Start learning young they say, because curious young minds have a knack to learn faster and pick up new skills. Without a doubt, 29-yo Lim Weiyuan is a firm believer of that when he founded Reactor School, a visionary education startup that develops entrepreneurship education programmes for young people aged 13 to 24.
Together with 3 other co-founders, Khairul Rusydi, Ian Low and Puah Jing Wen, they started Reactor School in 2012 with the ambitious plan to groom the youths of today and inject them with an entrepreneurial mind.
Through meticulously-designed curriculum that is beyond classroom learning, these young students will be equipped with real skills that will help them to excel in life. The founders even went one step further to create a network of successful startup mentors where students can get access to real-life advice from fundraising to building business connections. Impressive.
It is a challenging journey but their hard work paid off. With the initial focus in Singapore, they have now successfully expanded to bigger markets including Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, and Manila.
As the Head of Reactor School, Weiyuan is kept busy with the responsibilities of Marketing, Experience and Training. Despite the busy schedule, he took some time out to share about his business, experiences gained and more.
What kickstarted your entrepreneurship journey?
An opportunity, spare time, a great team, and a need for autonomy at work after experiencing what was like to work in an organisation bogged down by bureaucracy and complacent leadership.
What do you do in your free time?
Spend time with my girlfriend, work out, read, play mobile games while commuting, sports such as touch rugby and beach volleyball, catch up with family and friends. We cook quite a bit too.
Tell me about your worst days.
There are days when I wake up tired and not looking forward to work. Sometimes I wonder if I am on the right track for the company. Other times I wonder if I made a mistake starting on this journey at all, or for staying on it for so long. But then I revisit my purpose and why I started on this in the first place and it re-centres me. Nevertheless, there are definitely the dark days.
If you can travel back in time, what is One thing you would have done differently?
I would have done market sizing properly. Really hunker down for a week to conduct research on the readiness of the market, and the size of it. We would have targeted ASEAN earlier and struggled less for revenue.
"Make testing for demand a priority. Ensure you have enough growth potential before diving into it. Build a product/service that your customers love."
What will you be doing if you are not doing what you do now?
I like to think that I would be a consultant for sustainability or education-focused companies and organisations.
To Dream or Be Realistic?
Have a dream and tie it to reality. Be idealistic in the difference you would like to make, but always tie it to a viable plan within your foreseeable ability to execute. Making a difference to status quo always requires a stretch, but a dream too impractical only creates confusion and pain, and usually goes nowhere while continuing to use time, effort and other resources.
What would you say to your future 80-yo self?
I hope I set you up well in terms of fulfilment of values, purpose and financial independence.
To end off, this driven young man has some parting advice for all budding entrepreneurs. As a leader, he believes that it is important to communicate the business vision and align the team in order to ensure that there is a plan.
"Enable your team to best execute that plan by growing them, and developing yourself." Weiyuan stresses.
If you are keen to find out more about the Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes that Reactor School offers, check out their website here.
Stay tuned for more inspirational stories on local entrepreneurs and businesses!
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