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Viktor Cheng

Viktor Cheng

Viktor is an entrepreneur with a successful history of founding, building profitable technology startups and exiting cleanly. His latest venture is in taking research to market through spin-off companies, with an active interest in technology translation, business modelling and funding.

Viktor currently serves as Director, ICT at Nanyang Technological University where he oversees the research commercialization and industry collaboration activities of all ICT, software and New Media technologies. He is also CEO of TechBiz Xccelerator Pte Ltd where he charts the efforts of transforming inventions into deployable products and services. He also most recently assume the role of Director, Business & Operations at the Institute of Media Innovations (IMI) where he oversees the translation and industry engagement activities of the six IMI centres.

Prior to his current position, Viktor served as Deputy CEO of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) for six years where he masterminded the infrastructure and capabilities development of IP in both the public and private sector. Before IPOS, Viktor co-founded, grew and exited a web based content aggregation business. Viktor also spent three years in Silicon Valley as Vice President of Engineering for a data warehouse startup.

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Your Startup

To start or not to start is the question

Have it ever cross your mind if you should do a startup? Can you visualise what life is like if you choose to start up?

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Mind & Body
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Having spent most of my working life creating and running startups, I was often asked by budding entrepreneurs if they should do a startup. I am convinced that they are not alone - there are many more out there who are asking themselves the same question. Even my parents did not quite understand why I choose to do a startup instead of climbing the corporate ladder. My wife and son who have been most supportive of my ventures all these years also never asked why I choose this path too.

Henceforth, I thought it may be useful to write down my thoughts in a book. It should draw upon real stories from my startup days (and years), and organised in a fashion that appeals to the mind, body and spirit (as opposed to some step by step guide). I want to share the physical, mental and emotional states during the startup journey and its effect on relationships with co-workers and family.

Doing a startup requires the necessary technical skills as well as a unique mix of physical, mental and emotional make-up at different stages of the journey. There will be times when you sail with the winds and times when you just cannot figure the maze. I hope that my sharing will allow prospective starters to make informed decisions and be better prepared for the startup journey. Most importantly to enjoy the startup experience and journey - afterall, not everyone is game for the venture.

Who is this book for?

Anyone contemplating to do a startup as well as current and past startup founders will find this book useful to converse with their inner self. If I were to use Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a guide, such conversation with oneself is a deep dive into the what one really wants beyond the physical, economical and social realms. Such conviction and self belief will be much needed to provide the emotional support during some of the dark moments.

As such, I take time to go over the why, when, where, how and what questions with the reader, helping the reader to visualize what the journey will be like and then allowing him or her to make the decision afterwards.

My fellow co-founders, compatriots, friends, family and bystander who has an interest in my startup journey can also join me in reliving and reflecting upon those character building moments.

Table of Contents



  • Have a conversation with one inner self
  • About physical well-being, mental agility and emotional elasticity

Why do a startup?

  • Dreamer and the realist
  • Leader of the quest
  • Decisions, decisions, decisions!

When is a good time to start?

  • Time or event based?
  • When hobby becomes work

What is the product or service?

  • The hard truths of mind melting
  • Growing pains

Where shall I set up my operations?

  • Start local, think global - execute a step at a time
  • Ready for a multi-cultural team?

How to get your start-up started?

  • "Trust me"
  • Getting in bed with strange bedfellows

What happens next?

  • Finally off the starting block
  • The war is rarely lost to the competitors

Success and Failures

  • Ride the wave
  • The darkest hour

Conclusion: Enjoy the Journey

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