Peng T. Ong
For his breadth of influence in the fields of systems engineering and software development and for his investment and leadership in the Southeast Asia tech industry.
Peng T. Ong describes himself as a “geek-entrepreneur.” He is a coder, a founder, an advisor, and most recently, a venture capitalist. After receiving his master’s from Illinois, Ong worked in engineering and management roles at Illustra, Sybase, and Gensym before co-founding and serving as Chief Architect of Electric Classifieds, which launched Match.com. Match.com became the leading online dating service.
After Match.com, he founded Interwoven, the leading provider of content infrastructure and one of the originators of the concept of content management systems. Interwoven was the standard for worldwide companies, such as General Electric, General Motors, Federal Express, and Cisco Systems. Interwoven was successful because it did not force companies to change the structure of their information.
Ong believed information had a natural structure and the storage system should reflect that structure. He began the company with a simple premise: when a lot of people work on a lot of parts, all of which need to come together to form one product, and the group needs a system. This applies whether the item being built is a car, computer chips, or software. Interwoven made software to control the development, management, and deployment of business-critical content. The company went public on NASDAQ and grew to a $10 billion market cap before it was eventually acquired by Hewlett Packard.
After Interwoven, Ong founded Encentuate, the developer of identity and access management software. Encentuate was acquired by IBM in 2008. Today, the businesses Ong has created generate annual revenues of over $1 billion in total.
Ong is an enthusiastic venture capitalist. Most recently, he partnered at a leading venture capitalist firm in China, GSR Ventures. He served as the chair of Infocomm Investments and chairman of Jungle Ventures. He has sat on the boards of Singapore’s National Research Foundation, Singapore’s Media Development Authority, SingTel, and the University of Illinois Chancellor’s Strategic Advisory Board.
As a native of Singapore, he is passionate about growing the Southeast Asia tech industry into a climate similar to Silicon Valley.
Ong is a managing partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures, a tech venture fund focused on post-seed stage companies in Southeast Asia. He shares his valuable insights with young entrepreneurs through mentorship. He is known by his friends and colleagues as a very inspiring person who is full of wisdom, and encouragement, and always sees the best in people.
- MS, 1988, Computer Science