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Young Guns That Rock the Tech Entrepreneur Scene

While others stuck to the traditional career path, these entrepreneurs started paving their own at 23

Meet
these three handpicked start-ups that are trailblazers of Singapore’s, tech and
Internet entrepreneurship scene. As a part of our entrepreneurship series, this
week we turn the spotlight on Entrepreneurs under 30. These budding successors
of the next generation, prove that there is no age too young to get started in
a business. As long as there is a strong drive and persistence to see things
through to the very end.

We
spoke to three rising entrepreneur stars under the age of 30, to get to know
more about the challenges that they have faced, in order to attain the success
they have to date. 

 

Sqkii

Co-Founder’s of Sqkii (from left to right) Kenny Choy, Eleazar Lim and Marcus Ng

Sqkii
is founded by Kenny Choy, 25 and Marcus Ng, 24 who have just graduated from Nanyang
Technological University (NTU) and Eleazar Lim, 26 from Singapore Management
University (SMU).

A
relatively young start-up founded in November 2012, by a trio who were still in
school when their idea for Sqkii was conceived. Sqkii is a mobile web
application that gives back to its consumers for discovering promotions. Now
what will really interest you is its unique preposition, Sqkii gives back in
the form of cold hard cash – Now this is brilliant isn’t it?

As
larger companies have the luxury of bigger budgets for advertising their wares,
but a smaller company would not. This is where Sqkii comes in, what it wants to
achieve is to create a fair advertising playing ground for all business no
matter how small or large they may be.

You
may be wondering how two former NTU students got to know another from SMU. It
is quite a funny story on how they managed to find Lim as their tech guru. Choy
and Ng asked their social circle for the best tech guru around and were given
two names from SMU.

They then “conducted a Facebook search, printed their faces and waited
for them at the lobby of SMU School of Information Systems (SMU SIS) – the
place where most IS students have to walk past every day,” says Choy. They sighted Lim
after some waiting, introduced themselves, shared their entrepreneurship idea
(after signing a non-disclosure agreement) and the rest is now history.

Although
geniuses in their own respective fields, the success of Sqkii was hardly
anything close to overnight. The trio faced, “rejections from merchants is a
common thing, played out by an accelerator, technical bottlenecks, rejected PIC
application, commitment and hiring issues,” says Choy.

Amidst
all the waves of obstacles, they managed to conquer each and every one of them.
Choy attributes this to the trio’s “habit of downplaying the seriousness of
each obstacle, so it becomes easier for us to get over with the emotional part
and quickly work on the issue.”

“In
essence, we kept trying,” says Choy.

 

Fashory

Co-Founders of Fashory (from left to right) Faith Teo, Rena Koh and Emmy Teo

Meet
Faith Teo, 26, Rena Koh, 28 and Emmy Teo, 29 who are the co-founders of Fashory. A one stop
mobile application named Fashory that allows its users to do just about
everything and anything when fashion is concerned.

Fashory
allows its users to discover or explore new trends, create their own fashion
story, shop for their favourite pieces and share the latest trends with your community
or friends. You could also maybe say that they are the saving grace of many
wardrobe disasters.

The
trio first met when Koh met Faith Teo and Emmy Teo when they were working on
another start-up. Since then, the trio has been working together in synchrony
and the rest is pretty much history.

Nothing
is ever easy when you are a start-up especially when you have no experience and
little validation in the industry. “We met a lot of
people that tend to discredit our capabilities due to our age, not to forget
that we are an all-girls team and look younger than our age,” says Koh.

When asked about their expansion plans, “We’ve received
overwhelming demands by our fashion designer partner to launch in China and we
will be launching a series of meetup and events focused on that,” says Koh.

 

SkolaFund

Co-Founders of SkolaFund (from left to right) Tengku Ahmad Syamil and Syakir Hashim

A
start-up with a cause. SkolaFund is a web-based platform that was just launched
earlier in April. They aim to give less privileged students an opportunity to
attain an education with CrowdFunded donations, bursaries, scholarships or even
loans.

This
is a social start-up founded by Syakir Hashim, 22 and Tengku Ahmad Syamil, 24, first met during their Junior College (JC) years. Both envisioned to be
entrepreneurs since the very start, who wanted to “change the world in ways
that are meaningful and a tech start-up has the potential to scale very big and
make a huge impact beyond the country we live in,” says Syakir.

The
idea to create SkolaFund come about as the founders noticed that many students
in university, were neck deep in school loans – To the point of not being able
to cover their basic necessities like food.

Unlike
most of the start-ups, Syakir’s parents were actually supportive of this
entrepreneurship. “My family has given me the freedom to explore and do
whatever I want, as long as it is something positive. So I receive no pushbacks
from them,” says Syakir.

However,
as with any start-up there are bound to be challenges to overcome. “Finding
talent and getting funding. It was really tough to get more technical guys to
join our development team and even if we could find one we could not afford to
pay their salary.”

Slowly
and just within a two months of their launch, they have now close to 1000
sponsors on their site and have raised more than RM$10 000 in funding for less
privileged students to stay in school. Thanks to the community of supporters
they have on Twitter and local Malaysian celebrities that helped gain attention
and supporters for SkolaFund.

 

 

By Geralyne Kaye Ong / July 1, 2015 11:20AM
GMT+8

 

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