College dropouts are clichéd in the startup scene. What about pre-college founders? Looi Qin En, Oswald Yeo and Seah Ying Cong, all aged 21, have all not gone to college yet. Forget going though any internship in any company. Yet, these three boys are changing the way companies recruit interns and in the process providing a platform to internship seekers.

Yeo loves 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. These real world experiences come through internships and it is a pain for candidates to find the right company, and pain for companies to seek out interns. The trio have come up with Glints, a portal to bridge that demand gap.

“We envision Glints to be the other half of MOOCs by allowing anyone to accumulate real world experience and get recognized for it. We believe that one day, anyone can get all these benefits of college without attending college itself.”

Glints offers innovative features such as personality matching and intern subscription, making it easier for companies to hire interns who are the right fit. The personality matching is “especially unique”, as the platform can accurately predict the intern’s work-style, personality and how they can be expected to work in a team. The personality test is focused on the corporate environment, and offers 16 different combinations, drawing inspiration from the DISC test.

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The boys 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.

Glints 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. Yeo proudly claims that Glints is the youngest ever batch in an acceleration programme with JFDI.

Within the first three months, the firm claims to have gained revenue worth US$10,000. It claims to have over 800 intern accounts and 200 internship requests from companies. Line, Goldlion and Puma are some of its clients that Yeo says are hiring interns through Glints Intern.

He says that the company is in talks with financial giant Goldman Sachs to discuss possibility of it using the portal to hire future interns as well.

The trio made a pitch at the Singapore Echelon 2014 Satellite. The team though missed the coveted “winner” rank, but it certainly has managed to catch the eye of investors. The company claims that it has been approached by angel investors who are keen to pool in seed capital into the company, mainly because of the traction and the vision of the company.

Echelon 2014 is a two-day Startup, Technology and Business event where Asia’s most innovative startups, early-stage investors and tech industry leaders as well as tech media, gather to celebrate and build Asia’s growing tech industry, as well as make valuable relationships. 

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