From hobby to startup: Here is my story as co-founder of IKIGUIDE

Hello, this is Wan Wei, CEO and co-founder of IKIGUIDE Metaverse Collective (IMC). Singapore Management University invited me to write a post specifically about my startup journey, so I’m grateful that I can take the time to reflect and share my journey here!

I am also currently a visiting trainer at the Singapore Management University Academy and a lecturer at the Aventis Graduate School specializing in Web3 and Metaverse topics.

IMC ranks NYSE-listed Nutanix, Philips, Hitachi, DBS, and non-profit alliance ChangemakersXchange among its key clients and partners in its portfolio.

As one of the leading media, education and Web3 collectives in the Southeast Asia region, we work with corporations and governments to fill knowledge and resource gaps in the Asian metaverse industry so they can seamlessly integrate these solutions into their processes.

Our history

People are sometimes curious as to why we decided to start IKIGUIDE Metaverse Collective. IKIGUIDE has been registered as a business entity since 2014 when I was doing my Masters in Public Relations in Finland, all the way in Finland.

Of course, back then, IKIGUIDE focused on startup consulting and public relations. Eventually we turned to Metaverse and Web3 related consulting because we spotted a sweet spot that we could bridge in the Asian Metaverse spaces.

Also Read: Web3 Marketing: Building a Cult-Like Community

Today we are focused on providing specialized market intelligence and training to corporations and governments related to the Metaverse industry in Asia which includes China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. We also offer strategic consulting services that include focus groups, partnership selection, go-to-market strategies, and custom data analytics.

We are fully bootstrapped and incubated by Singapore Management University’s Business Innovations Generator (BIG) program. They are currently taking applications, so remember to apply!

What problem are we solving?

According to JP Morgan, the Metaverse industry will represent a $1 trillion industry by 2030. Goldman Sachs predicts that the Metaverse has “as many as $8 trillion opportunities on the revenue and monetization side.” Morgan Stanley sees an $8 trillion metaverse market in China alone.

Extensive research shows that the global metaverse market will grow from $61.8 billion in 2022 to $426.9 billion in 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 47.2 percent. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region for the Metaverse market over the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate of 49.6 percent.

However, it is important to note that the Metaverse discourse is currently very Western-centric. Many of us have heard of western big tech companies like Microsoft, which made the $69 billion Activision Blizzard, Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, and then Horizon Worlds or Roblox and Fortnight.

But why haven’t we heard about the collaboration of China’s Xirang (of Baidu) or South Korea’s Zepeto with K-pop girl group BLACKPINK that led to a global social media frenzy? They are huge! And aren’t the vast demographics of Asia Pacific already heavily engaged in esports/gaming worlds, the very people who will spearhead the mass adoption of other metaverses?

The main reason for the relative lack of information and discourse is that the Asian region is still highly fragmented due to language, regulatory and cultural barriers. However, this is also a huge opportunity, so we wanted to make IKIGUIDE the premier metaverse collective for the region. The three pillars that make up our collective are:

educational media consulting

Why a collective?

What we enjoy most is our “collective” IKIGUIDE metaverse community, fueled by the willingness of our progressive and knowledgeable community members to support one another. It also follows the Web3 ethos.

Our collective is still in its infancy and we want to build it up with and for over a hundred dedicated companies and excellent founders in Asia. Consider this collective supported by many of the Asia Metaverse industry’s top founders and thought leaders who are all net contributors to our ecosystem.

Essentially, we’re working hard to create open access to knowledge and resources that each of us wished we had when we started our Web3/Metaverse journey.

A collective is essential in a Web3 space as we are fundamentally all about collaboration, relationships and experiences, which differs from a typical closed Web2 organization. We are closer to running a movement via a corporation where we work hard to curate members in our collective to ensure members are community and contributory.

Also Read: Beyond Hype: 3 Reasons NFTs Will Stay Here

However, this does not mean that the company is not profit-oriented. However, it means that the entity is the opposite of transactional. True to the Japanese spirit of Omotenashi (表裏なし), we care deeply about the experience of each contributor and customer in our collective and are passionate about serving as a networker in the ecosystem.

So, a collective means we all benefit, serve each other wholeheartedly, and win together through Web3 tools like NFTs. Through our ethos and design, the IKIGUIDE ecosystem is diverse, equitable and inclusive, and our core values ​​are openness, growth thinking and a sense of having fun together. Additionally, community leaders must have a passion for their respective local communities, and so we are scaling and beginning to decentralize.

It is also important to clarify that our collective is not a cult. The main difference is that we encourage independent thinking and robust discussions within our IKIGUIDE collective, with succession and decentralization actively planned in the design. A cult demands obedience to a single leader.

1 + 1 > 2 collectively, because we use quality information and network, because together we are much stronger.

What do we do now?

We are currently recruiting Web3 and Metaverse Evangelists to build our IKIGUIDE Metaverse media arm in the classic Omotenashi style. So if you know suitable candidates, please send them to us!

Personally, I’m really looking forward to our future. If you would like to be a part of our movement, please join our LinkedIn group Metaverse in Asia and our group Metaverse: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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Photo credit: IKIGUIDE Metaverse Collective

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