Youngest JFDI founders of internship portal Glints Intern in Echelon top 50

Theon Leong

The young guns first wowed JFDI with their “cheekiness”, and then impressed Echelon jury members to be selected to attend Echelon Ignite in Singapore


College dropouts are clichéd in the startup scene. What about pre-college founders?

The Co-founders of Glints, an internship portal based in Singapore, became the youngest team ever last month to be incubated by leading startup-accelerator Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI). Now, Glints Intern has been listed as one of the top 50 startups that will be attending Echelon Ignite in Singapore.

The founders, Looi Qin En, Oswald Yeo and Seah Ying Cong, all aged 21, have all not gone to college yet. They have been admitted into US universities such as Stanford, University of California Berkeley, and Wharton Business School, but are currently on a pre-admission gap year to work on their startup full time.

What do they? Glints is an internship portal for youths and companies in Asia. It offers innovative features such as personality matching and intern subscription, making it easier for companies to hire interns who are the right fit.

According to Yeo, “We love how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are disrupting traditional higher education. However, MOOCs only replace the knowledge learning aspects, when college actually offers much more than that in terms of connections and real world experience. We envision Glints to be the other half of MOOCs by allowing anyone to accumulate real world experience and get recognised for it. We believe that one day, anyone can get all these benefits of college without attending college itself.”

It has raised S$75,000 (approximately US$60,000) from private business angels and JFDI, and is aiming to raise the next round of funding at the end of the 100 day JFDI bootcamp, to accelerate its roll-out across Southeast Asia.

Within the first three months, the firm has gained revenue of US$10,000. It has over 800 intern accounts and 200 internship petitions from companies. Line, Goldlion and Puma are hiring interns through Glints Intern. It is currently in talks with financial giant Goldman Sachs to discuss possibility of it using the portal to hire future interns as well.

Hugh Mason, JFDI’s Founder and CEO said, “Glints stood out from the many young teams that applied to us because, frankly, they were so damn cheeky. We sensed immediately that they have that fundamental naughtiness and healthy disrespect for rules that marks out some of the very best entrepreneurs.”

JFDI.Asia was founded in 2010 by Hugh Mason and Wong Meng Weng and focuses on tech businesses targeted toward markets in Asia. JFDI invests S$25,000 (approximately US$20,000) in each of the startup companies it accelerates.

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