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Entrepreneur interview: Max Scheichenost on setting up his own business in Singapore

Max-F. Scheichenost
: 27
Position: Co-Founder and President of DocDoc Pte Ltd
Nationality: Austrian

Austrian Max owns his own company at 27 

I grew up in Austria and studied in Vienna and Montreal. I started my professional career when I was 13 years old working (for free) for an internet agency after school and on weekends. Even at this early stage, I was able to see the potential of the internet and how it transforms our behaviour and the lives of millions.

Early in my career I had the good fortune to meet several successful entrepreneurs who taught me how to shape the environment you are working and living in. I became intrigued by psychogeography – how the environment you live in shapes the way you think and feel. Where we work and reside impacts our subconscious awareness. 

Running a start-up in Singapore’s balmy, upscale and progressive environment makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. Being an entrepreneur is not really a job for me – it’s a lifestyle I choose to live. I love the daily challenge, uncertainty and learning curve. 

My previous company in Austria, DailyDeal, was acquired by Google. The company experienced tremendous growth throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland by enabling consumers to find local deals on their favourite restaurants, travel destinations, entertainment venues and retail outlets. We got an offer to be acquired by Google and jumped at it. 

I decided to establish a healthcare and medical appointment booking portal in Asia after selling DailyDeal. I was looking for my next business venture. I had wanted to travel and live in Asia for some time and this seemed like the 

perfect opportunity to move out of Europe. 

I met some talented healthcare and internet professionals in Singapore. We noticed that doctors were spending thousands of dollars a month on 

advertising, but it was unstructured and inefficient. There was an opportunity to make a difference. We wanted to provide a structured, efficient and effective marketing platform for doctors at a fraction of the cost and, at the same time, a free, convenient time-saving platform for patients. 

I’ve been inspired by many internet entrepreneurs, but I also seek inspiration from art. I love watching the way painters, sculptors, glassmakers and photographers work. I always feel there is so much to learn from other artists. To be truly inspired, I trust my creative instincts. 

Finding the right talent to bring on board the team is one of the most difficult things to do well in a start-up. Employees are ambassadors for your company, and can be your most important asset. Creating the right work environment encourages the best performance, which ultimately endears customers to your company. Happy, motivated employees are the key link between your customers and your company – so spend time and effort assembling the right team.

I’ve learned two big lessons on my journey. They are that you can solve most problems if you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone and try, and that having the support of your family and friends is priceless. My family sometimes worries that my private life is underrepresented, but an entrepreneur’s private life is part of his business and open for the world to see.

I get all types of reactions when I introduce myself as the co-founder of a tech start-up in Singapore. They range from not understanding what I do on a daily basis to a general admiration for the altruistic healthcare goals of our company.

What’s not to love about living and working in Singapore? Sometimes I will work until early in the morning and still have the feeling that I can embark on 20 more ventures over the next decade. Singapore is a Disneyland for entrepreneurs in the internet/tech industry.

I like to listen to classical music. I also read books about visionary people, view contemporary art and participate in sports. See, I do have downtime!