By Nachiappan Natarajan (17S06O), Vice-President of Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network
Phil Libinn, CEO of Evernote, once said “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” This quote encapsulates the core idea of entrepreneurship which is to change this world that we live in to make it a better place by finding innovative solutions to problems big and small that have plagued our species.
But to be a successful entrepreneur, one needs to have the will to transform ideas into reality, the determination to overcome any obstacles that lie in one’s path and most importantly the passion to carry things through. This is where Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network (REN) steps in to equip students with the necessary skills to enable them to grow into successful entrepreneurs of the future.
REN provides a platform for like-minded students who are passionate about entrepreneurship to meet, share ideas and learn from one another. REN provides an environment that is both competitive and collaborative, one that pushes students to their limit, maximising their potential. REN members regularly take part in both national and international entrepreneurship competitions such as the Youth Innovation Challenge and Social innovation Relay.
Moreover, REN also hosts its very own annual entrepreneurship competition: Raffles Business Symposium (RBS), where students from different schools compete to pitch their ideas to prominent leaders from the industry. In 2016, students pitched their ideas based on the theme “Entrepreneurs in a World of Conglomerates”. Mr Lim Soon Hock, former Vice President and Managing Director of Compaq Computer Asia Pacific, was the guest speaker for RBS 2016. Along with him, Mr Chiu Wu Hong, Head of Enterprise of KPMG and Co-Chairman of the Enterprise 50 Awards Organising Committee, and Ms Daphane Loke, Founder of Saybons, were the judges of the competition.
REN also invites prominent entrepreneurs such as Mr. Delane Lim, Founder of Agape Group Holdings, to share their experiences and life journey with our members.
To further students’ learning, REN also holds regular learning journeys to places such as the Ground-Up Initiative and Block 71, which is referred to as the Silicon Valley of Singapore. In 2016, REN visited Neeuro, a firm dedicated to developing innovative products to tackle medical challenges like dementia through the use of neurotechnology and gamification. Through these avenues, members are exposed to the real world challenges that they may face so as to gain a deeper understanding of what entrepreneurship entails in today’s world.
Additionally, members are given the wonderful opportunity to intern at various companies that range from start-ups to established corporations such as Razer, which is the world leader in high-performance gaming hardware, software and systems. Along with this, REN members also engage in regular merchandise sales in school. This includes the Raffles Originals, in which REN sold drawstring bags and t-shirts designed by our own students. This is about to get bigger and grander with the launch of REN.Co, our very own shop right in Raffles Institution, which will allow us to sell our merchandise and products in a more effective manner. Moreover, REN.Co will allow us to achieve our social mission as a portion of our profits will be donated to the 1823 fund to help needy students in our school.
Ultimately, REN is going to be an exhilarating rollercoaster journey with both ups and downs. If you are ready to face the challenge and allow your entrepreneurial flame to light up, join us for this unique experience.