No Paine, no gain

The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Mr Mikhail Choo is living the dream of many a young start-up founder.

After selling his tech firm Gridblaze to a US company in February for a seven-figure sum, the 36-year-old is now working on starting his next company.

A graduate of start-up accelerator Founder Institute Singapore, he is the first programme participant to have sold his company.

Gridblaze, a global file storage network that automatically directs files to the closest storage point for more efficient download speeds, was born in 2011 out of Mr Choo's frustration over slow Internet file-sharing speeds.

"No matter what obstacles there are, if the founder has the right frame of mind with the right reason for doing what he or she is doing and knows that it will be a tough journey... there are not many challenges that are insurmountable," he said.

"Founder Institute is good for those who are just starting out and need direction on their ideas," he added.

Founder Institute Singapore, which will begin its sixth run on May 28, takes aspiring start-up founders through the key stages of starting a business.

The 14-week programme is run by Mr Jeffrey Paine, founding partner of venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures, and is linked to the Founder Institute global network of start-ups and mentors, which has a presence in 40 cities worldwide.

Participants attend weekly sessions covering topics ranging from generating a good business idea to finding a market and fundraising.

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