The “How to Really Finish Your Project” event gathered the online audience on March 3, 2021 to hear from experts about the best methods of completing projects.
The speaker invited for this event was Aria Hadi Wardhana, Agile Coach and Founder of Agile Academy Indonesia. His colleague, experienced IT knowledge worker Najla F. Seff co-facilitated the session.
The session, organized by HAK and Slash, presented guidelines on how to reach an understanding with clients, team and stakeholders on the point when the project can be considered finished.
Another area of focus was the alignment of the finished result with the initial project goal in a way that meets the expectations of the client and the stakeholder. During the event, participants were divided into groups for discussions.
Check out the upcoming HAK events here.
2021 is well underway now and we finally managed to take the time to look back at our previous year and capture some of our highlights. Uff, talking about being busy! (Read PART 1 here).
Highlight 4 - Communicating our content and brand
In 2020, we refreshed our external Slash brand: we released a new website (www.slash.co), the HAK blog (www.slash.co/hak) and HAK podcast on the impact of venture building in the world of corporate innovation!
✍️ HAK blog is the place to find engaging content on venture building and corporate innovation. Here, we post articles on topics ranging from productivity to innovation along with in-depth analyses of relevant trends among other types of content.
🎧 HAK podcast, which we launched in December 2020, we speak with brilliant minds in the venture building ecosystem - what makes them tick, their challenges and models, and the impact of venture building on corporate innovation. Every week we release a new podcast. Subscribe here!
We’re excited to continue building a meaningful brand as Slash, to develop our voice as Slash and original content.
Highlight 5 - Many more Client impact stories!
On the consulting side of the business, we thrive on our client success stories. Despite the COVID-19 challenges, 2020 has been rich in stories where we helped solve significant industry problems as an entrepreneurial technology and hands-on transformation partner.
Here are a handful of public highlights:
📌 We completed and deployed the flagship United Nations World Food Program “PRISM” in Cambodia and are now maintaining it as it scales across all of Asia Pacific, from Pakistan and Papua New Guinea to Mongolia. PRISM provides a near-real-time map of the impact of floods and droughts on vulnerable agricultural communities using satellite data and remote sensor sources. Here is PRISM in the news.
📌 After an incredibly intense 12+ months, we completed EedenBull’s flagship QBusiness platform in collaboration with 65 regional banks in Norway. We then helped EedenBull build their in-house tech team in Edinburgh, UK, and over a period of 6 months empowered them to take over the solution. Since then, Edinburgh has been growing from strength to strength with headline-grabbing press releases in Europe and Asia.
📌 For the last 4 years, we have been supporting AXA’s Innovation team with their products and core tech. Several new products have been launched under our watch and it’s exciting to see how our partnership evolves.
📌 We built the next version of Supermom, the largest online mummys' shopping heaven in SEA. Supermom is a founder-led business and has an incredible passion for its mission.
Highlight 6 - Building the Rocket
In the theme of our year, "Building the Rocket", we always intended to make 2020 the year where we would focus less on growing the company and more on building the foundation for Slash to scale to greater heights in the coming years.
In that context, we have been working hard on systematizing the business, with 120+ playbooks to streamline the processes and capabilities of our team across every single area (from finance and HR to software development and product), to assign management roles better, to conceptualize our Slash Experience & Learning Environment, etc. 📚
While more work needs to be done in 2021 to refine these playbooks and get everyone onboard across the organization, we're excited to see "Slash 3.0" as our delivery team’s operating model come to life and deliver consistent value to our clients.
🎓In addition, several members of our team started their AWS Solution Architecture certification and got certified under R3 Corda blockchain. We also joined Google Cloud as a partner. New Year, new doors with opportunities!
Highlight 7 - Our sales machine
We are making good progress in building our Slash "sales machine", from lead generation to appointment scheduling, and closing. 📞
🤝 We find that our Slash value proposition of building autonomous scrum teams (what we call “squads”) is well received by corporate innovators and changemakers. What sets us aside is that we bring experience as serial entrepreneurs and product & tech operators scaling digital products and teams; something that many consultancies or tech shops lack.
In 2021, we are scaling these sales processes and teams further.
Highlight 8 - Tech for Good
We became entrepreneurs to have an impact. This culture permeates through Slash and translates into a variety of community and social initiatives.
In many ways, COVID-19 put this commitment to the test: with our pipeline hit and many communities at risk, could we step up and support where needed? We definitely did! ⬇️
🔥 The online hackathon in Cambodia, HacKH-the-Crisis 💻
Held 3-5 April 2020, this online hackathon united the local community to create unique solutions to the challenges that Cambodia is facing due to COVID-19 to save lives and save businesses.
The initiative gathered 206 participants and 56 mentors (local and from overseas), who worked together on 79 pandemic-related challenges.
HacKH-the-Crisis was initiated by Slash and co-organized by Impact Hub Phnom Penh and the state-owned NIPTICT university. We were supported in this project by Cambodia’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPTC) and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS).
Out of the many initiatives that came out of it, one to highlight is the COVID-19 Broadcast Solution to help the Cambodian government speak with a unified voice and disseminate official COVID-19 information across all their social media channels. Slash developed this solution pro bono together with our venture partner Clik.
Other ideas that came out of the hackathon can be found here.
🔥To support regional SEA startups, Slash helped a group of regional VCs (Openspace Ventures, 500 Startups, Cocoon Capital), to launch the Support Startups website across Southeast Asia.
The website’s primary task is to assist startups across Southeast Asia with the release of their promotional activities and discount codes for the customers looking to buy products and services from startups, supporting them along the way with their consumer purchasing power.
🔥 In January, Slash organized and held AWS re:Cap in Cambodia. This event gathered over 100 participants, who arrived to discover the newest and biggest announcements from the largest Cloud event of the year.
🔥 In 2020 we also conceptualized and launched HAK Weeks (URL: www.hakweeks.slash.co or www.slash.co/hakweeks), an online corporate hackathon initiative that brings the best of Slash internal capabilities, paired up with our associates in the innovation strategy and facilitator space, to run high-impact online hackathon programs in “1 week”.
HAK Weeks started off as a social idea to help businesses during COVID-19 pivots and is now a standalone service offered to corporate heads of business units who struggle to get their HQ support to digitize elements of their client-facing and internal processes. Through short rapid prototyping programs, they get clarity, can inform their transformation roadmap and train their team on the key agile and design thinking skills needed to take charge of their transformation.
In 2021, we can’t wait to continue building on our mission of “Teams to Innovate”. We are systematizing every aspect of spinning off venture and engineering teams for our clients and our own portfolio.
Dr. Mitsy Chanel-Blot shared her extensive knowledge in making presentations during the online event “Putting the "Pre" in Presentation” on February 24, organized by Slash and HAK.
According to Mitsy, preparation is the secret to a memorable and engaging presentation. Her workshop focused on key elements of the preparation process, which she believes everyone needs as much as a good slide deck.
An expert in public speaking, improvisation and training, Dr. Chanel-Blot currently works as a senior lecturer at CamEd Business School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She builds up individuals and teams’ skills in communication and supports their professional growth. Mitsy is also a volunteer at presentation platform Nerd Night and the creative founder of the monthly storytelling event "Verse in Prose".
The final part of the event was dedicated to a Q&A with Dr. Chanel-Blot, during which the event participants were welcome to get more recommendations from the expert speaker.
2021 is well underway now and we finally managed to take the time to look back at our previous year and capture some of our highlights. Uff, talking about being busy!
Here are 8 highlights of our 2020.
Highlight 1 - Productive year and a bigger portfolio
🏆 Across our portfolio, our startups raised ~US$4.85m in 2020. We have several startups that launched in 2020 (Sharelook, Augmented Tribe, 360 Sports), and others will pilot or launch in the first half of 2021 (Clik, TripTax, Acropolis, Hourvillage). Most of our startups are expected to hit revenue in 2021! Our portfolio of early stage startups is slowly hatching ;-)
🚀 Currently, we have 8 startups in our portfolio:
➤ Sharelook - Netflix for Corporate eLearning. This mobile e-learning platform is designed for trainers, teams and organizations looking to enhance their knowledge through online courses. Sharelook offers integrated live video broadcasting (the only one of its kind to do so now) and course builders with user-generated learning mazes along with advanced analytics, 3D avatars, and more.
➤ TripWorld - The startup develops travel solutions for global conscious citizens. The pandemic might have hit tourism hard, but travel is starting to recover. TripWorld’s flagship, deep-tech solution TripTax, is the solution for travelers searching for a faster, cheaper, and safer way to do tourism tax refund while skipping the queue at the airport.
➤ 360 Wellness - This addition to our portfolio has introduced an end-to-end solution to help fitness & wellness professionals run their business online in a post-COVID-19 world. They can use 360 Wellness to broadcast live classes or coaching sessions, do the monetization & invoicing, put together schedules and follow-ups, retarget, and set up personalized programs.
➤ The Hourvillage - The startup provides a CSR solution for corporates to connect employees with charities & causes. It operates as a social equalizer platform, where one hour equals one hour-time regardless of who you are.
➤ Acropolis - Sell your international properties & land to Asian investors faster in one easy-to-use, unified conveyance platform. We enable digital ownership of cross-border property investments, and the users do not need to travel. The startup also provides a secure & immediately verifiable chain of title, super-fast transactions (~2 days) and cheaper transaction costs.
➤ Clik - This startup has created an award-winning unified payment, credit & loyalty solution for merchants and consumers in the Mekong Region. It is available online and offline, with advanced eKYC/AML-CFT and data-driven micro-targeting and loyalty schemes. The solution’s rich variety of functions includes a seamless consumer experience that also enables lending.
➤ Augmented Tribe - The startup has established a social learning platform for professionals. The app is organized around learning spaces to accelerate the know-how. It comes with structured curriculums, real-time collaboration, and on-demand experts. Augmented Tribe is a joint-venture with global business school IMD, operating in Switzerland/Singapore.
➤ Trust8 - It provides secure risk management & facility management dashboard. This startup’s primary goal is to help companies manage their back-to-work policies during the COVID-19 crisis. Among other key features, Trust8 also enables integration with an ecosystem of secure, trustless, private wallets to handle employees’ health data.
Despite the general volatility of 2020, it was a productive year for our startups. We are already working on a new stealth-mode startup, so stay tuned for announcements in the upcoming months! After this progress in our portfolio, we expect that our startups will be more visible in 2021 and generate more engagement opportunities for the core Slash team.
Here is a number of public achievements our startups recorded in the last 12 months:
📌 Augmented Tribe has conducted a successful first user pilot with the Civil Service College Singapore, the college for government employees in Singapore.
📌 360Wellness.io was founded and launched in less than 9 months.
📌 Clik raised USD 3.6m round and got its payment (PSP) license from the National Bank of Cambodia.
📌 Sharelook closed a major deal in Africa and we helped them build their team in Nepal.
Highlight 2 - Expanding Slash family in Asia and Europe
2020 was a year of growth for Slash. Guided by the commitment to increasing our geographical reach, we expanded in 2020 and entered into 2021 as a larger family with now 3 hubs: in addition to our Cambodian (Phnom Penh) office, we launched our Bali hub and the Armenian outpost by building our initial team in capital Yerevan!
By extending our geographical reach, we access more diverse and deeper talent pools, more time zones and cultural coverage for our clients, and more opportunities for our teams to experience life in different countries. We can't wait to try to get everyone in one place for a celebration!
🌎 The choices for the locations were not random, as we always look for diverse talent pools and more cultural coverage. We are currently attracting the best local talent in each hub.
📌 Singapore is our oldest office and our headquarters. It’s the perfect launchpad for our global portfolio of companies and supports our global clients on the IT consulting side. Our team consists of senior executives and our financial team.
📌 Our first hub in Phnom Penh is significant with its strong L&D environment and community engagement. We have a mature team in the Cambodian office, with 3+ years’ longevity at the company. This impressive Phnom Penh team consists of many senior software engineers.
📌 Our second hub is in Bali (Indonesia), an attractive workplace both for local talent and high-skilled expats. It is also a fantastic place to live and work, as the pictures of our Bali office illustrate clearly! ;)
📌 In 2020, we welcomed a new hub to the Slash family, our third one - Yerevan. It boasts strong STEM talent thanks to the Soviet Union heritage and westernized culture with good English. Its location in the middle of Asia and Europe makes Yerevan the perfect hub to provide support to our Eurasian clients.
Highlight 3 - New services, new capabilities
In 2020, we expanded our Product Team at Slash and decided to start externalizing our product strategy & research and product design services to offer them to Clients. Previously, we primarily focused our Product Team on our own startup ideas.
By externalizing our product capabilities, we now offer end-to-end digital product development services from idea to engineering, and thereafter maintenance & scaling.
In the process, we are systematizing and refining our product methodology and improving how we build our internal ideas. This will also provide opportunities for the Slash team to extend their skill sets.
Part 2 is coming soon!
On February 18, Slash and the AWS partner held AWS re:Invent, the annual recap event for 2020.
Over two and a half hours, AWS experts provided updates and insights for the latest cloud services and capabilities in modern application development, analytics, networking and security among other areas. This event summed up the results of the original AWS recap, held in December 2020.
Luis Puentes, Slash’s Full Stack Developer, presented both Slash and AWS in the opening keynote, and from there, the other 3 speakers took the floor. Senior Developer Advocate Donnie Prakoso, Raja SP of Senior Manager Analytics Specialty, Solutions Architect Phone Myint Kyaw and Senior Solutions Architect Frank Ang did a brilliant job, putting all updates into precise messages categorized in 4 large groups: developer experience, data and analytic, infrastructure and mobile, and governance.
Some of these updates revealed, for example, that AWS Lambda now supports Container Image, showed the group ecosystem around AWS Glue for Big Data and Data Lake architecture, and demonstrated the new instance OS type for EC2 - MacOS support (it allows to build apps online with AWS!).
The Slash team attended AWS re:Invent both online and in the office, excited to learn about the new features and services supported on AWS, and happy to have one of their own as the keynote speaker.