After reporting on the CES 2018 and gaining a lot of experiences, I decided to learn more and get more experiences abroad by traveling and meeting new people. Thankfully I had the chance to meet Felix Lee, the young CEO of Packdat, and attend a special event in Singapore. Let’s learn more about it!
Singapore Polytechnic (Engineering with Business)
Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Focus on solving problems and values rather than the money that will eventually come later on. If you have a good idea and ongoing passion, just start a start up’.”
National University of Singapore (Computer Science)
Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Anybody can think of a startup but not anybody cannot develop a startup. If you have an idea, make it into a reality in less than three months.“
Singapore Polytechnic (Mechanical Engineering)
Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Belief in yourself is crucial, even more than just knowing thoroughly about your startup. Information can help but belief in yourself is the sole tool that helps you go through risks and dangers. You may fail but who cares, it will be a good experience that nobody else can have.”
Interview with Felix Lee, CEO of Packdat
What is Packdat?
Packdat is a simple solution for making traveling more easier. When you decide to travel to another place, you have to endure painstaking time to make itineraries, looking up the sites, making reservations, etc. Also, you don’t have a specific guideline to help you make your trip efficient and memorable. At Packdat you can see itineraries that other travelers and peers have made and you can do all your research and booking in one site.
What Makes Packdat Different?
Two things makes Packdat different from other similar businesses. First, Packdat is a platform with a community that allows users to produce content free of cost because of its simple and intuitive UI (User Interface). Just simply enter the location and time and Packdat does the rest for you. This is where the second difference comes out. Packdat has an algorithm that uses GPS to make a map of the places you will visit and also a timetable for an efficient trip. It can also be saved to be used offline, which is a must for travelers because of the connectivity differences in each country.
How Did Packdat Come To Be?
Our team started from the passion and curiosity in solving problems. This startup is actually not my first and I failed a lot. My startup journey began when I made an E-Wallet called DROPLET at age 17. After that came three more startups, Hideoutt(E-commerce), Tripcendo(travel) and the current Packdat. The problem that I wanted to solve through Packdat was the difficulty of having a perfect trip. Millennials travel a lot but the problem is that it takes such a long time to make the perfect itinerary. My personal experience related to this started, when my seniors were preparing a trip to celebrate their graduation but I saw that there were a lot of difficulties preparing so that is where I got the inspiration to start Packdat.
Congratulations on your MOU with Passpod. What is the Meaning of MOU? Also, do You Have Anything To Say About It?
This MOU is the best because it is a win-win situation for both our companies. We were looking for opportunities to enter a bigger market and Passpod showed us the chance. Also for Passpod, using our platform helps them lend wi-fi more easily and comfortably for travelers. Passpod is a strategic partner and this partnership and investment is quite a big accomplishment for us. Through this, we will make a world where it is easy to travel and people want to travel. We will make a simple but unique experience for users.
What Is The Final Destination For Packdat?
We want to create a world that inspires traveling. Not just traveling but traveling with friends and making global friendships. We value friendship so much that we have an option of easily adding friends into our platform to share experiences together.
Do you have anything to say to young entrepreneurs?
For young entrepreneurs, especially in Korea, starting a business is quite an opportunity. I have been to Korea for various events like D Camp, and I could see that the ecosystem in Korea is quite developed and startup friendly. So I could see a lot of potential CEOs. Korea supports a lot of startups so there are many opportunities. My advice is that if you have a good idea and the passion, just do it. The most important thing to always remember is being clear about your purpose and values. To be successful, your purpose should be solving problems not following the money. A value driven company has workers having the mission of solving problems and the feeling of ownership of their company.
University of Indonesia(Computer Science) Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Focus on the vision of how to help people and have a social impact.”
A Brief Introduction About Passpod?
Passpod is simply a digital tourist pass and provides connectivity when traveling. Since we know where travelers travel, we can provide travelers with relevant content like tickets and information. We focus on real-time traveling so we are quite different to a travel agency.
Where Did You Get The Inspiration of Passpod?
As many of us can see, the tourism industry is growing and growing as time goes. Actually, around 8.5 million Indonesians travel abroad every year. Also, research shows that 84% of the travelers value connectivity very highly and youngsters are fascinated with social media while traveling, which in the end means that internet connection is needed. Our founders are travelers and we were fed up with the hassle when buying local USIM cards. For instance, in Europe, we had to change usim cards every time we crossed country borders. So to make these processes simple, we made Passpod.
Any Advice for Young Entrepreneurs?
In the case of Korea, capital investors are really good and have lots of relevant experience. So my advice for the youngsters is to focus on the vision of how to help people and give a social impact and then the money will follow. Always focus more on ideas than money. Always think about the impact. Everybody may say what I said but this is the truth.
In This Occasion You Are an Investor. Could You Give Some Tips On Getting Invested?
As I said before, since most startups don’t have that mature technology, always make sure you have a great and solid team. Your team is the future of the startup so you should be able to trust your team. Always focus on gathering resources and be focused on the product and never be scared to fail.
What Do You Think Of The Korean Market?
The Korean market is a very mature market compared to other Asian countries. The scale of investors is very big and there are still a lot of opportunities even though it is a red ocean in most parts. Lots of big corporations showed how they do business in various fields like entertainment, etc. The market is mature so there is a lot to learn. Even with these circumstances, there are still opportunities so there will be many startups to come.
As you can see from the interview, if you have the will and passion to solve problems, nothing is impossible! Korea has a great atmosphere for starting businesses, so why not try? Always focus on solving problems and money will follow. I hope the next startup I get to interview is one from CBNU! After these spectacular events, I had the chance to explore the beauty of Singapore by traveling to various places. Singapore has lots of multi-cultural locations and attractions. So if you want a beautiful but meaningful place to travel, Singapore is just the place to go.
Chang Seung-won Editor-in-Chief