SingaporeConnect was started around mid 2005 as the Singaporean Expatriates of Americas Bay Area (SEA Bay Area). Rather interestingly, at that time, SEA used LinkedIn as the group site/portal. LinkedIn was not just striving to be a professional social networking site but also a place for groups to link their members together. Shortly after, Ning was used for the forum/portal site. Both sites were not used much more for a few months, and Facebook started taking prominence from 2009 onwards.
Quite quickly following the original kickoff outing (a movie night with food) and sinful curry potlucks, the name gelled into
the shorter, SingaporeConnect, on 16 August 2006. SingaporeConnect is also known as SGConnect, and SGC.
The original goal of SGC stated to be to:
SingaporeConnect is newly formed to help Singaporeans and Friends in the Bay Area to more easily connect with one another; online or otherwise. It aims to be a community of overseas Singaporeans and friends of Singapore in North America by:
building a professional and social network of Singaporeans and friends
promoting a Singaporean community and culture
being a channel for creating awareness of social issues
providing resource for newly arrived Singaporeans as well as returning Singaporeans
being a focal point for interest groups in Singapore and other groups in USA
maintaining ties with Singapore
We continue to organize networking activities to foster professional and social ties amongst our members. Complementing our local networking activities, SingaporeConnect's online community enables members to connect with other members, meet new and old friends, share photos and recipes, organize events, post jobs, buy and sell personal items, and much more!
The activities continued with some notable highlights including:
Halloween party in 2006 feature adults acting younger than they should be.
Chinese New Year in 2007 with ACCLAIMED SINGAPOREAN AND ASIAN DESIGNERS - Nora Haron & Cai Spring Fashion Show and Talent Show by Asian/Asian American students/student groups in Bay Area with Miss Asian America 2006/2007, Queen Jennifer Field on the Judging Panel.
Let's Cook in 2007 to learn an easy step-by-step method of baking Chinese New Year goodies.
National Day Carnival and Food Fair in 2007 with games, music, and barang barang, numerous popular Singaporean and Asian restaurants offering Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Roti Prata, and more.
Ski trip, Go-Kart raicing, Chocolate Tasting, Curry and Chilli Crab potlucks and horse-backing riding (no, not on the same day) in 2009.
ASEAN Games Day in 2009 with soccer, volley-ball, tug-of-war, even a three-legged-race.
Mediacorp-filmed cooking show and dinner out, and a follow-up cooking class, feature our own celebrity chefs, in 2009.
A Car Rally around the Bay Area in 2009.
Inviting Singapore-based entrepreneurs to speak on their experience at the Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion in 2011.
Rallying under the full moon at the Mooncake and Lantern potluck in 2011.
Inviting NUSEA students to pitch their startup ideas to a group of entrepreneurs in 2012.
2008 and 2010 were relatively "lighter" years for events, with standby's like Lunar New Year and a picnic at Shoreline Park in Mountain View. The 2010 to 2012 New Year's were particularly well received, with 2012's being held in conjunction with the Indonesian Professionals Association (IPA) and the MIT Club of Northern California (MITCNC), while earlier events have been held with the Singapore America Business Association (SABA) as well.
Along the way, SingaporeConnect pioneered a well-received Host/Student Program together with Singaporean students in Stanford, UC Berkeley, San Jose State, and De Anza College. The goal was to provide a flexible voluntary outreach to incoming students which is mutually enriching for both hosts and students. As the original flyer stated, "As these students are young and energetic, and fearlessly embarking on a new cultural and living experience, they bring a new and different perspective which is often refreshing and even enlightening." The outreach mostly worked out between 2007 and 2009.
Among the energetic included the NUS students participating in the work/study programme at the NUS Overseas College (NOC). They form an association, NUSEA (National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Association) which has co-organised several events with SingaporeConnect.
SingaporeConnect's membership base, as defined by subscriptions to the mailing list and members on the Facebook group, is above 300.
Our members reside in roughly a 60:25:15 mix between South Bay:San Francisco:East Bay. So Redwood City or thereabouts is a good central location for events, though we've had good turnout for events in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and even San Ramon.