OUR EXPERTS

These are just a few of the tourism industry and startup experts who have teamed with MIST to mentor startups and prepare them to pitch investors.

Victor Chua

VP Investments, Gobi Ventures

Victor Chua joined Gobi in early 2015. He was an Investment Manager with Malaysia Venture Capital Management (“MAVCAP”), Malaysia’s largest venture capital firm and a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia, where he invested in early stage high growth tech companies. He was also associated with 500 Startups, through their ASEAN extension, 500 Durians.

Prior to that, he had several years of investment consulting experience with Towers Watson, where his portfolio of clients were sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other institutional entities in Southeast Asia. With the experience of researching and evaluating the capabilities of different asset managers around the region, he brings onto the table insights which will help the firm in upholding best practices in investment process. Victor is a graduate of Macquarie University, Sydney with a Bachelor of Commerce in Actuarial Studies, a CFA charterholder, and is also a member of Mensa Malaysia. He is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysia Venture Capital Association (“MVCA”).

Neal Cross

Chief Innovation Officer, DBS

Neal Cross is recognized as the most disruptive Chief Innovation Officer globally by DBS.

Cross has more than 20 years’ experience in technology, innovation and financial services. He currently is an advisor to several government agencies and is on the Singapore Future Corporate Capabilities and Innovation Committee. Recently he was a finalist for APAC Most Disruptive CIO – TalentUnleashed.co. His previous experience includes MasterCard and Microsoft Australia.

Cross founded the Hotel Orangutan, where he lives on weekends, a social enterprise to help save the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan and to give local villagers employment and education.

Dr. Mario Hardy

CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association

Dr. Mario Hardy is Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is an investor, entrepreneur and senior executive with more than 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience. His focus has been on shaping and implementing strategies that inspire teams in unlocking their full potential. He enjoys networking with professionals from any industry on a global scale and applying my communication skills to engage in corporate social responsibility activities. Hardy is a true global citizen who lived on 3 continents, 7 countries and has over 14 years’ experience working in Asia.

He’s a seasoned traveller with a goal of visiting over 100 countries engaging with local communities.

Tuyen Hoang

Executive Director – Entrepid Advisors

Senior investment professional with over 15 years of investment banking, corporate banking, investment management and business management experience

Advised on deals with combined transaction size of over US$6 billion

Previously served as Head of Investment Banking, Co-Head of Global Banking at HSBC Vietnam; Mr. Hoang has been involved in landmark transactions in Vietnam across various industries such as consumer retail, oil & gas, financial, industrial, real estate, technology media telecom

Originated, executed and managed transactions at HSBC for Indochina region (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) ranging from M&A, equity capital markets offerings, private placements, SOE privatizations, joint venture partnerships, project financing and other corporate finance deals

Worked at other leading investment banks in U.S. focusing on M&A and capital raising for the energy industry

Worked in asset management, managing over US$2 billion in equity and fixed income portfolio for institutional investors and high-net worth clients

Bachelor Science and MBA from USA

Cong Nguyen

Deputy General Director and Group CIO at TMG

Nguyen Trung Cong has designed and build processes and systems enabling TMG to expand its business from 4 to 16 countries within 5 years. He is currently in charge of TMG’s online businesses, which is doubling annually. Prior to TMG, Cong was the Co-founder and CEO of VNIT, where he developed several software systems for NTT-DATA Japan, including mobile apps and back-end systems using for Osaka city emergency center. Cong is passionate about using his technology and online knowledge to help entrepreneurs who dare to be the best in their fields and go beyond boundaries.

Stephanie Strunk

Community Manager, Amadeus Next, Amadeus Asia Pacific

Stephanie is an enthusiastic individual who appreciates cultural diversity in all aspects of life.

She has been the driving force behind Amadeus Next, the leading travel tech startup community in APAC. She has a passion for new and creative ways of doing things and is a firm believer that endurance, commitment and courage to fail are crucial to success. Stephanie first joined Amadeus Asia Pacific in 2012, and has primarily held roles in Corporate Strategy and Business Development. Prior to Amadeus, she worked in the advertising industry in Germany and Thailand. She holds a Master in Tourism and Hospitality Management and a BA in Media Design. In her free time you can find Stephanie at the gym or socializing with like-minded people.

Jens Thraenhart

CEO, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

Jens Thraenhart was named as one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014.

Jens Thraenhart has over 25 years of international travel, tourism, and hospitality experience, spanning positions in operations, marketing, business development, revenue management, strategic planning, and e-business. Early in his career Jens’s entrepreneurial edge was sharpened with him founding and operating a successful food catering company, starting a New York-based Internet leisure travel Internet company and managing an independent luxury golf resort in Germany.

He was also recognized as one of the travel industry’s top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003, was listed as one of HSMAI’s 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005. A UNWTO Affiliate Member, and founding Chair of PATA China, he founded the Annual China Responsible Tourism Forum & Awards in 2011.

Sieng Van Tran

Founder and CEO of the Egg Group

Sieng is a Serial Entrepreneur who has built and sold startups in Elearning, Ecommerce and Digital Media. Now having moved from London to Saigon, he is focused on disrupting the accelerator model in Asia by offering what might be the only one with a pool, spa, gym, and bar. From building up his network over the years, as Sieng explains, “We can growth hack like nobody can because of the platform we’ve built” and it’s this distribution that can help propel businesses into exponential growth on a global scale.