Singapore’s tech and entrepreneur community took a big step forward today for LGBTQ+ equality, as several founders and investors lent their support to call for other businesses to step forward and raise funds for this year’s Pink Dot pride gathering in Singapore. Now in its 10th year, Pink Dot has beaten the odds — from strong pushback from conservative sectors to new rules preventing foreign-owned businesses from sponsoring the event, it has stood through the test of time.
Last year, 120 companies signed on as supporters of its Red Dot for Pink Dot business sponsorship drive and this year, Pink Dot looks to continue seeking out support from Singapore-owned businesses to make the event a success. Led by 99.co’s Darius Cheung, six other prolific voices in the tech and investor circles have joined forces to lend their support. This is why they stepped up to support the initiative.
Darius Cheung, CEO, 99.co:
People have always been the most important thing to us at 99.co. Our business is centred around fulfilling the fundamental human need to find a home, and we built a workplace free from discrimination so that everyone can be the best versions of themselves at work. We firmly believe that this open-mindedness and inclusion can only better us as a nation.
Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings:
I am personally inspired by how the Pink Dot movement has blossomed to become much more than a narrowly gay rights campaign. It has become the metaphor for inclusiveness, and the fact that young families with children chose to celebrate the ideal of an inclusive society with picnics and games on Hong Lim Green, gives hope to me as a senior citizen with a three-year grandson (and more on the way), that Singapore will someday set a shining example to a divided, hate-filled and fractious world that our vision of cohesive diversity can be real and thriving.
Adrianna Tan, Founder, Wobe:
I believe our tiny nation can be a beacon of freedom and prosperity in our corner of the world. Come to Singapore, where you can be your whole self, do your best work, be treated fairly in spite of and because of who you are. Live in Singapore, where you can attain opportunities in spite of and because of who you are. I hope, too, that my family can be a part of the Singapore story.
Gwendolyn Regina, Entrepreneur & Investor:
I come from the world of startups and technology where we see the world being remade in small pieces all the time. Some of these tiny bubbles of innovation then grow to be such gigantic masses of force that have no choice but to sweep the world. If you use any kind of technology, you’ve been impacted by these forces. The multitude of software you use on a daily basis all started as tiny bubbles of innovation. They can only be because of the diversity of minds remaking the world.
Royston Tay, Founder, Zopim:
I was given the privilege of working closely with people from all walks of life, and this valuable experience has strengthened my belief that Nature creates each of us a little differently, but she never discriminates in distributing skills, talents and opportunities amongst us all. Hiring without bias opened our doors to the best talents. More importantly, it adds diversity in opinions which is critical for all-rounded innovation and growth.
Goh Yiping, Venture Partner, Quest Ventures:
As a startup founder and investor, we have always firmly believed in seeing the best in people. This means looking beyond one’s racial group, socio-economic status, family background, sexual orientation or gender identity, and giving them the opportunity to learn and grow, in an environment they can truly be themselves.
Mohan Belani, Founder, e27
We at e27 have always believed that great ideas can make the world a better place. We have seen this happen all over the world, regardless of people’s backgrounds, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Ideas are the drivers of growth in today’s world, and we believe that great ideas should be championed and spread for good. Ideas have the power to shape a nation, to inspire people for positive change and to transform the way we live and think.
This post was originally published in @proutapp on Medium.