“I keep having this recurring thought: what if people came together to form a type of crowd wisdom?” ~Hong Sin Kwek
Crowd Wisdom? Yes, the terminology is as new to me as it is to you. But after asking Hong Sin to elaborate, I understand Crowd Wisdom to be a type of ‘power in numbers’ philosophy where ideas, industries and production are democratised to a point where they are driven directly by the general public. What does that mean exactly? It’s an approach where everything is crowd sourced: Skills. Funding. Property. Ideas. The Entire Economy.
Imagine that. Imagine a world where everything is created by mass collaboration and mass interest; where money and ideas only follow the flow of pledged collective demand. Wouldn’t that save a dang lot of time, effort, and perhaps the misuse of funds!
Pioneering this ideology is Hong Sin Kwek, a former cyber security business developer turned managing director of her start up Phoenixict; a company which focuses on developing the new found “crowd economy.”
The match is an unlikely one. Hong Sin “chanced upon” crowdfunding after being rejected by venture capitalists while starting her business.
“When I heard about crowdfunding I thought it was too good to be true. They told me I could pitch my idea to the public on a crowdfunding platform or event, and if people liked the idea, they’d contribute to it.”
To find out just how deep the crowdfunding scene really goes, Hong Sin travelled to San Diego, Silicon Valley, Las Vegas and met the biggest influencers in crowdfunding, noting the impact it had on the regional economy and startups across the United States.
“I was so amazed by the progress and achievement made in the U.S. But in Asia there are only pockets of platform providers. People aren’t really crowdfunding, whereas in the U.S. it’s really taken off. I went to the U.S to get money, but I left wanting to drive Asia crowdfunding, and to launch the Crowdfunding Asia summit.”
Crowdfunding is an accessible and low-risk approach to fundraising; it simultaneously gets you directly in front of your target audience (if used with savvy, on the right platform) while testing the market viability of your idea. If people like your idea they’ll fund it directly. If not, well, that’s feedback, isn’t it?
Recovering from a tough divorce, Hong Sin’s business is a type of ‘starting all over again” venture, but this time perhaps with bigger vision and more gumption. The mother of two will run the first ever Crowdfunding Asia summit as she turns 50 this August. She’s all in with her start up, deciding to “do something for myself for once.”
The summit will bring in international speakers and cover the latest and most relevant topics within the crowd economy.
Driving Hong Sin’s vision is the intention is to help people and the crowd economy to reach new heights – empowering people to reach their dreams through a new support system. Simply, she see’s crowd wisdom as a means to serve the community and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“It’s challenging, very tough; but I’m going for it because I believe in it. When I started in cyber security people laughed at me, but today it’s a must. I believe crowdfunding will be that way – especially industries turning to scarcity, like water and other critical industries.”
Hong Sin believes there are misconceptions about the relevance of crowdfunding to everyday businesses – but there’s more to it than meets the eye, she says. Part of her mission is to build awareness and to develop a holistic approach the future crowd economy and information landscape – an infrastructure she calls Crowd Wisdom.
To join the community and meet other awesome members like Hong Sin, attend our next event.