Venture Creation in Asia: Transforming Mental Health Care with AI


Venture Creation in Asia: Transforming Mental Health Care with AI
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In this Venture Creation in Asia Fireside Chat, we bring together Founders | Entrepreneurs and Investors | Angels | Mentors | Venture Builders in a moderated fireside chat to share stories of venture building - highlighting the fact that venture building is a sustained and team-based effort.

In this fireside chat, Yen-Lu Chow, AIM’s founding executive chairman, will moderate the session with the founders of Zoala, a pioneering startup creating an AI-based mental wellness app for adolescents to understand the everyday concerns of adolescent life and offer practical advice, support, and guidance that can help improve their mental health.

About Zoala

Zoala is an innovative AI-based mental wellness app designed for adolescents. Utilising advanced technology, Zoala is trained to comprehend the everyday challenges faced by young individuals and provides practical advice, support, and guidance to enhance their mental well-being. Collaborating closely with healthcare and education advisors, as well as other strategic partners, the company endeavours to establish a comprehensive mental wellness support system. This system aims to bolster mental health literacy within schools, our broader community, and among adolescents, ultimately fostering a healthier and more resilient generation.


Jeff Lee

Founder & CEO, Zoala

Jeff Lee is a seasoned problem solver in the IT&T industry with over two decades of experience, cultivating a career enriched by diverse experiences across multiple countries. Armed with a Bachelor's degree in Computing, he commenced his journey as an application developer, swiftly advancing to pivotal roles in addressing industry challenges. Starting in Malaysia, he honed his problem-solving skills before extending his influence to Hong Kong and Australia.

Jeff's entrepreneurial journey has been characterised by a range of experiences. His successful ventures in Australia and Malaysia served as catalysts for his passion and support for his current venture, Zoala. Zoala embodies his unwavering commitment to leveraging technology for societal betterment, particularly focusing on adolescent mental wellness. Jeff's multifaceted experience, combined with his academic achievements, serves as an ongoing source of inspiration to those around him.

Jeff holds an Executive MBA from NUS Business School and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology. As he navigates the dynamic landscape in Singapore, his extensive industry experience continues to fuel his pursuit of innovative solutions.


Rahul Vijayan

Co-founder & CPO, Zoala

Rahul is an accomplished technologist and entrepreneur with an extensive track record spanning more than twenty years in the tech industry. His professional journey commenced as a software developer and evolved through diverse roles, including architect and sales professional. At present, he leads the charge for a pioneering health tech startup. 

Driven by his passions, Rahul is dedicated to nurturing close-knit interest groups and communities. Whether it's technology meet-ups or activities like walking, cycling, and hiking, these groups serve as platforms for networking, social interaction, and collaborative achievements.

Combining his enthusiasm for technology and his commitment to children's welfare, Rahul co-founded Zoala alongside two other visionaries. This venture is rooted in a profound purpose—to empower the next generation. Rahul firmly believes that the present is a pivotal moment to help children realize their potential, not only academically but also by nurturing their social and emotional skills.


Sharmili Roy

Co-Founder & CTO, Zoala

Sharmili Roy is an accomplished technology leader with over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Zoala, she served as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Commerce at Microsoft APAC in Singapore. She has spearheaded initiatives to implement AI and OpenAI-powered data strategies across key sectors, including Manufacturing, Financial Services, Commerce, Telecommunications, and conglomerates. Collaborating closely with CIOs and CTOs, she develops agile and secure technology stacks, integrating innovative practices such as pair programming, SecDevOps, and microservices principles.

Sharmili's previous roles include Data Science Senior Lead at Tokopedia and Staff (AI) Engineer at Pencil Technologies, where she championed AI-first cultures and drove technological advancements in digital advertising. Her academic background encompasses groundbreaking research in AI-powered public health monitoring and oncology applications of computer vision. With prior experience in wireless engineering and analog circuit design, Sharmili's expertise spans diverse domains, contributing to her exceptional leadership and technological innovation.

Through her strategic vision and dedication to excellence, she continues to shape the technology landscape of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.


Yen-Lu Chow

Founding Executive Chairman WholeTree Foundation; Over-The-Rainbow; Asia Institute of Mentoring | Founding Partner Fatfish MediaLab | Executive Mentor YSI SEA | Founder of the Deep Human Movement

Yen-Lu’s career spans nearly 40 years in the tech, media, venture capital, and more recently social entrepreneurship and philanthropy. A former Apple Distinguished Technologist, he is a successful entrepreneur with multiple tech start-ups and an active angel investor, spending many years mentoring and advising entrepreneurs, young businesses and serving on government panels on innovation. He served as a director of Business Angel Network SEA, executive mentor and adjunct professor to NUS Enterprise, mentor to INSEAD, numerous panels on entrepreneurship and innovation internationally, including IDA / SPRING, A*STAR, NRF, GMIC, NUS StartUp@Singapore, NUS Social Venture Competition, NTU Idea Inc, Thailand National Business Plan Competition, CrowdSourcing Week, etc. 

In a fast-paced world where the only constant is change, he believes there is an urgent need for each of us to draw on our strengths and creative potential as human beings, to connect with our higher self and our deeper purpose to contribute towards humanity in a positive and impactful way. He enjoys building ecosystems and mobilizing the community to create positive social change. As an early pioneer in the application of AI, he also has a strong base in the tech space. With the launch of his family foundation and other social impact initiatives, Yen-Lu devotes his time serving both society and the nation in his various capacities.

He is on a life mission to help bring about a kinder, gentler, more inclusive, more just, and sustainable world.

About Asia Institute of Mentoring

Asia Institute of Mentoring (AIM) is a non-profit volunteer based organization with a mission to bring mentoring to the spotlight in Asia, raise the quality of mentors and the standard of mentoring, bringing mentoring to all facets of society to impact millions of lives. 

We are committed to create an Asia-based people-powered mentoring movement to move people … to learn, to share, to give forward, to transform, to harness the deep human potential, and create social impact – bringing about a kinder, gentler, more inclusive, just and sustainable world for all.

Join us as a member here.

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Date & Time

May 11, 2024

11:00 AM 12:00 PM Asia/Singapore

Asia Institute of Mentoring (AIM) Ltd

+65 9628 9766

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