We’re living in a glorious time where startups are mushrooming in large numbers, in Singapore and indeed the world. Technological breakthroughs have allowed us to solve our new age problems with new age solutions, influenced by numerous people from numerous domains – particularly the youth!

There is that charm of working in a startup too; the risk of starting one’s own business means that the people around it are high on ideas and welcome any kind of fresh perspective, encouraging exploration and originality in return. This very often allows you to see the other side of the coin, and approach problems in an unusual, unorthodox manner.

Kaplan Singapore recognised the potential and power of startups and were intrigued by the selection of startups that choose The Working Capitol as their workplace, and that’s the biggest reason why you’ve been seeing posters and emails informing you of the Kaplan Kickstart Challenge 2019, co-hosted by us at The Working Capitol.

The premise is simple – five students from Kaplan Singapore were shortlisted for an internship program with five startups from The Working Capitol for two months, after which each startup would have to present their industry-respective breakthrough idea along with their intern. The prize? $40,000 for the first prize winners, $20,000 for the runners-up, but more importantly, exposure and insight for some of the youth of the nation.

Last Friday, we saw these five startups with their interns take the stage to present their innovative ideas to a panel of esteemed judges. There was only going to be one winner though, with iWonder taking the cake, and LopeLab claiming the second prize as runners up. The effort that was on display, however, was a true testament to what this competition represented – that sweet spot that combined innovation and grit.

It didn’t end just there for some of the interns, though! Participating startup, Cavago, have hired their intern, Shawn, on a full-time contract. Winners iWonder were very proud and thankful of their intern as well, “It’s great to have won this with Dexter’s help. He has managed to get a full time job elsewhere, so we’re going to lose him, but the prize money is going to aid us in hiring another software developer.”

The inaugural Kaplan Kickstart Challenge 2019 has been a success, and we’re already looking at the lessons and learning points over the course of the last few months to further improve the program and the competition, in hopes of bringing the challenge back to The Working Capitol next year, and indeed for in the years to come.

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