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Lessons of a Lifetime


Our Year 12 students had been working with SC Ventures (SCV) to research business ideas they could pitch to a panel of business experts. On 16 February, they successfully did that in the PayPal Singapore office at Suntec and the results were impressive – to say the least. What were their business ideas and what did the panellists think? Read on to find out more.

The Institute@Tanglin has been in action for a year now and one of its many significant programmes is an intrapreneurship programme with SC Ventures that was specially tailored for Tanglin Trust School. This is the first time SCV has worked with a school and it’s also the inaugural Institute programme that was conducted under CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service). 

During the process, the SCV coaches mentored our Year 12 students in the finer art of entrepreneurship, design thinking, business modelling and pitching. Jason Wiggin, who leads the Intrapreneurship programme at SC Ventures, told us that it was inspiring to work with the students and faculty. He said, “The students’ approach to entrepreneurship and building an idea into reality was fresh, and their ability to take risks and think constructively is incredible. I’m proud to say that the final pitches were at least equivalent to any number of actual funding pitches I’ve seen in my career.” 

The pitches
What kind of business ideas did our students come up with? In a nutshell, they addressed challenges on environmental and food sustainability, financial education for children and youth and addressing the needs of marginalised communities through solutions like using AI to sort recycling and refugee integration. 

Joseph, whose group BetterBin came up with the idea for a self-sorting recycling bin to be placed in public areas like schools, parks and HDBs, explained that the group was initially created because the members all shared a passion for environmental awareness. He said, “We collectively put together each of our own ideas to create our unique business pitch.”

After they had done the research and conducted the surveys, it was time for them to consolidate their findings and present their pitches for ‘seed money’ to a panel of business experts consisting of Alex Manson (Head of SC Ventures), a senior representative from Go-Ventures, and Cameron McLean (Senior Vice President, Europe, and Australia Enterprise at PayPal). 

The Ideas

(led by Oscar, Nakul, Julia, Jasmin, Jonny, Mohaymen, Krishnav): 
Increase financial education through a dynamic app linking bank accounts, investments, micro-economies, games, and payments – under the supervision of parents or guardians.

(led by Rene, Beeri, Helen): 
Connect artists with buyers and art fans through an online art marketplace and social media platform.

(led by Sanayam, Ryusei, Vasudha, Mailys): 
Tackle food security, reduce food wastage and support communities through an order and delivery app for soon-to-expire food from supermarkets to low-income households in Singapore.

(led by Raphaelle, Shereau, Kavya): 
Improve the integration of refugees into their new countries, through specialised services and community engagement.

(led by Joseph, Emily, Mohamed): 
Make recycling easier through a bin which 
can “read” materials and sort waste based on recyclable status.

(led by Aditya, Djati, Amelia, Nisya): 
Prevent cycling accidents through an AI enabled device attached to bicycles.

Gaining a clearer perspective
The students not only had to explain why their business idea was viable, they also had to justify why they needed a certain amount of money to kickstart their project. Although this was their first time doing a professional pitch, our students performed admirably and were thrilled to hear valuable feedback that could potentially take their project to the next level. For instance, the panellists advised NoMuda to approach UglyFood – a local company that was created to reduce food waste but had recently ceased business – so that they could learn valuable lessons from the founder. 

Hearing from the panellists also helped our students gain a clearer perspective of their future business plans. Oscar from Wall-Ed, for example, told us that the panel’s advice was useful for him on a personal level because he plans to create an app that translates financial and legal documents into different languages with context in mind. 

Aside from the appreciative audience, the panellists were also impressed by their work. Cameron McLean said, “I thought the students performed extremely well pitching their business ideas as well as providing crisp and detailed responses to questions from the Business Panel. The SCV Intrapreneurial Programme really helped the students build the confidence to form business concepts/ideas and pitch their vision with enthusiasm.” 

Sohini Brandon-King, Director of Scholarship, Inquiry and Partnerships, couldn’t have agreed more. She said, “I felt inspired by the students – they were so well prepared, confident, articulate, and passionate about their ideas. I had to remind myself at times that they are still in Year 12. Just imagine what their future holds!” 

All in all, everyone did a great job, and we are extremely proud to see our students perform well in the real world. We are sure that our students have learned valuable lessons that will last them a lifetime.

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