We have Keith Tan, Founder and CEO of Crown Digital on Tech Tools to share the tools that make his life easier. In this section, we share how some of the amazing entrepreneurs, business leaders and trailblazers manage their work and day with the help of the many technology tools out there.

Keith, formerly in wealth management, left his job at 35 to start Crown Coffee in 2016. Despite his passion for coffee and customers, he faced challenges like a shortage of skilled labour, high rent, and quality consistency issues. To address these, Keith explored integrating science and technology into coffee making.

The idea for a robotic barista emerged when Keith observed a robot arm serving croissants at a corporate innovation centre. This inspired him to create his own robotic barista, and he learned robotics from scratch. In 2018, he formed Crown Digital and hired software developers to handle operations in-house. The company’s goal is to provide autonomous, unmanned retail solutions to address labour issues and optimize F&B operations.

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Crown Digital, an IoT startup, was founded in 2018 by Keith Tan, a former wealth manager and coffee enthusiast. It gained international recognition, featuring in NRF2020 in the USA and GITEX 2020 in the Middle East. In December 2020, Crown Digital secured a significant cross-border investment from East Japan Railway Company (JRE).

Their flagship product, Ella, is a robotic barista designed to brew high-quality coffee 24/7, serving up to 200 cups per hour. Ella combines robotics, AI, IoT, and data analytics to offer an intuitive user experience. Customers can order and pay through the Ella app, ensuring consistently good coffee with hand-roasted beans. Crown Digital has introduced Ella in Singapore and Japan, with plans to expand to North America, GCC, and Europe.

In July 2023, Ella launched at Changi Airport Terminals 2 and 3, providing passengers and airport staff with high-quality coffee throughout the day.

Keith Tan, Founder and CEO of Crown Digital
Keith Tan, Founder and CEO of Crown Digital

Using Intel hardware for Ella (Paid)

Intel plays a critical role in powering Ella, The Robot Barista through its cutting-edge semiconductor technology. Ella, with an advanced AI-driven system, relies on Intel’s high-performance processors, such as Intel Core CPUs processors, to handle the complex computational tasks required for AI processing that delivers Ella precision brewed coffee.

These processors provide the necessary computing power and efficiency to accelerate multiple drink order management, enabling freshly brewed coffee from Ella and into the hands of our customers fast.
In addition, Ella is able to generate highly accurate data analysis and provide telemetry insights to Customer Service and Operations Teams to ensure a consistent taste and experience for all our customers.

In essence, Intel’s technology helps Ella deliver exceptional AI capabilities and responsiveness, ultimately benefiting our customers.

Asana to manage tasks (Free)

I use Asana as a task management and project management tool that helps everyone to know the company goals they’re working towards, what needs to be done to achieve them, and how work is tracking against them.

Managing your business with Google Software Ecosystem (Paid/Free)

Google’s suite of software tools is an excellent way to streamline communication and collaboration with my team, investors and prospective investors. It not only facilitates communication but also boosts productivity, collaboration, and data management.

Google Calendar is a go-to tool of mine for managing my daily schedule. I’m usually involved in multiple meetings throughout my work day, managing and checking in on Crown Digital’s different departments and stakeholders. Hence, I use it to plan meetings, set reminders, and share my availability with my team to keep my day organised.

Google Sheets is also a tool I use daily. This helps my team and I to track key performance metrics, collaborate with our finance team on budgeting and forecasting and many more in real-time with live updates.

Stay connected with LinkedIn (Paid and free)

LinkedIn helps me stay connected with industry players and get in touch with potential investors. I will scroll through my LinkedIn feed to stay updated on industry trends, and news shared by thought leaders. This keeps me informed about the latest developments in the tech sector and allows me to engage with relevant content.

Additionally, we maintain an active company page on LinkedIn, showcasing our latest launches of Ella, Singapore’s first fully automated AI-powered barista, company culture and achievements.

Grammarly to improve writing (Paid and free)

As a contributor to e27, I value Grammarly’s writing suggestions and grammar checks. Whether I’m drafting email replies, articles, or company updates, Grammarly’s real-time editing and suggestions maintain a consistent and professional tone to make sure I don’t make any careless typos.