Looking For Hidden Gems
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Alice Rennison Read : 1183 Date : Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 05:10:58

    Fresh college graduates often have a big problem when it comes to looking for that crucial first job. They lack experience, beyond some internships and summer jobs. Thus if they post on LinkedIn or other jobs sites, their profiles are pretty short.

    Singapore-based startup Glints Intern Pte Ltd, operating the glints.com site, aims to help that target market find internships and, more importantly, the initial jobs that can shape a lifelong career. They call their site a “career development platform.” In place of long resumes to match jobs to jobseekers, the founders claim they will use special algorithms to help screen applicants and offers, to match up the right person with the right company.

    The site’s three co-founders could be role models for their own site. They are all 22 years old Singaporeans: Oswald Yeo, Seah Ying Cong and Looi Qin En. In Singapore, where academic qualifications are highly valued, the three dropped out their top-end U.S. universities to start the site. Oswald left Berkeley, Ying Wharton and Qin Stanford.

    Friends from high school, the three decided not to wait until graduation to start a business. “When we finally finished high school, we decided to do something real,” says Oswald, who is chief executive of Glints. The three initially started the company as an internship platform, matching students with intern opportunities. Yet they quickly realized their demographic of 20 to 30 year-olds needed to find jobs after the internships and their studies ended.

    “After speaking to a lot of our users we realized that the problem lies not looking for internships. The biggest problem young people face is, one, they don’t know exactly what career they want to do. Or, two, even if they do, they might not know how to pull the right strings to get there. So that’s how Glints evolved from an internship platform to a career development platform,” says Oswald.

    Oswald, Ying and Qin paid $20 for a website and set up the company. After a few months, they built a small user base, and had made a couple of thousand dollars. They then managed to raise $475,000 for the site from investors such as  Singapore-based East Ventures and SPH Media Fund, and U.S.-based 500 Startups. Investors now own around 30% of the company, with the rest owned by the three. Glints has also managed to get some impressive companies to register with it, including Puma, Adidas, Tokopedia, Chevron and 30 others. As with many sites, it is free for job and internship seekers but companies pay to be part of the site. Revenue in January 2015 was $1,500 and in December had grown to $55,000.

    The founders have recently expanded Glints to Indonesia to tap its huge market for youth employment. Each year two million Indonesians join the labor force, with many finding it hard to get the right job. Which is also an issue the Glints wants to tackle. “I think as young people ourselves, we feel strongly about this problem,” says Oswald. The recent expansion to Indonesia has boosted the company’s reach. Prior to the move 20,000 job seekers and 2,000 employers were on Glints, whereas now Glints has 30,000 job seekers and 3,000 employers.