Career Forum Oct 2015: App route to being own boss
Students with burning maths questions or complicated course queries no longer have to wait for their next lesson or trawl the internet for answers. With Snapask, they can pose detailed questions to a team of online tutors and get results in seconds.
Snapask (HK) founder Timothy Yu’s seminar, titled “Education Reengineered”, will examine how his app evolved from a tuition centre he established while studying at The University of Hong Kong into one of Asia’s most promising educational aids.
“Tutoring was lucrative, but it wasn’t efficient and student attention spans were low; you would often lose them after less than 10 minutes,” he says. Spotting a gap in the market for a mobile platform was key to his success and he says entrepreneurs should be on the lookout for new concepts they can bring to the market.
Snapask has expanded rapidly to Shanghai, Taiwan and Singapore and Yu admits he barely has time to stop and consider the competition. “As an online start-up, you have to constantly evolve. We are making changes to the app every day.” In his seminar he will also stress the importance of working alongside others as an entrepreneur, something graduates should consider if they are setting up a business on their own. “We see the app as a support for offline education and want to work with schools to ensure students best utilise their time.”
While becoming an entrepreneur can be risky, Yu says attitudes are changing towards this unconventional career path. “People are recognising that it can be a good career option and the government is now doing more to support entrepreneurs.”
Nevertheless, he notes that setting up your own business isn’t always easy and those wanting to be an entrepreneur shouldn’t be put off by peer pressure.