Managing Director, INNOVATE 360
John Cheng is the founder and managing director of Innovate 360, Singapore’s first food accelerator with facilities. It helps more than 50 agri-food tech startups in areas of mentorship, venture funding, expertise, and access to markets since 2018. It is an accredited mentor partner supported by the Singapore government and recognized as a technical partner by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Policy Partnership on Food Security. In 2021, he launched foodculture.sg, an e-commerce platform that helps companies go digital, engage consumers, and go global. Prior to Innovate 360, he worked at his 74-year-old family business, transforming and modernizing the business for more than 12 years.
John is a key driver in the Singapore food innovation ecosystem. He is the co-founder and chairman of Feed 9 Billion, an open innovation ecosystem platform, that looks at promoting sustainability and innovation through collaboration to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Under his leadership, it launched the Good Food Startup Manual: Singapore edition to help food entrepreneurs in their startup journey and the alternative protein database. He is a member of the Ministry’s of Trade’s Pro-enterprise Panel (PEP) that helps companies overcome regulatory hurdles, as well as part of the Singapore Food Story (SFS) Thematic Scientific Evaluation Panel that helps scientists receive grants for their research. He also is an academic advisory committee member for Chemicals & Life Sciences at the Institute of Technical Education(ITE).
Outside of work, he is an active alumnus at his alma mater, the Singapore Management University(SMU). He is co-founder and president of the SMU Business Families Alumni Group. He was part of SMU “Imagine Better” project that raised funds to help students with financial needs in 2019 before joining the SMU Alumni Philanthropic Council, where he currently advises the school on raising funds. He has been a member of Club-100 @ North West Community Development Council since 2017 fostering the culture of community involvement and philanthropy. He holds position at the Singapore Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)’s Youth Business Affairs Committee Executive Committee and the Singapore Manufacturer Federation’s Youth Network Committee. In 2019, he was recognized as The Peak’s “Future Shaper” and Prestige Magazine’s 40 Under 40. He is on the 2020 Gen.T list by Tatler Magazine recognizing leaders of tomorrow who are shaping Asia’s future.
He is also nominee of the Straits Times Singapore of the Year for 2021.