Most students worry about grades and finding employment after graduating, but other issues also can dampen the university experience. Some savvy student startup companies have come to the rescue with solutions to many of the problems faced by their peers.
With so much uncertainty about their future after attending university, particularly in recent times, there is a rise in the number of student entrepreneurs Singapore is producing. Many are very ambitious and are building their own companies to gain experience and potentially pave their own path for after graduation.
Some of the companies founded by the youthful entrepreneurs are a startup helping students find tutors, support on an LGBT+ community platform, the perfect backpack for college life and travel and something most graduates want—a meaningful career.
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We take a closer look at five such startups.
One issue many students have is finding accessible tutoring. Cudy successfully addresses this issue by improving the process of finding a tutor, coach or counsellor. In light of the pandemic, edtech has become essential, and Cudy has evolved its platform to meet the ever-changing needs of its users. It now also provides an easy, flowing platform for teachers and students to have online classes, allowing education to continue during lockdowns and social distancing.
The platform also allows educators to freelance their teaching skills and provide quality education to more than one student using the learning management system’s (LMS) online classrooms. Another asset they offer is access to learning materials, educational software and a supportive community.
Prout is a platform developed by three LGBTQ+ Singaporeans, Kyle Malinda-White, Cally Cheung and Wakka Kong, to provide a safer space for the community. The app, which also hosts a list of support services, resources and events, evolved when the trio started thinking of ways to help their community while they were students at university.
They realised that it would take funding to get it off the ground and to be successful, so they raised $12,500 USD in 2017 to develop their app. These three enterprising students used their own experiences of working on LGBTQ+ projects to create this helpful, supportive app. The platform has helped provide a safe place for their community to meet, network and grow while having each other’s backs.
Sometimes students need mentors to give guidance and advice as they embark on their journey through college. Going to university can feel like a lonely road for some. Digital Senior sought to solve this loneliness and the challenges of navigating the new world of third-level education.
It serves as a platform giving mentorship to new students and is on a mission to foster a happy environment, eliminating stress, creating unity and providing an encouraging university experience for all.
Digital Senior has been in operation since 2013 and has proven to be an excellent tool for Singapore’s students. It has a very active Facebook group, and the social media page displays highly relatable posts. Those currently attending university can feel at ease knowing that this support system was created by students for students and was set up so that valuable insights, questions, and concerns can be shared with their peers.
One student’s quest to find the perfect backpack led to the beginnings of a new eCommerce business. Mandy Chan was in Junior College when she came up with the idea for her first product, a backpack called Quiver and took a year out to follow her vision through R&D and into production.
She co-founded the company Bow, which later became Bold and now carries a range of products for students, travellers and people on the move. The Quiver backpack is still a staple and its clever design, which separates laptops and gadgets from clothing such as possibly damp gym clothes and muddy shoes, makes it the perfect bag for busy students.
When four students on internships had dinner while studying in Shanghai, they realised that, despite their very different potential career paths, they had one thing in common—they were struggling to find work that fitted their personalities, hopes and passions.
The conversation resulted in the group developing an AI platform, MatcHub, that considers the person behind the degree and matches them with internships or employment prospects more suited to their wants and needs. Potential employers can use the platform to find students who are a better fit for their companies. With the help of the personality tests, job seekers can discover the jobs they are most suited to, taking the guesswork and stress out of finding work.
The student entrepreneurs Singapore is producing are making their mark in their country. The many thriving student startup companies are making education, community inclusiveness and relationships better for everyone. As more young entrepreneurs see the impact a startup helping students can have on their peers, community, careers and the economy, more are likely to follow in their footsteps.