Community of Cultivators: Edition 49

By Stormy McBride On June 2, 2021 In Community Cultivators Blog Series

Here at GCUC we are immensely fortunate to cross paths and work with so many amazing people. Through our work, we’ve cultivated a global community of people we think you should know about.

Community of Cultivators is a blog series we created to introduce you to coworking game changers and connectors. Each month, we’ll release new interviews that we hope inform and inspire you.

This week we are so excited to be featuring our interview with Grace Sai, Founder of Ravel Innovation, formerly of The Hub Singapore. Grace is a Kauffman Fellow and Managing Partner of Found Ventures, a seed fund investing in early stage tech companies. She is widely regarded as a node of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and speaks extensively on her experience in ecosystem building and policy development for startups and governments. Grace has been nominated as Gen T by Singapore Tatler (2018), Great Women of our Times by Women’s Weekly (2017), 40 Under 40 by Prestige Singapore (2014), and is a UN Women Entrepreneurship Day Ambassador.

‍She holds two Masters degrees from Oxford and INSEAD, and has published a thesis on Startup-Driven Corporate Innovation. If you are not familiar with Grace and her work, you are missing out. She is a power house. Keep reading to see what she has to say.

Photo of Grace SaiWhat in your life are you most proud of cultivating or creating? Why?

In 2010, after a ‘prestigious’ MBA, when I chose to return to Singapore to build the first Impact Hub in Asia, and the first startup coworking community in Singapore. It was hard, people had no idea why communities that collaborate should exist. I had 400 coffee chats to create a market before I could serve one. The Hub Singapore was born from 9 months of convincing, hustling and IKEA-shopping. The momentum far exceeded my own expectations and we had more than 350 members in the first year. Reputable startups, funds and impact ventures were being formed in the space – thousands of business cards, coffees and ideas were exchanged.

Where do you personally feel the most sense of community?

During the first 4 years of The Hub. Members and strangers alike have commented on the space and community to have a sense of ‘contagious courage’, and that ‘everyone had each other’s back’. It was a great sense of community when you feel like everyone wants you to succeed. It’s invaluable, and very hard to replicate.

What podcast would you recommend to others and why?

It’s a little sad that my podcast playlist has been hijacked by bedtime stories for children. I highly recommend using an AI assistant to help put your toddler to bed after you’ve read ‘Goodnight Moon’ for the hundredth time.

What is one piece of advice you give everyone that works with and/or for you?

To see/ find your own personal purpose in our collective work.

If you had $500 to spend- what would you buy?

More Rothy’s shoes (They are the softest shoes made out of ocean plastic bottles!)

What advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?

Think twice. And if you can’t stop thinking about it, do it, and don’t turn back.

What is the best habit you ever started?

Loving to read since I was a child.

What habit do you want to start but haven’t yet?

Writing daily.

If you had to put a quote on your gravestone what would it be?

“May your ought be is”