Ng Yi Ming, co-founder of Tribe Accelerator in Singapore, leverages on blockchain technology to drive social impact and solve real-world problems

Tribe Accelerator, Yi Ming

Blockchain: a tech buzzword that’s essentially more noise than substance? Not according to this homegrown company

The world could do with more visionary entrepreneurs like Ng Yi Ming. The 28-year-old Singaporean, together with business partner Ryan Chew, are the co-founders of Tribe Accelerator, the city’s first blockchain accelerator that is financially backed by the Singapore government. Tribe Accelerator was built with one purpose in mind: to mitigate the fear many business owners have for blockchain technology. What was the trick to achieving this? Ng had to prove to these corporations that blockchain technology is, indeed, solving real-world problems across industries such as healthcare, the supply chain and agriculture.

Tribe Accelerator, Yi Ming
Each batch of Tribe Accelerator will conclude with a Demo Tour where they will pitch across major cities

Today, Tribe Accelerator allows consumers to trace their food from farm to table, verify the history of the second-hand cars that they buy, and enjoy faster delivery of medicines through apps. Essentially, Ng and his team are helping consumers establish a deep trust in the products that they purchase – and that’s exactly what every startup needs in its quest to build up a loyal following of customers.

Since its genesis in late 2018, Tribe Accelerator has helped early-stage portfolio companies raise more than US$30 million (S$41.65 million) through partnerships with the Singapore government and leading global corporates such as AXA, BMW Group Asia, Temasek Holdings, Citibank and IBM, among others. Today, Ng has made technology education more accessible than ever for both graduates and professionals. The Imperial College London graduate also serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence in one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD, supporting MBA students with entrepreneurial interests.

“Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs means that you get to hear a lot of business conversations over the dining table. What I’ve learned from them is that as entrepreneurs, getting into a crisis is inevitable. With that comes the responsibility to ensure that the company is always prepared to face any disruption in the industry.

We are extremely thankful that the global pandemic hasn’t affected our company from a financial standpoint. We are still hiring today, and we are actually hiring even more because the current situation has given us more opportunities to set up new businesses via digital platforms. Online education is one field we’ve ventured into, as it has made huge progress during this crisis.

Two CEOS whom I look up to are Warren Buffet and Elon Musk. The former, for his expertise in identifying certain trends from a financial market perspective, while the latter, for basically proving that he’s a polymath. Musk is an example of a successful new-age CEO who has the ability to contribute insightful perspectives from different industrial standpoints, and then tapping into that combined knowledge to come up with a brand new product.

I’m always on the lookout for the next best eateries to dine in. That being said, I’ve missed local hawker food the most during this Circuit Breaker period. I really enjoy Spanish cuisine too – my favourite restaurants are FOC along Hong Kong Street and Binomio on Craig Road. The former serves up modernised Spanish food, while you can get more of a traditional variety from the latter.

Tribe Accelerator, Yi Ming
Blockchain technology is, indeed, capable of solving real-world problems

I spend a lot of time reading about the lives of accomplished entrepreneurs. Recently, I read Shoe Dog, which tells the success story of Nike’s founder. I’m also interested in artificial intelligence superpower and learning new strategies to improve our company’s current business models. The only thing that is constant in life is change, hence it’s critical for a company to always come up with new ways to remain relevant.

Power in this day and age is the ability to make changes for the good of the society that we live in. Having this mindset as an entrepreneur or a leader is important, because today, millennials are increasingly driven to join companies that are fighting for a cause that they believe in. More people today are inclined to question a company’s responsibility towards society.”

Tribe Accelerator