HR & EDUCATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Find out how 3 young men at 20s founded a startup

At 21, they built a job portal to help young people find their jobs.

To equip young people with the necessary real world skills, Oswald Yeo, Looi Qin En and Seah Ying Cong, found a way to setup a startup named Glints. The three are the youngest entrepreneurs in Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) program.

Glints targets the young people to acquire directly relevant career skills and experience through internships, part-time jobs and real projects, while simultaneously easing the hiring process for employers of young people.

“Glints is focused on helping employers to hire young people for internships and graduate jobs. At the same time, we also developing a system with professional copywriters to help every company on our portal craft their job description in unique and interesting ways to attract young talents, helping them to do employer branding effectively,” said Glints co-founder, Oswald.

Glints which started as an internship agency has moved on to develop the portal after they have validated the demand for what they were offering.

“The problem we are solving is that of many young people not being equipped with real world skills for their career when they graduate. Particularly in Asia, employers have commented that many of their young hires have trouble closing the gap between academia to employment. Our larger vision is to equip young people with the necessary real world skills through internships and more on our platform,” said Oswald.

As he traces back their footsteps, Oswald said that ‘serendipitously’ they got acquainted to a local community of entrepreneurs and began running a startup-intern matching program for their companies. With an ‘extremely’ small budget for online advertising they recruited youths for these internships, only to receive overwhelming response.

“We had not only local youths but also youths all the way from USA, UK ,Germany, and even Czech Republic were keen to be involved in the business environment of Singapore and Asia. Almost every company we met has also always wanted an intern, but found it difficult to find one,” Oswald added.

According to Oswald, Glints has $50,000 from private angel investors and $25,000 from Joyful Frog Digital Incubator. And as the 100 days JFDI program comes to an end, they will be raising their next round of funding from venture capitalists to grow their team and accelerate the growth of the portal.

The founders

At 21, Oswald, Ying Cong and Qin En are fresh out of High School and Army. They are supposed to head to the states to study at Stanford, University of California Berkeley, and Wharton Business School. However, according to Oswald, running a startup has taught them a lot of real world skills that they would never learn from schools. And recognizing that there's lots for them to learn, they also decided to be part of IDA-supported Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) for the mentorship they provide. Oswald said that they are the youngest entrepreneurs accepted into the program so far.

According to him, he and Ying Cong have also co-authored and published a book titled "Singapore Startup Guide" with renowned entrepreneur Derek Sivers. While, Qin En has published 13 Research papers in behavioral science with A*, and that is their second startup together.

Oswald also shared what Hugh Mason, CEO of Joyful Frog Digital Incubator has to say about them, "Glints stood out from the many young teams that applied to us because, frankly, they were so damn cheeky. Not in an arsey way but we sensed immediately that they have that fundamental naughtiness and healthy disrespect for rules that marks out some of the very best entrepreneurs. We liked that they nearly got jailed for running a business while doing their National Service!"  


Company Profile

Name of the Company: Glints
Founders: Oswald Yeo, Looi Qin En and Seah Ying Cong
Website: http://glints.com/
Total Funding at hand: $50,000 from private angel investors and $25,000 from Joyful Frog Digital Incubator
Source of Funding: Private Angel Investor and Joyful Frog Digital Incubator
Start of Operation: Jan 2014

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