Highs & lows of entrepreneurship and parenting
- Many of us know Looi Qin En as the the highly successful entrepreneur that he is. He co-founded 500-backed tech recruitment platform Glints at a young age. As its COO, he grew its user base from zero to 500,000 job seekers. And he became one of the youngest to be funded by venture capitalists in Southeast Asia.
- Prior to his startup journey, he published several research papers even before entering Stanford University, from which he graduated among the top of his class. Oh, and he’s also a certified Les Mills fitness instructor. How did things change for him after welcoming a small bundle of joy in his family?
- “I really struggled because it felt like I couldn’t give my 100% effort, as compared to what I did during my startup days,” he said. “There’s no schedule to when a baby cries or diapers need to be changed. And it was so hard to speak with anyone about it other than my wife. I’m afraid that if I do, people will feel that I’m either not giving my best at work or at home.”
- So he launched the Parents In Tech podcast in January, which he hopes will become a place where people can hear ideas and stories, while driving the kids to school or doing household chores. Within a month, it became among the top three podcasts under iTunes Singapore and Indonesia’s parenting categories.
- “It’s nice to have a human touch that showed, beyond their career success, they also go through similar struggles like all of us,” Qin En said.
- Read the full interview in Channel News Asia.
No one left behind
- Speaking of helping others out of their struggles, 500-backed social commerce startup Dagangan released its impact report for 2021. Among the highlights, the company:
- Established over 30 hubs covering more than 8,000 villages in 66 cities/regencies
- Provided more than 25,000 retailers, warung owners, and producers withaccess to nearly 3,000 high-quality and affordable products
- Increased revenue by 60% for 49.5% of Dagangan users
- Reduced 23 tons of carbon emission by setting up local hubs that eliminate the need for those living in rural communities to travel hours to the city for essential goods,
- Empowered thousands of housewives economically and created more than 300 jobs for local talents
- “Our venture will only flourish once the communities have succeeded,” said Ryan Manafe, Co-founder and CEO. “That is why improving their welfare has always been our utmost priority.”
- Learn more about Dagangan and the positive impact they made here.
Learning real-world skills in a virtual world
- How do we equip kids with real-world skills? 500-backed edtech startup Doyobi does it virtually. Launched to offer online science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) curriculum, Founder and CEO John Tan turned the platform into a metaverse to focus on what schools were struggling to address over the pandemic – the “6 Cs of the 21st century”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, citizenship, and confidence.
- In Doyobi’s metaverse, students create avatars and go on quests in a specially-designed virtual world. “For example, a zombie apocalypse may occur, and the groups will have to discern real news from fake news, agree on the best location to set up a community, and learn to trade and negotiate treaties with other communities,” John explained.
- For skeptical parents, John lets the results speak for itself. “We show them measurable outcomes, like how their child demonstrated critical or creative thinking in the scenarios we place them in,” he said. “I think parents must understand that one of the biggest shortcomings in our education system is its focus on knowledge. In the real world, no one cares what you know. As an employer, I am only interested in what you can do. So why do kids have to wait until they leave school to learn how life works?”
- Read the full interview in The Peak.