“What I like most about being in the ScaleUp Endeavor program was peer support. When we’re together, we’re constantly sharing ideas and new ways we’re dealing with our challenges, even sharing what other mentors have advised us. Being able to learn from my ScaleUp peers created an energy that was addictive, there was always something to share and I really enjoyed that,” said Mike Chu, CEO of PTT Outdoor.
Many would say that entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. In this highly competitive environment, you’ve got to be up to date on the current trends. You’re forced to constantly innovate and adapt quickly to keep up with the times. How would an entrepreneur balance so much in this ever fast-changing environment? While most entrepreneurs would admit that most of their friends would not understand the struggles of being an entrepreneur, there are other ways to seek empathy elsewhere.
Mike had always wanted to become an entrepreneur since he was a teenager. After several small businesses, Mike finally started PTT Outdoor in 2015, an e-commerce platform that sells quality outdoor equipment for adventurous, passionate, energetic, fun-loving people just like himself. Just like hiking, Mike believes entrepreneurship is more fun with friends.
Reasons Why Peer Support Is Crucial for Entrepreneurs
The greatest value of peer support is the respect and empathy that entrepreneurs have with one another. Peer group sessions are a great way to build the entrepreneur ecosystem in one’s community as a way of giving back the knowledge received from each entrepreneur. Each of the 15 ScaleUp Endeavor companies were assigned to a mentor, allowing them to trade mentorship advice to each other whenever the advice is relevant to any challenge area - ultimately causing a ripple of knowledge going as far as it can go.
For some entrepreneurs, peer groups are a great way to seek business opportunities, as Mike shares; “The fact is that you can collaborate with your peers and that itself are golden opportunities.” This statement can be seen as true as Vase.ai, an on-demand market research platform; consulted their ScaleUp Endeavor peers as beta testers for their latest product, reducing the time taken to collect meaningful data.
Having mentors is also a good way to increase the circle of peer support and gather insights from experienced entrepreneurs. Through the ScaleUp Endeavor program, Mike was matched with mentor David Chmelar, CEO and Co-Founder of iPrice Group, who helped him scale his business throughout the 12-month program by refining his business strategy.
“The ScaleUp Endeavor program differs from other accelerator programs due to its vast network of mentors. The best part about having mentors is that they will challenge your ideas and thought process to ensure you are on the right track. One of the best pieces of advice I received from a mentor was a question directed to myself; ‘What is stopping you from achieving your goal?’ This question made me realise that there are too many distractions that affect my ability to execute my plan and achieve my top goal,” shared Mike.
Having a close circle of entrepreneurs can also help in getting maximum support from entrepreneurs who are in the midst of growing and scaling their business. In the early stages of PTT Outdoor, Mike realised he made too many hiring mistakes which resulted in slower growth of the company. By working with his peers, Mike took steps to address the issues by gaining insights from the ‘Recruitment to Scale’ workshop organized by ScaleUp Endeavor.
Mike Chu, CEO and Founder of PTT Outdoor, is one of the 15 selected entrepreneurs from the first cohort of ScaleUp Endeavor. To learn more about PTT Outdoor, head on over to their website here.
Finding it difficult to move from a start-up phase to scale-up phase? Endeavor Malaysia is launching its 2nd cohort of ScaleUp Endeavor, a 12 months program that focuses on helping high potential entrepreneurs to scale their businesses! Applications are now open for the 2nd cohort of ScaleUp Endeavor, to find out more about the program, click here!