Accidental entrepreneur Felix Huang lets a little secret slip - he hates doing business.

The skateboard-riding founder of dance school Recognize Studios says: "There are good business people, but business is so open that anyone can do it, and I've met so many screwed-up businessmen in my life, doing things just for themselves and for a quick buck.

"The only reason why I'm in business is to support what I love to do and the communities I'm involved in."

Recognize Studios is also a social enterprise that serves as a platform for other business streams or ideas, including merchandising and producing events.

It organised urban art festival Radikal Forze Jam 2015, for instance, which ends today at Wavehouse Sentosa with dance and graffiti competitions and a beach party. The festival celebrates dance crew Radikal Forze's 17th anniversary. Mr Huang, 34, the de facto spokesman, has been with the team since he was 18.

The veteran B-boy, or breakdancer, says he thought about starting the studio in November 2009 and did exactly just that the following year.

"It was a calling. At that time, I had been breaking (breakdancing) for about 12 years? I thought the natural progression was to open a studio," he says. "After all, I love educating and inspiring kids - to live their dreams and do what they do, but also to put in the hard work."

The straight-shooting maverick practises what he preaches. He earned a computer science degree, majoring in information systems, from the University of Sydney, but never stopped pursuing dance. "When I went to Australia, the first thing I did after I put my luggage down was to go to a dance studio. Dance also kept me alive in Australia. After severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) hit, my father's business was affected very badly."

He remembers struggling as a student then, teaching dance and performing among other things, to stay afloat.

Recognize Studios is doing well, having pulled in some $1.4 million in revenue since 2010. Getting the studio up and running took 12 years of work and while it involved a lot of luck, it was made possible in part because Radikal Forze had his back, he said.

Along the way, he has also devoted his time to working with young people - wayward or otherwise - and is seeing them blossom - an intangible reward he treasures.

He says: "I don't just teach them how to be a dancer, but I also inject a lot of life philosophies in my teaching. That's why I said I don't care about financial profit. It will just come if you do things right and good. I'm not into making enormous amounts of money from financial plans, crazy investments or trading. I will invest everything I have into my passion and good cause for the community, and around it for the years to come."

Q: Are you a spender or saver?

More of a saver, I like to stretch my dollar as much as I can. I do that by reinvesting in my own stuff and things that I believe in and know I can control.

Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?

I spend about $5,000 a month on things like rent, insurance and good food. I'm very fortunate to have sponsorship for apparel, shoes and bags. I also travel between 12 and 16 times a year for work or leisure, mostly paid for.

Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself? I don't invest in things that just bring me financial profit. I invest my time and money in things that I love doing, which are mostly related to the urban arts and create businesses around it.

I also have a few investment plans with Manulife, the usual endowment and life plans. I'm not a high-risk investor, which is why I also invested in gold but the price sucks right now.

Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?

My dad was an IBMer (employee of tech and consulting giant IBM), a high flier but he decided to start his own business - a recording studio and distributor for digital audio equipment.

He acquired a lot of debt in running his business, which was why we had to move from a terraced house into a Housing Board flat in 2006. My dad chased his dreams because he loves music. I think I got that from him. I've learnt a lot from him and have a a lot of respect for him. I now understand how difficult it is to keep a business alive, which he did for more than 20 years, and he still pulled through for my education overseas.

He's not the type to spoil me. He bought me a guitar on my 18th birthday, the most he had spent on a present for me.

My mother has been in the fashion industry for more than 20 years, and is now a teacher in the Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre. My younger sister is working in Sony Music. My mum is a very integral part of keeping my community together. She's at every one of my events and meets with some of the kids I work with.

Q: How did you get interested in investing?

In February 2010, I saw the space at Orchard Central and said: "This place is nice. I want dancers to be able to come here and look out the windows on the fifth floor." I also wanted to open doors (for businesses, people), and it did. I had only $5,000 then. In four months, I somehow raised the cash and managed to raise enough to set it up. I was not always interested in business, the studio is my first. All I did before was teach breakdancing all around the world.

Q: What property do you own?

None. If I were to own a property, the first I would like to own is a physical space because I can use the space to grow the business.

Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?

This dance studio. I had to pay three months' down payment. That's not something I bought as I rented but, technically, for the amount of money I put in, it's extravagant. Q: What's your retirement plan?

I haven't decided yet, but I will continue to pursue the lifelong mastery in hip-hop culture and be involved one way or another. Hip-hop has crafted me to be the person I am.

Q: Home is now...

A rented, very old walk-up apartment in the Orchard area. I've lived there for two years now, but I do want to move back home as my parents are getting a little bit older.

Q: I drive... I used to. I live down the road from the studio, I can take a skateboard down. I've seven skateboards and a BMX.


Q: What is your worst investment to date?

A Honda CRX, when I was in the army. I was an ah beng racer boy. I spent too much money on it, and the certificate of entitlement was too high.

But you can't keep it, and have to keep paying. There's electronic road pricing... and the maintenance... and you can't even sell the car at a price you want.

I love motorsports but I gave that up. One of the ways which I managed to start my studio was to sell my car.

I spent about $15,000 on my engine, so I stripped it off, sold it part by part, and managed to get a decent amount of money.

Q: What is your best investment to date?

The youth, no doubt about it. I can't quantify it - how many kids I've helped.

In Singapore , we have an over-obsession with quantifying and qualifying things. There are some things that can't be bought, and these are what I have. I've influenced and mentored a lot of kids across the world. I don't necessarily know it immediately, it could be years after I've spent time with them. Every business that I'm going to craft will be for the youth anyway, and for people who aspire and are willing to dream.