IGNite, short for Innovators Gathering Night, is a series of fireside chats with biotech and medtech innovators to find out what ignites their passion to innovate within their fields. Following the successful launch of our first IGNite event in July, we were honoured to invite Mr Abel Ang, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Accuron MedTech to share his innovation and entrepreneurship journey in our second IGNite event, jointly organised by BCS and A*START Central on 27 September 2018.
Audience drawn to Mr Abel’s insightful sharing
The fireside chat was moderated by Professor Kevyn Yong, Associate Professor of Management and Associate Dean of Corporate Programs at ESSEC Business School, Asia Pacific. Firstly, Mr Ang gave a brief introduction to Accuron MedTech – a company with urology devices and strategic incubation at the heart of Its business. He then cited the listing of Aslan Pharmaceutical on Nasdaq as an example of how a small company can break the glass ceiling of the Singapore bioTech/medTech start-up ecosystem, and shared his perspective on how start-ups can compete with established companies that dominate the market. In brief, it is crucial for start-ups to focus on one key area they can do best in, even if it is a niche market. The ability to win in a small niche market will eventually earn the team the credibility to excel in bigger markets.
Mr Ang also relayed one of the core principles of biodesign to entrepreneurs, which is to figure out the business model before spending millions of dollars to develop the product. He then highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence, big data, as well as digital media management in creating viable business models in this technology-centric era. With readily available online content, individuals who aspire to excel in this era should enhance their competitiveness by constantly learning, refreshing and recreating new technology. In addition, Mr Ang highlighted how the exponential increase in computing power has re-defined our workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community.
Mr Ang then wrapped up the session by sharing the five most important attributes (acronym SPEED) every start-up should have in order to succeed.
- Speed – be agile and act fast
- Pivot – have the agility to pivot during failure
- Extreme urgency – be able to fail fast and stand up again quickly
- Extreme collaboration – actively seek collaboration in this ecosystem
- Dogfooding – use the product yourself to show that you really believe in what you are offering
Networking session – participants enjoying the food and discussion with like-minded people
The event concluded with a networking session where the participants engaged in vibrant conversation with one another and Mr Ang. It was a wonderful opportunity to listen to Mr Ang’s insightful sharing. The BCS team received positive feedback from the participants and we look forward to more IGNite events in the future!
Mr Abel Ang
Group Chief Executive Officer of Accuron MedTech,
Mr Abel Ang is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Accuron MedTech, where he has overall responsibility for Accuron’s Medical Device activities.
Abel has a proven track record in the medical device sector. He has served as the Senior Advisor to the CEO of Greatbatch Inc (NYSE:GB), providing guidance on the commercialization of medical device technologies in the cardiac, neurology, vascular and orthopaedic markets. Prior to Greatbatch, as President, Asia/Pacific for Hill-Rom Inc. a US$1.7B revenue medical devices company (NYSE: HRC), Abel led Hill-Rom’s expansion in the Asia/Pacific markets. He formerly served as the Chief Technology Officer for Hill-Rom and had overall responsibility for Hill-Rom’s global R&D operations. At Hill-Rom, he also held the positions of Vice-President and General Manager of Hill-Rom’s US$420MM Global Surfaces and Therapy Business Unit; and Vice-President for International Business and Technology Development. Abel has also headed the global Medical Technology and Biotechnology industry groups in the Singapore Economic Development Board’s (EDB) Biomedical Division.
Abel sits on the Board of Economic Development Innovations Singapore (EDIS), a privately-held company headquartered in Singapore with offices in Germany and the US. With expertise honed in conceiving and managing townships in India, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, EDIS’ core business is in investing, managing and developing integrated cities globally. Abel also sits on the Board of Exploit Technologies which provides access to Singapore’s largest pool of intellectual property and knowledge generated by over 2,000 researchers at A*STAR’s research institutes. In addition, he sits on the Boards of the following Accuron Medical Device Operating companies: Dornier Medizintechnik, Veredus Pte Ltd, and Advanced Materials Technologies (AMT) Pte Ltd.
Abel is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Nanyang Business School in Singapore and Waseda University in Japan, where he teaches in their respective MBA programs.
Abel has a Master of Science in Computational Biology from Rutgers University in New Jersey, which he pursued while on an EDB scholarship. He attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management
Program in 2012.
Professor Kevyn Yong
Associate Professor of Management and Associate Dean of Corporate Programs at ESSEC Business School, Asia Pacific.
Professor Kevyn Yong is an Associate Professor of Management and serves as Associate Dean of Corporate Programs at ESSEC Business School, Asia Pacific. His areas of expertise include creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership, with a focus on design thinking, strategic leadership, leading change and digital transformation. He sits on the board of Live with AI (LWAI), a French-Singaporean think-tank looking at how AI can impact society positively and accelerate human development. He has also delivered customized leadership and innovation programs for Amazon in Paris, Nike in China, Takeda in Singapore, and UOB Bank in Singapore.
Prior to joining ESSEC, Prof Yong was an Associate Professor of Management at HEC Paris and taught courses at Cornell University and the National University of Singapore. Prof Yong has been recognized for his teaching excellence and has been awarded the Pedagogy Innovation Prize by the HEC Foundation in 2011 and made the Dean’s Honor Roll at the S.C. Johnson School of Management at Cornell University in 2005 and 2006.