Offering a good match

Offering a good match
Ambitious targets: Glints co-founders Oswald Yeo, Seah Ying Cong and Looi Qin En. The start-up plans to attract at least 25,000 university students and 1,000 companies to subscribe to its portal by this August.

SINGAPORE - A young start-up in Singapore which matches interns with job attachments in Singapore and the region has attracted the attention of a home-grown start-up incubator.

Started last year, Glints helps match university students with internships at small Singapore-based firms and large multinational corporations with Asian operations such as Line Corporation and Puma, Looi Qin En, one of the co-founders of the start-up, told The Business Times in an interview.

Glints is run by Mr Looi, Oswald Yeo and Seah Ying Cong - all 21-year-olds who have little working experience, much less a university degree. This hasn't deterred them from coming together to set up the firm after working on a prototype start-up intern-matching programme from a local co-working space.

Glints has an internship portal that allows potential applicants to scroll through a list of about 100 internship postings at a given time. It focuses on providing internships from a niche group of interesting start-ups that other portals or universities do not offer. Some of these start-ups include Newton Circus, a technology and consultancy company, and MuseCrowd, a crowdbusiness-sourcing platform.

In addition, Glints creates personality reports for interns to highlight their work qualities by using a proprietary list of questions based on psychometric tests, said Mr Looi, who describes himself as a behavioural sciences enthusiast.

Glints charges companies that post their available internships on its website and successfully hire an intern; the interns who secure a job attachment also pay Glints a service fee. These matching fees are on top of a subscription fee that Glints charges both the companies and prospective interns.

Last year, Glints matched 50 students from a pool of 200 applicants, and it has made more than $10,000 in sales between November last year and January this year.

Given its success, Glints was picked to join Singapore's Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) in February, making the three founders the programme's youngest entrepreneurs.

Mr Looi said the incubation into JFDI is a boost to Glint's credibility. "We may not have had any work or start-up experience, but we have satisfyingly delivered on our promises."

So far, Glints has received $75,000 from angel investors and JFDI, and it is aiming to raise $750,000 at the end of the incubator programme to accelerate its expansion into South-east Asia.

Glints has its work cut out for it. Besides competing with universities which offer internships to undergraduates, it competes with InternSg, a similar web portal for Singapore internships.

It plans to attract at least 25,000 university students and 1,000 companies to subscribe to its portal by August this year. It has also set itself a target to earn up to $15,000 in monthly sales.

This article was published on April 21 in The Business Times.

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