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Creative Entrepreneurs

Our business landscape has changed tremendously with the rise of many different start-up businesses. Most of which are initiated by bright, young minds aspiring to bring something new to the table and playing a part in the current market. However, what is the x-factor that drives a start-up to be more successful than the rest?

Twin brothers Alden and Addie Leong, graduates of IACT College recently caught the attention of the advertising and technology industry locally. By putting their specialties together, namely of advertising, marketing strategy and the “X factor”- a creative mind, the duo started a revolutionary marketing idea – VAV, a mobile phone application that uses moment marketing! “With the consumers today having more control over which advertisement message they want, moment marketing works alongside their behaviour. Using both traditional and digital media, as long as there’s sound, it allows consumers to interact with the brand and even make immediate action on the screen of their smartphones, when and where it matters most to them.” Alden Leong, the older twin shared excitedly.

“VAV uses encoded sound waves to send digital content to the smartphone. Hence, brands can now use regular speakers for their proximity marketing without the need of additional, expensive hardware. In addition, brands are now also able to execute true trans-media marketing campaigns to engage their audiences’ smartphone through TV, radio or even internet such as Facebook and YouTube.” Addie Leong, explains the concept behind VAV.
“Addie and I have always wanted to start our own business since young but we were afraid because we didn’t know how to market it. IACT was the stepping stone for us!” Alden explained. The twins were both students in Diploma in Marketing and Advertising from IACT College. “We were working while studying in IACT College and in over two and a half years, we managed to score quite a number of deals. We didn’t earn much but it sustained us through college! Furthermore, it’s the experience that counts!” Alden talked about how their dream sprouted.

With the connections they made in and outside of the college, they managed to fuel their dream to being entrepreneurs. Addie shared, “We were always on the lookout for business opportunities because we know there are endless opportunities out there! We met many friends along the way as well! Long story short, we found it eventually!” Addie continued, “Having been trained to think creatively, I always ask myself, ‘how can I do it differently to make it work better?’. I came to know about technology using sound wave as a medium from a friend, even though it is not something very new, and has been widely used for voice recognition technology, I asked ‘Why hasn’t anyone used it for advertising and marketing?’, and that’s how we got this idea going!

After having that idea curated, the duo soon found that this was something beyond just the two of them. As they set up their team, they also went around looking for investors who could see as much potential in this revolutionary marketing platform as they do. “One of the many things we did learn in IACT College is the willingness to try the impossible even when we were really scared. So we pitched to investors knowing that the worst we will get is to be shot down. We were no strangers to those feeling because that was what I got for my presentation class in Semester 1!” Alden Leong laughed as he shared. “It was the confidence and resilience produced through those industry-simulated experience in the classroom, as well as creativity in pitching ideas to potential partners that got us investors like Axiata and partnership with Astro Media, besides many other business partners!” Addie seconded his brother’s remark by sharing their pride.

The VAV app was officially launched in May 2016 and is available on both Apple App Store and Google Play. In just one month after the launch, the team has got themselves covered on mainstream media and endorsed by several industry professionals as “a simple disruptive idea” and “ingenious and clever”! When asked what fuelled them to reach where they are, the brother-partner team says, “Passion, creativity, and courage! We may be young but hey, this is our best time to take risks, and we have no regrets! We would also like to thank our lecturers and friends from IACT College for believing in our dreams and supporting us all!” says the dashing duo.