Tidus Coleman is connecting young entrepreneurs.
What’s your story?
I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship, but I never had a clear vision for my future until I took a backpacking trip through Europe in 2013. I joined the Kairos Society the year before and was connected to a global network of passionate entrepreneurs. I first met Aura and Diego in England and a month later, I met them again on a holiday trip in Ibiza. We’ve been working together and helping each other ever since. This connection inspired me to empower other entrepreneurs around the world and connect people with more meaningful opportunities.
What excites you most about your industry?
I’m most excited about the intersection of artificial intelligence and education. Imagine, within the next 10 years, every human having access to their own personalised AI assistant/teacher that is able to communicate, teach and interact with them through virtual and augmented reality technology. Once that happens, 21st century learning environments will immediately become fixed learning, meaning you don’t progress until you comprehend and adjustable time, meaning there’s no assembly line mentality, rather than fix time and adjustable learning which is our current model. AI will easily change and simplify how people learn, who teaches them and how they acquire basic skills.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Our co-founder and CMO Nicholas lives in Shanghai and has started several initiatives there to support and empower entrepreneurs through mentorship. DIVVII has hosted international panel-style events between Shanghai and Silicon Valley and also work with local organisations to run mentorship programs for high school students. We are also hosting a semester-long entrepreneurship program at NYU Shanghai in the fall.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Shanghai. There is an enormous community of entrepreneurs there, both local and expat and we’ve found it to be an extremely collaborative place as well. StartupGrind has a huge presence there and it’s full of creative co-working spaces. Shanghai also hosts the first (and arguably best) accelerator in Asia, Chinaccelerator. In addition, the Shanghai government has made it (relatively) easy for foreign entrepreneurs to open businesses and get visas. While Shanghai culture is definitely not representative of all of China, it’s a convenient gateway to other cities in the country.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have learnt that you do something first and talk about it later. It flows better with my personality and it works better with my work. Take the step, have it done and the talk will come later.
Who inspires you?
Anyone working to push humanity forward through revolutionary technologies inspires me because I sincerely believe in the enormous power of the exponential growth of computers. If we invest in groundbreaking technologies, problems that may seem obstinate now could become eminently solvable in the near future.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Last month, I learned about the “Brain in a Vat” thought experiment. I was blown away by the hypothesis that an intelligent AI possibly created the universe as we know it. This theory isn’t a new one and Oxford Professor Nick Bostrom gives it credibility through his extensive research. However, the hypothesis recently gained media attention when Elon Musk stated that he thinks there’s a “one in a billion” chance that we’re not living in a computer simulation right now and I find it to be a perfectly rational explanation through Bostrom’s argument.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wish I read more books. Almost all of my problems have been solved by other people and 9 times out of 10 at least one of those individuals has written a book on ways to solve the problems that I’m facing.
How do you unwind?
I usually go for a jog in the wilderness where there are lots of trees and flowers and I make it my goal to focus on the journey and not the destination. A morning or night jog with my headphones on will instantly relax me.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Our co-founder recently visited a friend in Chiang Mai, Thailand and found it extremely relaxing. It’s a much slower pace of life compared to Shanghai, full of welcoming locals, young expats and older retirees. There’s abundant, delicious food and tons of great outdoor activities in the surrounding mountains and jungle. He also found the ancient and restored temples throughout the old city and surrounding areas to be a great place to find your center. In Thailand a lot of people prefer the beaches, but Chiang Mai is definitely a great choice for relaxation. Plus, there are direct flights from Shanghai.
Everyone in business should read this book:
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Shameless plug for your business:
DIVVII connects entrepreneurs with mentors to help their startups grow and succeed. Our mentors are all successful founders with experience starting and growing businesses and many have mentored for top accelerators. We take time to cultivate the trust and respect of our mentors and get to know each entrepreneur before making an introduction. Let us introduce you to someone awesome — hop on a free strategy call with us today to get started (www.divvii.com). You’ll also get the exclusive DIVVII Guide for how to leverage startup mentors to grow your business.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>