Shaping the Future of Youth Entrepreneurship - NYEA 2018

To seed entrepreneurship, we have to start early.

By Lifestyle Guide

November 7 2018

There is a “youth entrepreneurship boom” in the last ten years as we are seeing an increase in interest towards youth entrepreneurship and a change in our youth’s mindset towards entrepreneurship. 

In its second year, the National Youth Entrepreneurship Awards (NYEA) is a ground-up initiative started by three parties coming together - ACE, its youth wing, EDGE (Empower, Develop and Groom Entrepreneurs), and Quest Ventures - to celebrate the achievements of outstanding students and recent graduates who have demonstrated noteworthy entrepreneurial qualities, and recognise their contributions to building the Singapore startup ecosystem. 

In line with the theme “Shape the Future”, the Youth Entrepreneurship Festival was held in the afternoon of the NYEA at *SCAPE where outstanding youth entrepreneurs and innovators were invited to showcase their latest technology and innovative business models that would help shape our future. 

Guest of Honour Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade & Industry, Ministry of National Development, Dr Koh Poh Koon interacting with startup Helloholo

The NYEA consists of three award groups, namely the Post-Secondary Category (Junior Colleges, ITE and Polytechnics), University Category and Open Category.

Mr James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures commented, “To seed entrepreneurship, we have to start early. We are happy to see some of these efforts bearing fruits from the increase in interest towards youth entrepreneurship and a change in mindset. We will continue the hard work in nurturing more future young entrepreneurs.” 

Applicants were judged based on three main criteria - Achievements in entrepreneurship, such as engagement in real businesses and services, working or interning in a startup, or participating in entrepreneurship-related competitions; Contribution to entrepreneurship related events and activities, such as how they have contributed to building the entrepreneurship ecosystem, through volunteering for events and initiating ground up efforts in community building; and Entrepreneurial qualities, such as determination, resilience, innovativeness, initiative and leadership, exhibited in all activities that they are involved in.

Post Secondary Awards

GOLD AWARD: Su Jun Su Jun Hao (TP), Kickass Young Marketers and Founders 

SILVER AWARD: Lee Cheng Hei (ITE, NP), Glassland Pte Ltd

BRONZE AWARD: Alif bin Adam (NP)

University Awards

GOLD AWARD: Yu Gao-Fei (NUS), Learnseeker

SILVER AWARD: Amanda Ho (SUSS), CombineSell

BRONZE AWARD: Eng Qing Hua (NUS), Kombynation

Open Category Awards

GOLD AWARD: Tong Nhat Duong, Homage

SILVER AWARD: Erik Cheong, Park N Parcel

BRONZE AWARD: Jackie Tan Yen, fundMyLife

*SCAPE Most Innovative Startup Award: The Startup Buddy

Winners of each award group received a certificate and cash prize of up to S$700 together with mentorship and incubation support from ACE and *SCAPE.

Winner of Open Category Tong Duong, Co-Founder of Homage

The mindset of youth towards entrepreneurship has also become more receptive, boosted in part by the ACE Learning Journey programme which exposes students to the Singapore startup ecosystem - the number of youth participants in the programme has increased by six times from 2015 to 2017.

In an exclusive interview with Mr Clarence Ti, Board of Director of ACE and Principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, he revealed that in a survey of 1200 Ngee Ann Polytechnic students two years ago, 18% of them considered themselves to be an entrepreneur. Youth today probably see it as cool to be an entrepreneur. They also see it as just one of the many things they can be simultaneously – Blogger. Entrepreneur. Student. 

He has attributed this “youth entrepreneurship boom” to the low barriers of entry to becoming an entrepreneur especially in areas such as e-commerce and publishing or blogging, as well as the opportunities to expose youths to entrepreneurship and numerous initiatives that promote youth entrepreneurship. 

Mr Edmas Neo, Executive Director of ACE commented, “The youths are important piece of the startup ecosystem. We are excited to celebrate their success at the NYEA 2018, and hope that it encourages them to propel forward to achieve greater successes in their entrepreneurship journey. We also hope that through such a platform, we encourage more youths to be actively involved in the startup ecosystem.”