My story.

My name is Elisha Ong. I grew up in Singapore and currently living and working in San Francisco.

Over the past few years, I found myself in an exchange of knowledge, skills and relationships formed across cities around the world.

It is my desire to integrate and bridge these different cultures, extending opportunities and access – one person, one community at a time.

burpple-open-web-asia

Growing up as a single child, I created games for my own, playing with my imaginary friends or simulating different roles in a multi-player game.

I believe that was the beginnings of the stretch of imagination over the next 20 years of my life – repeatedly building things out of nothing and forming relationships and communities that previously were non-existent.

From Designing Stadiums to Business School

When I was 15, I started translating these imaginations into computers and the internet through coding and designing stadiums for EA Sports FIFA games and running a soccer-gaming online community website.

Today, I'm an entrepreneur, a product strategist and designer who strongly believes in technology serving as a bridge between people, culture and innovation. My business background (yes, I went to NUS Business School) and a keen understanding of user experience has enabled me to play a bridging role between business and design, harnessing the best of both disciplines.

I thrive in a fast paced, highly iterative environment and enjoy working on blank canvases, at the same time juggling the fine balance between business goals and caring for the user's experience.

Zendesk, Greylock and Uber

The last couple of years I found myself in San Francisco where I had a great time developing empathy for customer relationships working with Zendesk's stellar creative team.

I was also invited to be part of Greylock communities where I got to meet and foster long term relationships and learning among some of the most exceptional people in Silicon Valley.

Currently, I've joined Uber on a mission to make transportation accessible and reliable – creating amazing experiences for regions across the world.

Co-founding a food discovery startup in Southeast Asia

Previously, I served as the co-founder and Head of Product and Design at Burpple, one of Southeast Asia’s leading food discovery service. I provided product and creative leadership and direction, playing a pivotal role in growing the startup from ideation to over two million photo reviews and four million people using Burpple to discover great places to eat today.

 The Burpple team with Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at its product launch event.

While putting on a somewhat uncomfortable hat, I also led a customer discovery initiative and tested tools with 200 business owners in Singapore. Business development and sales was a big leap for me. Burpple for Business provides business owners with tools to help them connect with the food community, reach potential customers and understand how their business is performing. I also helped raise private investments from international venture capitalists and notable angel investors. To date, Burpple has raised US$6.5 million. Under my leadership, Burpple was awarded the Top 10 Startups of Asia by Open Web Asia 2012.

Qik – Share life as it happens

Earlier in my first stint in Silicon Valley, I was the Lead Designer at Qik, a mobile video communications startup based in Redwood City, California. That was also the very same year I ever lived overseas away from my family.

I was given the unique opportunity to design the world's first video chat interface on a smartphone and also led key projects such as Video Chat on Android (launched with top mobile operators in US) and Qik on iPhone, both top selling apps on the Google Play Store and iTunes US App Store. During my time, Qik grew from 500,000 to 6 million users and in 2011 Qik was acquired by Skype (now Microsoft) for US$150 million.

In 2012, I was also featured by We Are Singapore as one of Singapore’s extraordinary changemakers. I have a passion for creating meaningful products and building teams that will change people’s lives for the better. View more on Linkedin.

 

What's your story? 

Now you've heard mine, I'd love to hear yours. Let's get in touch.