This Entrepreneur Wants To Connect Runners From Around The World
In the What Matters To Me series, a Generation T honouree describes what they do, why they do it, and why it matters.
A former athlete in school, Tan She Yong rediscovered his passion for running after he was encouraged by his friends in college to take part in a marathon. Unlike running alone, which he found to be boring and repetitive after a while, he noticed a difference in his performance when he ran in a group.
With this in mind, Tan set out to create a platform that would bring runners together. He quit his job as a mechatronics engineer and in 2017, started BiiB which operates a mobile app that connects like-minded runners across Asia to take part in running experiences and events together.
Tan shares more about the power of running and how he envisions BiiB growing in his own words.
Before starting BiiB, I had this vision of making running fun. I wanted to make it a group activity that everyone could participate in. Also, running is not just about maintaining our physical health, it's a way to boost our mental health as well.
As a sports technology company, we've created a digital arena where we set our own rules. We've turned running and walking into a team sport, and over the past five years, we've connected thousands of communities in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand.
Being in the business of building communities, we hear a lot of opinions from people who want different things. This initially made it difficult for us to maintain our original vision, but I realised that the trick is not to be swayed by others and to remember to remain neutral while giving everyone a chance to voice their views.
The pandemic has changed the way we organise sporting events. People no longer need to be physically together to share the same excitement and emotion of a run. With our app, for example, you can be part of a running team without actually being based in the same town, city or country.
My advice for budding entrepreneurs is to take your idea and run with it. Calculate the risk, but know that you can’t be 100 percent prepared. By the end of it, you won’t lose anything and you would have instead gained some experience and built valuable connections.