July 1, 2021

Mr Felix Tan

Founder

Skilio

Felix is the Founder & CEO of Skilio, an edtech startup that measures and tracks soft skill development in youth. He is passionate about the space of youth development and education. As a student entrepreneur, he won the Singapore chapter of the Global Student Entrepreneur Award organized by the Entrepreneur’s Organisation in January 2020.

Felix also represented Singapore in the global finals of the Startup World Championship in Montreal and is the Silver Awardee of the National Youth Entrepreneur Awards organised by the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).

As a lead trainer at Reactor School, a leading provider of entrepreneurship education to youth from 13 to 24, Felix has clocked over 300 training hours, equipping youths in Southeast Asia with entrepreneurship skills. In his spare capacity, Felix also volunteers to mentor youth in areas of entrepreneurship and soft skills development.

KEYWORDS

soft skills, students, realise, question, startup, skill, people, users, clients, trade-offs, product, growth mindset, audience, schools, startup founder, metric, entrepreneurship, Singapore, co-founders, organisation

SPEAKERS

Louis, Felix


Louis  00:18

Okay, hello, everybody. I hope you all can hear me. Okay, I'm here with the Singapore countries chapter lead for the CEO class. So CEO class is a global non for profit organisation that aims to empower young leaders with personal goals and growth. We also have Nicholas, who's also the programme lead, and he's helping with some back end stuff. And he's a capable workplace after that. In our team to Singapore chapter team, we also have Beverly, the community lead and Ivan, the partnership lead. So if you can see us on Instagram, our faces are all there. I think tonight's session is extraordinary because it's our first webinar planned by Singapore's chapter. And we're excited to invite Mr Felix Tan, the CEO and founder of skillo. Thanks for joining us tonight, Felix. As I mentioned, he's the founder and CEO of skillo, which is an edtech startup that measures and tracks soft skill development in youth. He's passionate about the space of youth development and education. As a student entrepreneur, he won the Singapore chapter of the global student Entrepreneur Award, organised by the entrepreneur organisation, in January last year. He also represented Singapore in the international finals of the startup world championship in Montreux. And it's a silver awardee of the National Youth entrepreneur awards, organised by the action community for entrepreneurship. So I'm just a brief overview of this event; it will be a q&a session with Felix to share his insights. And after that, there'll be a live q&a with any of you have any questions, you can either see, I can do in the chat. Okay. So if everyone is good, then I think we've started the session officially now. So hi, Felix, can you tell us more about yourself?


Felix  02:05

Yeah, sure. So thanks for having me again, and great to see everybody here. I'm Felix. I would say I'm a part-time student and also a full-time startup founder. So I'm currently in my final semester. I’m doing Global Studies in social science. And that's the boring part. But the more fun part is that I started skillo, which is a tech company. We look at helping students build up a digital soft skills portfolio that they can use to secure their dream opportunities after, you know, school or when they're applying for any jobs in the future. Yeah, so that's a bit of me and why I'm doing this lovely thing. Yeah, I


02:47

think we are all with a lot of talented students, that is very interesting, quite amazing. They can manage, finding and founding a startup and also starting at the same time. I think the next question is maybe elaborate more on your specific roles and responsibilities and managing skills? Oh,


03:04

yeah. So I'm more on working on the business development and the product development side. My co-founder works on skills, research and marketing. Another co-founder works on the tech. Yeah, so I think my area of specialisation is around, how do we get sales? And how do we look at our pricing model and then go to market strategies? As well as looking at how do we make a good enough product and then try to achieve product-market fit. Especially for startups, the first step of everything else is to ensure that you have a good product that solves a pain point for the users. Then you will have to figure out a lot of other things along the way. So that's what I do. On my front, and also, you know, my respective kind of expertise in one area.


03:57

Okay, thank you that you mentioned a lot of business terminology, that pain point. But you've mentioned earlier, they are global studies and think they can let us know, how do you learn all those business terminologies? What are some tips maybe I can share with the audience here today?


04:12

Yeah, so interestingly, my story journey with entrepreneurship started when I finished my army, I was the youth trainer, entrepreneurship Trainer with reactor school. So we go to schools and teach entrepreneurship concepts and to students. And actually, that was my first indirection or my first kind of exposure to entrepreneurship. So back then, right, my, my mundane goal was to be or to be a teacher after I graduate. And then I realised that, you know, it's so difficult to make a change right within the system, and test nights at a point in time, when just before I enter university, I sort of, you know, intense Chinese exposure to expose myself to entrepreneurship. So, can entrepreneurship be an avenue right for me to make a change? It is remedying the education system. And I think that's where I sort of got exposed to the concept like, you know, how do you look at validating the user standpoint? How do you achieve product-market fit? And all of that? You see, it's been an exciting journey to look at.


05:15

Okay, yeah, similar to you, and I wanted to be a teacher also. I was in IDC, and the army also changed my career path. I think it's pretty interesting because you have mentioned that you want to change within a system, like using skills technology thing on the concept of this technology. What was your inspiration? May they decide to use AI? Is the officer, website, etc., only?


05:41

Yeah, so I think for me, I sort of this goes back to when I was in J. One, right? So in junior college, I was doing a lot of like facilitation work on youth, right. So in soft skills and helping students in, still growth mindset, and all of the things. And what I realised is, for a lot of this, like soft skills, kind of intervention, whether it's a programme, whether it's a workshop, a lot of it ends there. And you know, you don't expect anybody to become an excellent leader after three days leadership workshop or Leadership Camp. Soft skills are something that you need constant prof actise and iteration, as you go through your educational journey. And I think that's one where we, I sort of, you know, resolve the gap, in a sense that, can we help students to understand and identify their skills and sort of tracking over time, because the thing is, soft skills like I said, cannot be, you know, developed, you know, we just have three days workshop and so on. So I think that was where we said, Hey, you know, can we find a way to help students quantify all the different things that they have been doing in their CPAs in there, you know, workshops, and all that into a condensed portfolio that they can bring with them around? So when we look at the existing solution in the market, right, we see that you know, your MBTI, strengths finder audit, a lot of times for those kinds of keys, it is still very numerical, right? So you're on a scale of one to 10, how good you are, right. And that in itself, right doesn't bring out the nuances, right, of the specific quality of a particular individual, especially in soft skills. Right, you have to put in soft skills to a number. For us, we decided to look at Ai, incredibly natural language processing. When the students input data on our platform, we try to visualise it into an actionable graph and insights for them to improve. So there's a little bit of how it came about. And we, we started with really first tried to do just create like another Strengths Finder and things like that, I realised that actually, that concept itself might be tough to execute, especially within the students’ space. And then especially, you know, trying to look at a pedagogical sense as well.


07:58

Okay, thank you. I think I've mentioned a lot of us in this conversation, and I'm sure that some of our audience here today, maybe they have an idea. Still, they question how they find suitable teammates or co-founders to set up the idea companies have? so cliche, but how do you eventually get to other co-founders? So how the three of you met meet? And how do you work together?


08:22

So so you know, I always say, like, you know, finding co-founders is like, you know, marriage, right? You're seeing a life partner. If let's say this goes, Well, yeah, you have to get it together for five years, three to five years, right. And you want to make sure that you're finding people who are like in a vision and can commit and bring this forward. So I always have, you know, like, three tips for sorting of our trip principles in a sense to look at when you identify it. Right. So first is, you know, do this person, right, have a shared vision? I believe in the same kind of vision or the single problem they are looking to solve. Right. So the second one is to look at, do you have a complementary skill set? So you want people that, you know, I can quote for NASA, so I want people to have people who can quickly bring a product to life? Right? I need two people to do something that we get. So do you have complementary skill sets? And the last checklist, right, really do you are committed to doing this, right? So are people willing to put in the time, and let's say, you know, when you have a particular commitment that comes up, which one do you prioritise? Of course, if you have that commitment, all three of you can complement each other in the skillset and believe in the same vision. Usually, this will be a powerful team that can execute, which practice  complementary theoverseas audience investors look for. I started as a solo founder, so I was the only one doing it and testing this idea and concept. I met my CTO because he was also a facilitator at one of the training companies. I was teaching at, And then he was an A level student, and he was like learning coding on his own, even though it is not destiny. And basically, I was a pretty fantastic line. And he also believes that because he is from Indonesia, he got a scholarship to study in Singapore. So, belief in, you know, trying to make education more accessible, suitable for the men. And I think that's where, you know, we align in a vision. He complimented me in the skills that, and also for my other co-founders who met her at orientation, Kevin University, so very interesting. And for her, she was also already in the training space. So she was a strengths finder, certified coach. She was also doing psychology right in university. So that brings another element to sense, right, that the team needs. So then the last part of our commitment, right, so actually, both of them joined as volunteers first. So they actually volunteered their time and helped me out of the idea for six months to a year before, you know, really, we sort of sat down and say to them, Hey, you know, like on your journey as being a co-founder, if we do see some this as something that we want to do moving forward. So I think that's how we sort of came together. So it was a different, lengthy process, but I think there were three principles that we saw that we use to identify co-founders.


11:20

So I can see, okay, so your tree came from very different places, but all had something in common. There's quite a feat that lucky and kind of honest thinking, with so many questions on aboard. If any costs are a nickel, thank you complementary if there's any good help to flesh it. Okay, so we have one question from Isabella. So the question is, how do you go about fundraising? Any other tips to give to her other startups? Should we?


11:50

Yeah, so I think we are in, at least for scalar, we are in an exciting position, right? Because we are a student-run startup. And in any student-run, correct? One of the biggest challenges you will have is fundraising because investors won't pay your school fees. Right. So they will be asking, they will be they will require a total time commitment from you, there'll be like, Oh, you know, are you willing to drop out? You know, exactly, I find you. Right. And because it is only fair, right for them, because they are investing other people's money, right. And they need to make sure that, you know, they're putting the bets in the right team. So that's, that's one challenge that you have right, trying to go about fundraising, how do you prove that you have credibility? How do you confirm that you have, you have the right team to execute? And a lot of times, the red flag that comes to the team is the commitment, right? So do you commit to bringing it forward? And I think, especially for our case, suitable? We, especially for like students run a startup, or any kind of new establishment, you need to be able to prove that you did you do a lot more work like in the sense that you have in your proof that you have more traction you have, you need to prove that you have a big problem a big market. And this is then where the investors will start to pay attention or take notice of you. If you can don't fundraise, don't fundraise, right? You can bootstrap your bootstrap because that's a sign that you can bring the company together and execute towards that vision. So I think in our case, right, we were we sort of fundraising in a sense, through grants, we find ways through actually going for competitions, and winning some of these competitions. And also looked out for customers, and the best fundraising is to sell your product, right, and get kind of revenue from selling a product. And that also contributes to what's the attraction? I hope I answered your question. But I would say that the fundraising process is very different for every single startup. And, and in the investors kind of mindset, right, he put on an investor's head, there are a few things that they are trying to de-risk, right. So for everything they invest in, you know, every startup they invest in, there's a set of risks they take, right? So one is like the team risk, right? So can the team execute, or the team’s complementarythe another team can, you know, bring the product to life? The second one is product risk, right? So can other products solving a pain point, you know, other users coming back to the product, or the users like you sharing about the product? Right? And then you have a market risk as well. Right? So how big is the market? Are you able to monetise? Right? Are you able to, you know, sell your product in the market and, you know, get recurring revenue and grow your revenue fast enough? So there is this whole set of different risks that the investors have to take for any startups they invest in. And as a startup founder, what you want to do is to try to de-risk as many of these reasons as you can, right? So if you have good traction, you have good user numbers, right back it up and say the telco investor, say hey, you know, these are some of our metrics. These are some of the traction that we have gotten. And these are some of the risks that we have and how we plan to mitigate those. If you can think of it in this manner, right? Usually, the investor is quite impressed because they feel from their perspective and think from what they are looking for and what they need. Yeah, I hope I answered a question, Isabella.


15:13

But it's interesting, I think, for people like me or focus, we are not too into the entrepreneurship scene, I do all this. So maybe I ever ventured to those seats. I can ignore the pointers. Thank you. I think I think they pose another question. If Nichols Thank you, the question is, we would like to find out how do you get your first users? And what kind of strategies do you use? For first testing pm F with your MVP?


15:38

Yeah, so our journey was super long and windy. So when we first started, back in 2019, product, right, we were, we saw that we straight away went to code out the mobile version of the app. And what we realise was that the schools didn't even want to use our product. Why? Because they are not even allowed to use phones in class back then. So this was a basic, you know, startup 101 error, that, you know, we didn't realise that we need, right, because we didn't talk to our users enough, right, we didn't try to understand what they need, or the ecosystem that they exist within. Right. And we are listening to our users and stakeholders, like the teachers, the student complementary,? I, before we pivot our product. So like, I think, for us, where we got our first users right, was true, a lot of our friends and family, right, because I was our product is mainly used within schools. So and especially for us, we reach out back to our alumni, to our secondary school and our Jaycees, and test the product within a small pilot class and things like that. So when we sort of, I shared that we have our first error: to stray away at something and then realise that something didn't work, and we have to redo everything. And in that second attempt, what we did was that, hey, let's not build anything at all, let's do something, what we call a piecemeal MVP. And what does that mean? Right? It's putting every other technology we can find, right, and simulate the whole experience, right? So we use Google Sheets, like, you know, Google Slides, and all of that, to try to affect the experience of, you know, the idea, the input being able to come up and generate as soft skills report. Right. So then the AI was asked, you know, manually at the back end, mapping up everything that they have written on our platform, and then sending them a report to the students, right. And when we sort of were able to sell this concept to our first client, which paid us like $600. To use this concept by the end is the MVP version, right? So there is no software that, website at the front end, indicating some information and as the back end doing automatic, when we saw that for our, when we sold that to our first client, we realised that we asked hitting something, right. And that's where we started to say, hey, let's begin to code out certain parts that automate certain parts of the whole procedure. And that's sort of how we sort of iterated and move forward. Since then, I will say that, you know, finding product-market fit is a little bit like playing golf, right? You start at, you know, somewhere, and then you hit your first row. You don't know where the ball will land, right? Because you roughly feel that, you know, the hole is somewhere there. Right? And after you, maybe you take your first hit on the ball, you realise your ball lands somewhere here, and then you're trying to take a second here before you can get closer and closer to the hole that you're supposed to put the golf ball in. Right. So pornography feels something like that, right? You are figuring out in the dark; you’re trying to figure out whether or not you're hitting the right spot. So I think a conducive framework, which I learned from Y Combinator, is a good resource for many startup founders. Is it a few things, right? To identify if you are brought on a defeat, the first thing is, does your product solve a problem that the user has? Right? So that's the first checkpoint? The second one is that the user comes back to your product? After its software pinpoint? So the value? So your first one, does it solve a problem? So what's the matter to the user? That’s the user come back consistently, to experience the value that you bring to them. So that's user retention. And the last one is, you know, does the user prefer, you know, to other people about your product? Right? So once you are hitting these three kinds of points, and you're able to get some good numbers and metrics behind these three, that's where you'll start to see some form of product-market fit, and people are coming back to the platform because sharing about it. Yeah. So I think that will be how I answer your question. Terran.


19:54

Thank you very interesting, and I learned the meaning of our PMF product-market fit, so the audience will be As we know, so thank you. If there are no more questions from the audience currently, I think we can pivot to maybe our questions about skills future, maybe? I guess one question, which I think many people will be asking, is the company focusing on schools, youth organisations and students, but whether Is there any possibility of expanding it to the more significant demographic adult population?


20:25

Yeah, so I think right now, we are very focused on tertiary student space. So, students that are, you know, 17 to 25. It’s because we feel that this is the space where students are transitioning right into the workplace. And I think for us because we are in this age group. So we are in a unique vantage point to work with this group of users. And I think for us, the big vision, right, is that skill becomes like, you know, like GitHub, GitHub users, you know, a lot of people like technical people like to show off their technical abilities or showcase technical skills. So he was scheduled to be something like GitHub for soft skills. So any individual right can lock in that things and showcase their silky skills too, you know, future employers, or know when they're applying for college or universities. But right now, I think we are starting small and starting niche, right in the tertiary student space. And we do hope actually to expand it out, you know, to the working adults and the millennials in the workforce. Yeah, but I think, for us, we are very focused on this group of students or this group of users at the moment.


21:27

Okay, thank you. I think this one possible expansion is the adult side. But another way is because I believe in our audience today. We have people from different countries and those many people watching the so-called recorded podcast after this event. So just wondering, especially for our audience who are overseas here, whether the skill is to be used by an international audience.


21:49

Yeah. So we have clients in Indonesia, as well as India. So definitely something that we don't look at just as a Singapore-only kind of product. We do see this as something, and soft skills are something that every industry or every country, right, silky will require, especially in the age of automation and artificial intelligence. And I think our big goal is that this can be an overseas audience used worldwide, right? Similar to LinkedIn. Right, but I think we are starting small reading Singapore. And the following few kinds of expansion region we are looking at is probably Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines and Indonesia. And then also looking at, you know, some of the more developed countries like your US and Europe. Yeah, so so we do have plans for that. And the idea just has to walk you through step by step. Okay, so can our international audience here to the maybe not clients, but students? New students platform?


22:47

Yeah, they can as long as they can. They can use English lighting because right now, our platform is entirely in English. So as long as they're proficient in English, I think, more than able to use the platform as a


23:01

speaker up. Okay, maybe moving on to our focus, some lessons learned from the past, whether skilled or without skill. So I guess one with one question is perhaps because we have many students and youth here today, on some tips, we should wish to provide Vietri on how can you better prepare themselves for the future?


23:23

Yeah, so so I think this is some this topic, something close to my heart, right? As I believe I interface with a lot of HR professionals from MMC startups from SMEs. And I think one of the common trends that I'm hearing is that a lot of things, especially with the pandemic, and the COVID, and everything, right, a lot of things that companies are trying to automate, they're trying to use technology to, you know, make things easier. And in that process, right, that also means that a lot of jobs will go away, right, a lot of jobs that are challenging skills intensive, is going to go away, right? And what can you know, like the young of today, or the, you know, the Gen Z’s going through the education system, prepare themselves, right, in the kind of future, we believe, is really about the soft skills, right? Things like leadership, something like, you know, communication, I think it's like adaptability, right? These are skills that your robots or your, you know, ai whatsoever, cannot replace at the moment. Right. And we believe that I think, especially for the youth of today, right? It's essential to first right, have a growth mindset to know that your capacity and ability are not fixed. Right? And that, you know, you don't have to go the conventional path or conventional route to be successful. Right. So that's number one. Having a growth mindset means being willing to learn and ready to grow. And the second one, right, is really to be a good communicator, right? Because I think in today's resume and everything, you can have a good idea a lot of times. But if you can communicate the view across to the other person to your audience, there are many times when it fails. When we hear feedback from the companies we work with, they realised that Gen Z' just come into the workforce. It is the ability to communicate their points across in a way that doesn't offend others. And I think that's the second thing. The last thing will probably be being adaptable. I think COVID has just really taught us that it is crucial to be flexible to be nimble, right? If you are too comfortable, right in where we are, a lot of times in danger. Right? And I think once what we want to do, can you push ourselves to continually expand towards our comfort zone, go beyond our boundaries, and be adaptable and agile to the changes and circumstances that come along? I think these will be the three kinds of tips I would say like for, you know, for students or youth about to enter the workforce, or, you know, in a couple of upcoming years.


26:06

Well, yeah, I agree with other speakers. I believe in those three traits also. So I hope the audience can take some of the tips back and maybe see how we can implement it, or this, I think, took off in your life set on a topic on growth mindset. Just wondering if any significant resources or blog finding books, mainly which you believe they wish, were helpful to you, and therefore you want to share with my audience here today?


26:30

Yeah, I think there has been a couple of literature written about growth mindset. I think the sort of the Oji or the very first person who talked about Carol Dweck. Right. So Carol Dweck has been a big, you know, proponent of a growth mindset. And I think in her research, she talked about how students with. This is a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset, and the differences that are having just a little prick in their thinking can bring their lives in their achievements in what they want to do in life. I think that would always be the holy grail that I sort of go back to when I sort of reading about some of these things. Yeah, so yeah, go check out Carol Dweck.


27:21

Okay, I think not named out. Because on top of adaptability and stuff, I'm just, I mean, it's pretty standard for complex to have an in your team on any given but in many cases. So I'm just wondering, um, how do you overcome or resolve those conflicts? Maybe there is one case study? Similar something?


27:39

Yeah. So I think conflicts are bound to happen, especially in the online kind of way, right? Especially if you are doing an internship right now, most of it should be remote. Right? And how do you manage, you know, these agreements, right, or things that don’t work out as well? The is   first few steps, right, are really to look at how to sort of lift emotions out of the door, right, and look at objectives. So I think if you're starting a business, or if you're working in a team, our times there is a particular purpose or goal. Right, and this objective is usually very grounded. Now. It's not very airy-fairy, kind of. Right. And, and, and I think, then you have to ask yourself that when you have a conflict about specific issues or particular topics, how does it contribute to the objective? Right? And if it doesn't contribute to the purpose, right, then a lot of times, these are unnecessary conflicts, right? If let's say you're debating about, you know, maybe what's a good strategy to reach out to more users maybe, right? And a lot of times, then you can sort of substantiating what you want to say, right? With more data points. Right. So if you use a data-driven argument, you will not lose. Right. But if you're using Oh, you know, I think that I should do this way. I just feel I should do this way that you know. This will work in this manner. So it is left feeling kind of driven kind of argument, a lot of times you will fall flat on the ground, right, I think if let's say you saw substantiate with data substantiate with, you know, research and statistics, that will make your point a bit better. And I think if everybody comes in with the mindset that this is an objective discussion and that we are trying to move the needle and achieve the goal together, right, a lot of times, don’t this conflict can be resolved. Ah,


29:37

okay. Yeah, I think we run a push that is quite useful. Okay. I'll take it next time if there's any conflict. Hopefully not. But yeah, I think. I think I believe that we send 35 just wondering if anyone has any questions. I think I see a few. Yeah, thank you, Nicholas. So the question here is, so far, what are the challenges you face with the implementation of AI two Soft skills and skill do.


30:02

Yeah. So a lot of challenges. Right? So first, right will be that? There are so many soft skills in the world, right? Which one do we focus on? Right? Because I think when we speak to schools, they're like, Oh, you know, I want this, I wonder, you know, like, and the thing is, how do we make sure that our first few soft skills that we focus on are essential soft skills? Right? So that's the very first step, right? How do we select the soft skills that are important and that will be recognised by everybody? Right? And then, the next step is how do we ensure that the accuracy, the predictive validity, all of that are right. And a lot of times, this will require quite a several data points, right? To sort of run through the system or test out on the modelling and things like that. So and especially for a startup, suitable? It is difficult, right? To have the kind of resources like having tonnes of data and having, you know, maybe the engineers to work on a perfect model, which is why I think it's essential to take it as an iterative approach. Right? So when you sort of do phase one, how does phase one look like? How does this work? What didn't work? And then some kind of carrying on and go to phase two and phase three. So definitely a lot of challenges, and especially also in terms of the business run, right? So when you're trying to communicate the concept across to our clients. So a lot of them, they'll be like, Oh, yeah, this is interesting. But right, for them, this is very new, right? Because a lot of times, especially in traditional schools, right? They don't have a measure to look at measuring soft skills, right? Often, it's just, oh, you know, I feel that you're a good leader and things like that. So trying to educate the users is another challenge that we have. So how do you educate and convince them that our approach or our philosophy or thinking behind it is credible? Is it something that works? And that's also another challenge that we have? Yeah, I hope I answer your questions. A lot of challenges. Yeah,


32:06

thank you for answering the question. Always, no question. So I'm like heaven, what will you see will be the primary metric you're looking at to validate PMF?


32:15

I would say user intention. So a lot of times, like I mentioned tree just now. So like, having people who like who use your product. So that's your, how many users you have. Right. The second one is, do they come back? Right. So that's user retention? The last one is referrals, right? So do they refer you to other people? And I would say that the most important I would say is the second one, which is user retention, followed by referrals. And then users, because you can often spend money to acquire users you can spend on ads and everything. But how many of them are active users, that is, people who realise the product’s value. I think that if you can get that number, I believe that as this whole concept around, I think 40% of your users, that actually will be very disappointed if your product doesn't exist anymore, right? This is a good sign that you're solving a pain point, and the users are coming back. The second metric analysis critical is to your to the users share with other people. So if they do, that's also an excellent metric. Because only when you're confident that the product is good and solve your pain point will you be willing to put your reputation out there and share this with someone else? And usually, these two, I would say these two are the most important metric, I would say to sort of validating that. We also have varying stages in the skill of trying to validate these metrics. So that I think is an excellent guiding, Northstar, suitable for the company to rally to work in trying to drive the product development in the company.


33:50

Okay, yeah, thank you for sharing the matrix thing. I think there are two things I mean, I do like Google, but I don't believe that I can find such information online. So thank you appreciate your sharing it directly with the audience here today. 

34:04

the setting, go-go and check out Y Combinator on YouTube. There are many lectures, and it's incredible, a lot of the concepts and frameworks they share. So Y Combinator is, you know, the best if you are looking at really trying to understand how to start a startup from the ground up, especially for first-time founders, like me as well.


34:24

Okay. Thank you—our next question. So is how do you actually by capturing is how do you discover what you want to do? And not work for a full-time job, but you have chosen a startup founder?


34:37

Thanks, Katrin, for the question. I have never done a full-time job. Okay, I did. I did an internship. Okay. So So, how did I know I didn't? I didn't base my value or what I want to do on metrics like whether I can get high income or things like that. Right? For me. It was more about what kind of impact can I make on others? In whatever thing I do, correct? So whether it's I start a startup or eventually so if I don't do a startup, I join a company, what kind of impact Am I making in the company? So I think that was my guiding star if I would say to consider opportunities that I have. And for me, then, when I started the schedule, there was a huge problem. And, you know, I wanted to see, you know, since I have time in university, can I try to solve it, and I think, since then I have been enjoying the ride, I have been enjoying the kind of impact that I'm making, I think that sort of, you know, sort of made me want to continue doing it. And of course, you know, the thing we startup is that it might not work, right. And even if, let's say, you know, it doesn't work, I will still look at industries where it allows me to achieve the kind of similar impact that I hope to have. So I don't think it varies for people like me; your priorities are other, right? Because your circumstances are different. But at the end of the day, I think what you have to ask yourself is what makes you happy, right? You know, and whether, if, you know, if making money makes you comfortable, you know, by all means, suitable? Because that's, that's, that's okay. Right? And reflects it making an impact  is that makes you happy, then you want to evaluate whether you're doing right now in life, whether it's in your job, whether it is in your free time, are you, you know, striving towards that? So I think that's a little bit for me, like in the sense that, how did I discover was, because the work that I'm doing, I enjoyed it, I liked the impact that I'm making. And that sort of, you know, made me want to do it.


36:39

Yeah. Thank you. I think I'm falling for the question you've mentioned that your image may impact, which is excellent. I'm just wondering. Also, I'm sure there are many sacrifices that you had to change, well, etc. So how do you with the mindset you may impact, but how do you still cope with the fact that you can make many sacrifices?


36:59

Yeah, I think that's an excellent question. I think, in life, there's, you can't have everything right. And I guess then it's all about, you know, what's the trade-off that you're willing to take? Right. So for me, in university, I took a leave of absence from school. I stopped school for almost a year to continue to sort of work on Skillshare, full time. And now, the trade-off was like, Okay, I don't think that my grades are so important because I think that's just a byproduct of my life. Right? And I said that you know, the impact I'm making with Skillshare is much more, and it's something that can be recurring, right. And I think that's why I sort of make that decision to say, Okay, I'll put my studies on pause, and then, you know, pursue scaler, the total time to try to get it off the ground. And I think a lot of times, when it comes down to sacrifices and trade-offs, it really, then you have to make that. That is the kind of understanding and way, and are you at the other person, as a person right now? And like, at this point in your life? Are you okay with the trade-off? Right? And if you are, then I think, by all means, go for it. Right? If you're not, right, let's say for example, right, you know, I'm going to graduate early, and then I cannot make like, you know, the new graduate salary of like, $4,000, a minute whatsoever, right? Am I okay with not making that salary for maybe two years, but I can focus on skill and maybe try to get it off the ground? Right. So I think these are questions that you have to ask, and then the trade-offs that you have to be that you are trying to consider whether you're comfortable with. And if you are, then I think they have, by all means, go for it.


38:42

Thank you, I think, the topic of money, as mentioned, but I mean, money is something someone's looking out for your family as a family supportive of your choice. And let's see, I believe it will be our the world. But how will you need some from someone who is potentially a founder in our audience today? Maybe they have some difficulties convincing the family individually in this sort of thing. He went on as much. So how do you go about doing


39:05

that? Are you asking him a challenging question? I guess it is very different for every different people and different family. And I think that's why I always admire people who, you know, mid-career, and then they drop out of their job, high paying jobs to start their own company is so tricky, right? Because your obligations are so much. And I will say if you're a student right now, and you want to stay home company, you should, because there are no obligations, you don't have to pay for your utility bills. You don't have to pay rent and all that. I think this is best the best time. Right? And I think for me, I didn't have much objection for my parents, right? They just wanted me to get a degree in any way, shape or form. Right. And as long as I do that, they're pretty much supportive of what I do. And for them, it's more of like, as long as I'm what I'm doing is not harming other people, and it's doing good. They were pretty supportive. But of course, you know, when it comes to the topic of money, right, so why are you able to feed yourself and things like that? I think that's something that you also then need to set a timeline for yourself, right? Because you can go on $1 per month, for five years or ten years, right, because you know, your life stages will change. And you know, what you need, will vary across different life stages. And I think then. Then you need to set a realistic timeline for your startup. When I reached this kind of metric, e.g. if they have, I can raise a fundraising round of continuing, I might consider doing it part-time and find a full-time job, or I may consider shutting it down. And I think it's not a yes, no kind of decision, right? It's not like, Oh, you know, it doesn't work, I shut it down. Right. There are many other ways you can consider. While securing another opportunity to maybe sort of bolstering the finance type, you know, doing a startup. So I think, be creative and be resourceful about how you want to look at this situation.


41:10

Okay, yeah, I think we'll open the options up and see what I can do best with your own student life, etc. So I think we have one more question from the audience. The question is, what's your vision for skill, Leo?


41:25

But isn't there? Yeah, thanks, Isabella, for the question. I think for us, it's really about how do we help you create? How do we help to make sure that success is multi-dimensional? For all of us who go through the education system, this has only been one thing that we are chasing, right? Good grades, right? And that good grades open up doors to where we want to go in the future, whether it is, you know, to privilege to, you know, a perfect university or, you know, to get an outstanding job, a good head start in their career and all that there is only one metric, right? And it's regrettable that you know, like, the whole, all of us, right, as, you know, students within the educational system, just scanning for that. And a lot of times, I think we were thinking for us when we started this way, but how can we make sure that success is multidimensional, that you also look at qualities and abilities beyond just studying? Right? Things like, you know, compassion, stuff like, you know, your teamwork abilities, how do you work in a team? How do you, you know, you know, overcome challenges, right, in the kind of things that you are facing in your life or, you know, in your own company, and stuff like that. So I think for us, the vision is to say, Hey, can we have success in multi-dimensional format? We want to make sure that we help companies help schools adopt that kind of multidimensionality writing success? So, for example, can I hire somebody based on your soft skills? And they are not just looking at their grades? Right, can I admit somebody into university based on their aptitude, and not just their level score, or the, you know, national exam score? Right. So I think that's the big vision that we have. And that's something that we hope to help drive in terms of changing mindsets across the different stakeholders about the idea and definition of success.


43:14

Okay, and I always use Sophie Isabella is helpful for me at least. Okay. I think the question, which is on everybody's mind, I'm sure they expected this question is how COVID has affected, um, skill? And if it's negative, then how do you adapt your organisation to it?


43:31

Yeah, so very interestingly, when we sort of launched our close beta, it was during circuit breaker last year, so it was like, you know, around, where COVID was pretty high in Singapore, right? That was around May, June ish of 2020. And, but of course, we didn't get hit that badly, right? Because we were not very actively reaching out to clients before that, right. But of course, in that small transition phase, we realised that we had to help many of our clients move online. Right, so for all of the training organisations that we work with that new skill, initially, they were doing physical classes, right, so they went down to conduct classes, and then they schedule in style. And what we realise is that with the online format, even though it is not our duty, right to make sure that they can succeed or track well in the online virtual form. It is also a brief-term to make sure we can adapt our systems and adapt and help our clients entirely use the platform in a virtual format. So I think that was something that we had to sort of pivot and adjust towards doing the COVID. I was pretty surprised that during COVID, we got more inquiries. ; I think we are kind of remote learning. Also, schools and youth organisations are looking to bring learning experiences for helping students understand soft skills in a virtual format. 


45:03

Okay, thank you for sharing that. You've also mentioned a lot of helping your different stakeholders and clients. Many of us know if it is scary to reach out to clients. Unsure where to reply and in a personal setting. Maybe Can you share some tips on client engagement? Or do you are in shock at them? How do you ensure the days of the transaction, if any, if there isn't still a good relationship?


45:27

So I think being a student right is a pro, and con is a double-edged sword. Right? So when we first saw sell our product or a school client, they were thinking, so are you a school project, so were you closed out six months later? Right, and they were like, you show that you're charging me a product, you know, and things like that. So I think we then had to show them that we are selling them a product, and we, you know, and that we have use cases, testimonials from our past clients. And you know, we are registered as an honest company. And that sort of, you know, sort of convinced them that we are some kind of legit. And I guess some tips, suitable will be that, especially for students, I think that's the best time, right? Even if you make a mistake, people will just feel that they're just mentoring you or giving them advice. So I don't think you need to be shy. I think LinkedIn is your best friend, right? To reach out to code in code and message people get them to, you know, help you. And even if they don't become your client, right? They can also become excellent a lot of times. Users give you feedback and connect you with people who might be interested. So being a student is very good in getting yourself into the door. Right? And then it is where it is when it is hot, right? It is when you are trying to close the deal, right? Because then be like, Oh, are you sure you can do that and things like that. So the first step, you know, as a student to get into the door is effortless, right? Because your student people will want to listen to you, people want to know you more, right? And then the more complicated part is where you convert them from just being someone you talk to a paying client. And I think that's where some tips will be that you need to make sure that you know what you're doing, know your stuff, and have some kind of like, pilot or some kind of like results to show to your clients. And hopefully, then they will be willing to pay some money or, you know, even if it's a discounted rate, as long as they are eager to put in some cash with you, I think that's a good first use case. And then we use that first use case to talk to other people at the same time to get then them also to purchase what you have. So I think getting the first client is the hardest. Once you get that, you can then replicate it with more other clients.


47:42

Okay, so the first thing, the first thing to do is always a header, that is easier because it used to be along the way. Okay, thank you. I think, um, is there any other questions from the audience? Oh, this one here from Joshua. So he's asking about trade-offs. So are there any trade-offs that you regret taking a startup journey?


48:04

There's a lot of trade-offs. I took many exchanges, for example, like, you know, having no social life, I guess there's a trade-off. So in university, I was in I was part of, you know, in Hall. And in my year two, I was, you know, very, very busy with trying to work on a skill, right. And I sort of, you know, forego many of the kind of social activities or events that, you know, you know, some of the halls have, right, and I lost many friends during that period. And, you know, even other trade-offs are like, you know, oh, my grades, right, so I got like b plus b minus for my studies and things like that. And I think, if I were to think back, I wouldn't have regretted any of these trade-offs that I made. Because I think when I sort of corresponding with the bigger picture, I felt that this was worthy. Right, and I think for every youth out there, one thing to consider is that these trade-offs are temporary things in front of you. But I think if you look at the whole journey itself, I think a lot of times, we are very myopic in that, oh, you know, what, if I do this, I will miss out on that. And I want the other thing, right. But that is a concise term, right? But if you take a step back and look at the big picture, you'll realise that this trade-off is worth it a lot of times. Why do I say that? When I sort of the schedule for the past two years, I've learned so much, right? I'm studying Global Studies. I learned how to draft contracts. I learned how to negotiate deals with my clients. I learned how to network and, you know, get to know people within the industry that are, you know, so much more experienced than I am. And I think that in itself, right, is something that I treasure a lot. And it's something that I felt that if I hadn't made those trade-offs, I wouldn't have experienced that kind of long term benefits. So I Say that when it comes to exchanges, a lot of times, it could be a brief term very myopic, and I think that you want to make sure that.  Okay, are you okay with taking this? You know, trade-off, and hopefully in return for something beneficial to you in the longer term? Yeah.


50:21

Oh, okay. I think there's a lot of trade-offs to be made. Yeah, I suspect that. That's perfectly fine. Okay, I believe now is 756. I just wish to ask one final time. If anyone has any questions for Felix, he is the best time to ask. He's. Oh, insectary second to see this. Any questions? Okay, if not our thing, Felix, for coming down today. I think, um, if any of you are interested. Also, you can follow the LinkedIn page. In I  believing his skill.


50:53

Yeah. So you can go to our website. We are opening our beta access for the public, right. So you can just sign up using the trial skill. You’re now on our website to sign up.


51:08

Okay, thank you. And I think if the audience is interested in connecting with you, is it okay if they connect with you by LinkedIn?


51:14

Yeah, sure, happy to do that. I think if there's anyone who, you know, would like to ask more about how we started and get some advice, or, you know, just for me to share a bit more of my story with you, too, as you're starting your journey. Happy to do so. Just drop me a LinkedIn Connect, and we can let you take it from there.


51:32

Give offering a time, I think to summer, I think this opportunity is helpful for our audience here today. And for those who will be listening to the podcast, we hope it's valuable to us, too, as well. I think I'm CEO class, we have our LinkedIn, and we also have our Instagram platforms. So if you wish to find out more from other speakers, listen to Felix and follow us on those platforms. Yeah. So there are no further questions of anyone. We should thank Felix once again and the CEO Class team for being here today also for coming down. So thank you, everybody. Alright, have a good evening, everyone. Bye. Alright, bye.