My journey building a community at Tech in Asia

The community at Tech in Asia (TIA) is over a year old now and it’s heartening to see that it has grown into a network of wonderful givers amongst the global tech ecosystem. When I say global, I meant to say the reach of our network isn’t only limited to Asia but it extends out to folks in say, Silicon Valley and Israel too. So anyone around the world, who is interested about technology and startups are welcome to be part of us.

We started off by gathering a few folks who were interested to pick up their pens and write for the community. Soon enough, they’ve become power contributors, who have helped spark the interest of others to be part of the TIA community. 🙂

TIA meetup feat. Chang Sau Sheong, codefather of SG tech community.

Give before you receive

One of the values of the TIA community is to give before you receive. It’s also the idea of paying it forward. The standard introductory practice is to share where you’re from, what you do, what’s your field of expertise and what would you be interested to learn.

It has been a pretty useful onboarding method in our Facebook group because it sets a certain expectation to incoming new member that he/she is not here just to blast promotional materials without any context for the existing members. We do still receive promotional materials every now and then but we tend to feedback and/or delete the posts away.

Folks in the TIA community share useful content they have read anywhere on the internet with each other, transformed insights and knowledge expertise into their very own articles on TIA, take part as experts on our online panel discussions and helped evangelise the TIA community in their own city. I like that everyone’s so open to host other folks in their cities!

Tech in Asia community members in Seoul, Korea.

Even within the community team, we hold on to this value dearly when it comes to our work practices. We constantly think of how we can better serve fellow members, who take time and effort to be part of us and our mission.

Yanting, our community editor, constantly thinks about how she can offer better feedback for contributors to write their articles, find the best angle so that it brings out the best of what they’ve written.

Daniel, our community dude, is always challenging himself by providing creative and meaningful online sessions for the community. Think about the numerous Ask Me Anything(AMA) sessions, online pitches to investors and startup confession series.

Witnessing sparks and connections

Our first try at facilitated session.

I’m very fortunate to be part of the community and especially being in a unique position to witness the everyday happenings. I call them “wins” and it feels very rewarding.
For example, there was a founder who shared about his failed startup and lessons learned with the TIA community through an article. He eventually got approached by an investor who read his article and got funded by the same investor.

There’s also an investor, who used to have dreams to be a journalist and the TIA platform gave him the avenue to report about the various ecosystems through interviews.

A student, who is really passionate about the startup scene in Singapore, frequently writes with a focus on students and internships. He has recently been headhunted by a couple of startups to join them because of his pieces.

These are just some of the stories I share when people ask me what motivates me at work as a community manager. It’s not the traffic we get on our platform, it’s not the brand exposure but it’s the adrenaline rush upon receiving a Facebook message from an excited founder thanking me for the introduction to an investor with a potential investment in place.

Collaborating with movers and shakers of the tech ecosystem

With the awesome Girls in Tech Taiwan crew!

We believe each member’s identity is moulded into a different and better version of themselves when they become part of a community. And for that to happen, we needed to communicate what it means for them to be part of the TIA community.

Hence, we’ve written a detailed piece on why the TIA community is important when we first started out because it was crucial to get people on the same page. To those who believe in the mission, welcome aboard.

We even wrote a community manual for folks who want to understand how the community works.

But we don’t stop there. Collaborative work has to be done with fellow ecosystem partners that are also passionate about building and serving the tech ecosystem in Asia.

Our decision to open up the platform to let anyone contribute thought pieces was the beginning of the many ways to promote an open community. And we too want to enable collaborative works to happen amongst the movers and shakers of the tech ecosystem to encourage the same intention.

Let’s work magic together. Drop me a comment below if you think we can collaborate or say hi. 🙂

This article was first published here.