Cover Tan She Yong is a Gen.T 2021 honouree (Photo: Imran Sulaiman)

The entrepreneur aims to transform the idea of running as a solo activity into a team sport via an app

Tan She Yong rediscovered the pleasure of running after he was encouraged by a college friend to train together to run a marathon. Though they parted ways after graduating, the experience stayed with him and it made him realise that running, as a sport, was better performed in a group.

Longing to reconnect with others with similar interests, he reached out to other running enthusiasts with a vision in mind: to make running a fun group activity where people can support each other no matter where they are in the world. Inspired to make his vision a reality, he quit his job as an engineer to start BiiB in 2017 and created a mobile app that brings people together and run as a team.

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We speak to Tan about the challenges running has faced, where he envisions the app, and what he’s most inspired by.

An important lesson I learned is that branding and positioning is critical. We needed to commit and focus on the direction we want to go as a company. Being involved in building communities, we hear lots of voices who all want different things. The trick is not to be swayed by the opinion of others, otherwise, we won’t be fair to everyone.

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The pandemic has changed the way we organise events. Now, people don’t need to be physically together to share the same excitement and emotion of a run thanks to our app. For example, you could belong to a team based in Kuching, but you can still cheer for them while you are in Kuala Lumpur. Because it is challenging to travel and gather to play sports or conduct team building activities, we believe that this trend will continue even after the pandemic.

I believe sports, especially running or walking, can help improve social cohesion and wellness among different communities. We have engaged with corporate partnerships including companies in the banking industry. Not only can we bring employees of different banks together but by doing so we can encourage friendly competition while promoting teamwork at the workplace.

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My advice for budding entrepreneurs is to go for it. If you have an idea you want to bring to life, calculate the risk even if you can’t prepare 100 per cent. By doing so, you’ll gain experience.

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