Entre Week & Raffles Business Symposium

By Nicole Doyle (17A01A) and Tapasya Singh (17S03C)

Photos by Entrepreneur’s Network

Entrepreneur Week: Rise of the Small
by Nicole Doyle (17A01A)

A couple of weeks ago Entrepreneur’s Network established their presence in the canteen by organising RI’s first ever Makers’ Fair – Rise of the Small. Some readers may be familiar with Maker Faires – festivals held all over the world to celebrate innovation by showing off various DIY projects as part of a global Maker Movement by creators.

Rise of the Small was just that, but with an entrepreneurial twist: the makers featured in the fair were all homegrown businesses, rooted in a uniquely Singaporean context, making this Fair unlike any other.

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Eye on the prize

Rafflesians could be seen testing their sharpshooting skills at the Layangman store with wooden rubber-band pistols, in hopes of winning one of the intricately made toy guns for keeps.

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Beautiful, earthy designs at the DECO Designs booth.

More laidback students could opt for receiving some traditional henna art with distinctly modern designs painted onto their hands by the artists at Henn Drawn. Booths by Parade Made and Deco Designs entertained with wares such as handcrafted rubber stamps and nature-inspired decorative ornaments.

All the while, the 100% organic essential oils and felted soaps on display by Rania Hasna and Simply for Love respectively delighted the senses.

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Natural Felted Soaps, complete with cute designs and their proud makers.

 

Each of their products and services reflected the unique creativity of their makers and what unified these makers was their passion to turn their ideas into meaningful enterprises. It was heartening to see the flame of entrepreneurship and innovation alight in local businesses, challenging claims (Steve Wozniak of Apple, we’re looking at you) that Singaporeans lack creativity.

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Bella Zhang having fun at the polaroid booth

 

Students grabbed a polaroid with their friends and/or purchases at the polaroid booth set up by Entrepreneur’s Network

Seeing Rise of the Small’s success as a pioneer initiative, the next Makers’ Fair by Entrepreneur’s Network promises to be even more exciting, so do keep an eye out for it!

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Raffles Business Symposium
By Tapasya Singh (17S03C)

Last Friday evening, the highly anticipated Raffles Business Symposium was held at the PAC. Organised annually by the Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network, the symposium is a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn, develop and share business ideas.

As someone not business-inclined, even just hearing the theme of this year’s symposium – Entrepreneurs in a World of Conglomerates – made me feel apprehensive. Would this be a series of presentations filled with complex economic theories and business-related jargon that I would be unable to understand? The Symposium proved me completely wrong.

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The symposium turned out be an array of interesting and informative presentations by groups pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges consisting of some of Singapore’s most successful entrepreneurs – Mr Lim Soon Hock, Mr Chiu Wu Hong and Ms Daphne Lok.

The programme began with a speech by the chairperson of Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network, Emma Goh, who spoke about the economic outlook of Singapore in recent times and the near future, as well as the important role that Singaporeans must play in solving economic problems. This was followed by the keynote speech, given by Mr Lim Soon Hock, who gave insight on how young and aspiring entrepreneurs can make it in highly competitive markets.

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Speech by chairperson of Raffles Entrepreneurs Network, Emma Goh

Then began the presentations, wherein each group had fifteen minutes to pitch their business ideas, followed by a five-minute question-and-answer session for the judges. A total of five teams had successfully made it through preliminary rounds to reach this stage, consisting of one team from Anglo-Chinese School (International), two from St Joseph’s Institution, and two from Raffles Institution.

The first group to take the stage was Team Four Horsemen from ACS (I), who chose to tackle the problem of inefficient communication devices in high risk, high noise environments such as construction sites. They proposed the use of ‘Tactile Textiles’, which consisted of conductive threads being woven into clothes of workers, in order to communicate through the use of various hand movements that would send corresponding messages to workers’ phones.

 

Following them was Team Augmentum from RI, whose idea was to ‘Revolutionize Travel’ by addressing the lack of a platform to experience the history of an area. Their solution was a series of tour packages in the form of a phone application for Android and iPhone, which would use augmented reality to provide visual and audio experiences for tourists.

The next team from RI, Team R Factor, chose to look into the issue of long physical waits in queues through their application ‘Need Q Meh’. This app would use algorithms to estimate the time of queues in restaurants, and allow diners to queue for them through the app from the comfort of their homes. The humorous and interactive introduction to their pitch definitely caught my attention, and their decision to tackle a problem with its roots deep in the Singaporean culture was also a selling point of their presentation.

The last two groups were from SJI. Team Metamorphus tackled the lack of fitness in Singaporeans through the personalized and highly customizable platform ‘Dr. Life’, which integrated meal planners and fitness trackers into one comprehensive tool. Team Velocity was interested in improving healthcare for Singapore’s rapidly ageing population. Their solution was ‘SAM’, a multifunctional medical tracking device used to monitor the health of elderly patients.

The participants’ efforts and dedication were clearly visible from their presentations. They took into consideration various factors from potential competitors to funding to revenue models and future expansion plans, and the author was certainly impressed by the level of intricacy in their presentations. This view was also mirrored by the judges, who commented that all teams had “put a lot of thought into their pitches”.

The results of the competition are, as follows:

Second runner-up: Team Metamorphus – SJI
First runner-up: Team Four Horsemen – ACS (I)
First position: Team Velocity – SJI

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Winners ‘Team Velocity’ receiving their prize money

While the teams from RI might not have placed amongst the top three, they definitely gave the other groups tough competition. Press would like to congratulate all the teams on a job extremely well done. The school is already looking forward to what our aspiring entrepreneurs will come up with next year.

 

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