nEbO Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium 2017
In June 2017, TMC Academy EXCO members participated in Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium 2017 (YES 2017). YES 2017 was organized by nEbO, a youth community formed under the umbrella of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and was aimed at youths between the ages of 17 to 24, who aspire to be Entrepreneurs or see Entrepreneurship as one of their potential career routes.
Despite having no prior experience, our students took on the challenge to compete with 80 other teams from various countries and backgrounds. In these four days, they have actively participated in workshops, conferences, and one-to-one discussions with successful local entrepreneurs in order to equip themselves with the fundamental skills, insights, and knowledge needed to kick-start their business idea – Help Queue (HQ).
With HQ (Help Queue), Queuing is a JOY
Help Queue is a service targeted at busy individuals, who hire “taskers” to complete purchases on their behalf. The idea of Help Queue stemmed from a need created by Singapore’s fast-paced environment; the multitude of responsibilities that Singaporeans face resulted in a dearth of time for everyone. Our students shaped their business idea around “time frugality”.
This idea was presented and well-liked by the judges because it acknowledged a current issue faced by many; there would be a foreseeable demand for such a service in the market.
Although the team did not make it to the final, they have learnt and developed the ability to think like an Entrepreneur. Ultimately, the most valuable part of this programme is not winning, but rather the opportunity given to them to think and a platform on which to pitch their idea. Furthermore, there is inestimable value in the precious friendships forged with facilitators, and other participants.
Student, Natalie Teh accounts her 4-day experience
There were over 80 teams who participated. I got to know some of the participants and learned that they had chosen to join the program because they wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship, and wanted it to be their path in life. Seeing this number of people who knew what they wanted to do – and how they were going to do it – surprised and intimidated me, but at the same time motivated me to continue. I aspired to be like them.
There were many interesting and great speakers who helped me understand entrepreneurship more, and it helped me learn a lot of tips, tricks, and ideas on how entrepreneurs work.
There were more amazing lectures by speakers who incorporated comedy into their presentations, making the atmosphere livelier and holding everyone’s attention in the lecture hall. On this day, we were given a variety of mentors to choose from – depending on the category our idea entered – to help us with presenting our ideas in the competition. The mentors were extremely helpful and friendly; they truly helped us improve our ideas and clarify our visions.
This was the last day of the program – and the most memorable as well, as it was the day where we pitched the ideas that we had been preparing over the past couple of days to a room full of people and judges. It was interesting to watch others pitch ideas that seemed like they could become realities. Most of these ideas would be very beneficial to society, and could solve some of the problems we face today. The judges were very friendly as well, and provided great feedback.
The finals were also very interesting – it was exciting to find out what the best ideas were that managed to get into finals, and then watch teams pitch their way to success in front of all of the participants, and judges from big companies like Business China and NTUC.
At the very end of it all, we had a networking dinner which made it seem like all the hard work paid off; we were rewarded with great food and talked with brilliant people of all ages, who were funny, intelligent, and had the same dreams and similar interests. We took pictures and exchanged contacts with our group mates, as well as the facilitator who had made us feel comfortable, and helped with the obstacles that we faced.
If there can only be one thing that I take back from this experience, it would that the great people whom I was so luckily grouped with made this experience truly memorable.
About TMC Academy and nEbO’s partnership
TMC Academy has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with nEbO to allow our students to benefit from its privileges and participate in events organised by nEbO. If you are a nEbO member, good news! You stand to receive study grants up to $1,000 and scholarships that covers up to 50% of course fees when you sign up for a programme at TMC Academy. For more information, click here.
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