Covid-19 situation pushed fresh grad onto entrepreneurship path

Taby Technologies co-founder Yap Jun Yi with the company's personal finance app. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Taby Technologies co-founder Yap Jun Yi with the company's personal finance app. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

A one-year stint in Stockholm where he worked for medical technology firm Meloq and was exposed to budding entrepreneurs inspired Mr Yap Jun Yi to strike out on his own - a decision which he says was made easier with the coronavirus pandemic.

The 25-year-old is one of five co-founders of personal finance company Taby Technologies, and the only one working full-time at the start-up. His co-founders, aged 24 to 29, are either studying or have other full-time jobs.

The Covid-19 situation gave him "more assurance" to start his own business, said Mr Yap. "I'm going to give myself a year, till probably the end of next year, to see where this business is going to take me, and whether I want to continue with it or not," he said. "I think the current situation gave me the assurance to pursue my entrepreneurship passion."

Many of his friends are on traineeships, and most of his peers would prefer the stability and security of a full-time job, instead of making it on their own fresh out of university. "But when I asked myself whether I would regret not pursuing this opportunity five years from now, I think I would," he said.

The start-up received a capital grant of $30,000 from Startup SG Founder, said Mr Yap, who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the National University of Singapore earlier this year.

The programme, which is overseen by government agency Enterprise Singapore, helps first-time entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground through capital support and mentorship.

The firm is working on a savings tracker that helps children keep track of their savings, with different segments to save for various reasons, such as a future trip.

It intends to expand the app so that there is a social aspect to the savings journey, as well as for parents to come onboard so that they can keep track of their children's savings. The start-up will also implement a rewards programme for parents to incentivise the savings process, Mr Yap added.

The app has had its beta launch and a fuller roll-out is scheduled for next month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 29, 2020, with the headline 'Covid-19 situation pushed fresh grad onto entrepreneurship path'. Subscribe