a lunch with female founders.

Stepping into the vibrant landscapes of Hong Kong and Singapore earlier this year, Tracey Warren and I embarked on a journey fueled by a shared passion for fostering inclusive entrepreneurship. Our mission? To immerse ourselves in the dynamic startup ecosystems of these bustling Asian hubs, forging connections and championing the cause of female founders.

In Hong Kong, we found ourselves amidst innovation and ambition, as we joined forces with LiftWomen for a captivating event at the esteemed Hong Kong Jockey Club. The evening unfolded into an exceptional night, with Tracey and Irene Tsang (CEO, LiftWomen) taking centre stage alongside allies for female-founded ventures, including Joseph Chan (CEO, AsiaPay), Gordon Watson (Chairman, AXA Asia), Peter Crowe (Former CEO, AIA Hong Kong). The event included a panel discussion followed by presentations from two LiftWomen finalists (who were both incredible!). The audience was captivated by the potential and power that female entrepreneurs have, as well as the real opportunity that exists to do more to support female founders.  

In Hong Kong Tracey and I also carved out moments for intimate connection – fostering relationships with local champions of female entrepreneurship. From insightful conversations over tea to shared meals in the homes of investors, each interaction reinforced the power of community and collaboration in driving meaningful change, and the willingness that exists in Hong Kong to support a mission like that of F5s. 

Our journey continued to Singapore, where we organised a lunch of 30 remarkable female founders at Chopsuey, Dempsey Hill. Against the backdrop of greenery and that true Singapore humidity (yes we sat outside – my mistake!!), we delved into discussions about aspirations, challenges, and the transformative potential of collective support. This event served not only as a platform for sharing insights but also as a testament to the strength of solidarity among women in the startup scene in Singapore. It was a pinch-me moment to look around and see the faces of so many female entrepreneurs, who have big ideas and even bigger motivations. It really stood out to Tracey and me that Singapore is a hub for female entrepreneurship and one that we absolutely want to support at F5. 

We also spent time in Singapore developing relationships with key stakeholders in the VC industry. In our meetings with GPs, LPs, and representatives from government entities (like the always-supportive Investment NSW), we witnessed a groundswell of interest in F5 Collective. Each encounter involved fruitful conversation as we shared our visions for the future of venture capital – one where female founders receive more than 2% of funding! 

Our journey through Hong Kong and Singapore underscored the immense potential that lies within the nexus of innovation and inclusivity. From the bustling streets of Hong Kong to the dynamic landscapes of Singapore, we found allies, advocates, and kindred spirits committed to reshaping the narrative of entrepreneurship. The journey reaffirmed our belief in the importance of fostering inclusive ecosystems where every entrepreneur, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive.

As we look to the future, our minds brim with excitement for the possibilities that lie ahead. Our journey in Southeast Asia marks the beginning of a deeper, more profound relationship – one rooted in mutual respect, support, and shared ambition. With unwavering determination, F5 Collective remains steadfast in our commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs across SEA, and the globe. 

Stay tuned as we embark on the next chapter of our journey, fuelled by passion, purpose, and the unwavering belief that we can create generational change for women. Any guess on where we might be off to next?

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