James Tan is Managing Partner at Quest Ventures, a leading venture fund for technology companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities. Prior to this, James was co-founder and COO of 55tuan, a NASDAQ listed e-commerce group that grew to more than 200 cities and 5,000 employees across China.
As the first Singaporean and one of the rarefied few foreigners to found a public listed internet company in China, and for his investments in the next generation of entrepreneurs, James was recognised as an outstanding overseas Chinese by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China.
James currently serves as advisor, board member or trustee on public and private organisations such as Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Applied Innovation Institute, Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia, Beijing CYL Joint Committee on Entrepreneurship Development, Beijing Software Industry Association, National Research Foundation CGAP Fund, and Sports Excellence Business.
James has been guest speaker at China-focused and entrepreneurship events such as ITB Berlin, Private Equity Insights, Stanford-PARC Digital Cities, SWITCH, Tech in Asia, and World Islamic Economic Forum. He is an advisor or mentor at Chinaccelerator, Founder Institute, IBM SmartCamp, Startupbootcamp, and PSA unboXed. He has guest lectured at Fudan, HKUST, IE, NUS, Tsinghua, and UC Berkeley.
James is a graduate of the University of South Australia, and received scholarships from both Beijing and Singapore governments for his MBA from Tsinghua University in partnership with MIT. He studied and dropped out of computer science at NUS during the first dot-com era to work on two-sided markets.
For leisure, James enjoys photography and has been featured in ComputerWorld, Readers’ Digest, and commercially represented by Liaison Agency. He backpacks Asia and volunteers in marine conservation as a PADI scuba-diving and DAN dive-safety instructor.