Lost and Founded Series – Danny Tan

Meet Danny Tan, serial entrepreneur who’s turned his darkest moments with the failure of his first start-up into strength with HipVan.


Some believe failure makes one a better entrepreneur. Danny Tan, CEO of HipVan, agrees and has turned his darkest moments with his first startup (Found) into strength with HipVan. His goal for HipVan? To drive it all around the world, with honey and lemon water in hand.

People say you are "Danny Tan, CEO of HipVan". Who do you say you are?

Just a normal guy, maybe with a slightly bigger dream.

Best moment in your startup life. It was so good you wanted to fly BusinessClass somewhere with someone, and pop open the most expensive bottle of champagne there.

I think when you get to work on something you really believe in and help people create an inspiring home, every day is pretty amazing. :) 

What secret did you hide from your co-founder or partner or parent for the longest time? Why?

I'm fortunate enough to have a pretty open relationship with my co-founders and parents, so I can't really think of anything off the top of my head.

What's the most eccentric thing about you? If VCs found out, they wouldn't have signed the term sheet then. But hell with that now.

That I'm actually pretty serious about growing HipVan into a global company? Haha. 

Have you ever cried? Or what was the lowest, crappiest moment in your start-up life. You wanted to give up everything. You wanted to kill someone. (During your startup career of course) Tell us more!

When I made the decision to shut down my first company (Found), that was pretty hard to take. But I think the best entrepreneurs learn from their darkest moments and turn it into strength. Hopefully that's what I've been able to achieve with HipVan. 

What are you up to today? What gets you up in the morning?

Today I'm working with our buying team to prepare for our year-end sales. We have lots of great products coming onto HipVan for this festive period so we're super excited about this!

How do you keep yourself physically and mentally fit for start-up life?

I try to swim at least once or twice a week and that actually helps me accomplish both!

Offer a life hack (or two) to a young founder.

Honey and lemon water.

Movie or song that best describes you.

Young Folks by Peter, Bjorn & John (I guess I just like that song?)

Favourite quote.

Happiness is the road...

Who and what inspires you?

Probably Steve Jobs but not because of what he created but more of what he sacrificed.

Tell me about Danny in 2030.

Hopefully driving HipVan all around the world.

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