Empower Youth, Enlighten their Future
GenYouth’s core business is giving youths industry exposure through our Connected Campus Tours, an initiative that comprises industry engagement events e.g. inspirational talks, career fairs, mentoring sessions.
We are introducing ProWider, an employment platform specifically for university students seeking internships and part-time placements; and HatchLab, an on-campus GenYouth physical touchpoint where students can dine, socialize, attend employability events, and gain work experience at F&B outlets.
We have connected 350+ businesses to over 200,000 students from 100+ universities. We have also signed MOUs with 10 universities and 5 industry associations, who overwhelmingly support our work. Finally, we are supported by the Ministry of Education and the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation.
We have won numerous awards over the years, including being named ‘Most Promising’ in the 2017 Star Outstanding Business Awards and winning the 2018 JCI Malaysia Sustainable Development Award for Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
We got 2,200 students and 200 companies to sign up for ProWider within a month with zero marketing costs. One HatchLab in Universiti Malaya is undergoing final renovations and will begin operations the next academic semester, while 9 more will be established by the end of 2021.
We are an asset-light company with low marketing costs, diversified income streams, and a highly scalable business model, which limits our risk exposure while maximizing returns.
We are taking advantage of favorable market conditions including a booming higher education industry, constant demand from students, and a lack of direct competitors. Our expansion plans include introducing UniConn, a student lifestyle platform to rival Grab, and data monetization.
Graduates are Not Equipped to Enter the World of Work
Malaysia, despite producing large numbers of graduates with first-class degrees each year, is grappling with a youth unemployment rate that is over 3 times higher than the national rate. In fact, the youth employment rate has been steadily rising, from 9.9% in 2011 to 11.7% in 2020.
Unemployment in 2020
National: 4.9% | Youth: 11.7%
Department of Statistics Malaysia
Employers, research institutes, and government policymakers alike attribute this to graduates’ lack of soft skills and practical experience. While institutes of higher learning excel at academic instruction, most of those do not provide the skills-based and job-relevant training youths require to thrive in the workplace. Many of them fail to land their desired jobs after graduation as they simply do not possess the skills that employers value. This situation is further compounded by the COVID-19 and MCO.
A Solution Aligned with the 2015-2025 Malaysian Education Blueprint
To address the problem of insufficiently-skilled graduates, the Malaysian government has outlined 10 ‘Shifts’ i.e. goals to achieve in the pursuit of a holistic and effective higher education system in their 2015-2025 Malaysian Education Blueprint.
The Blueprint’s 1st and most important goal is to equip graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to stand out in the rapidly evolving 21st century workforce. To accomplish that, it recommends giving students early industry exposure and providing them with the opportunities to acquire skills through hands-on, practical learning.
GenYouth is ready to join the government’s efforts to revitalize the higher education sector by doing what we do best: connecting students to industry players who will inspire, train, mentor, and hire them through a comprehensive range of online and offline initiatives.
Expanding Opportunities for Youths to Accumulate Skills and Experience
Although there is no shortage of job portals in Malaysia, nearly all of them target mature workers seeking full-time jobs. Advertisements for internships, part-time jobs, and freelance projects – exactly the kind of work experience students need to impress future employers – are few and far between, making it difficult for youths to obtain relevant information, let alone apply for these positions.
In line with our belief that knowledge is power, GenYouth has developed ProWider, an AI-powered digital platform that connects youths to the industry players and placement opportunities they need to stand out in the increasingly competitive job market. Businesses will also benefit from obtaining access to a never-ending supply of promising young talent without incurring massive advertising costs.
ProWider: Bringing Talent and Opportunities Together
ProWider is a placement portal dedicated to youths in tertiary education who wish to amass skills and experience before formally entering the job market. It is available both as a website and a mobile application. All vacancies on ProWider are for internships, part-time jobs, and freelance positions – perfect for students seeking to productively utilize their weekends and semester breaks while earning extra income and enhancing their employability.
To ensure the most choice and the best quality for our young users, we incentivize businesses to sign up to ProWider by offering very reasonable rates. Instead of charging per advertisement like other employment portals, which is costly with no guarantee of success, we allow companies to post as many vacancies as they want for free, only charging them a success fee for each candidate they successfully recruit.
Creating Additional Value for Students Through Diligent Record-Keeping. Even if they have completed a satisfactory number of placements, graduates still may not be able to convince employers of their track record if they have no written proof. This problem is particularly pressing in relation to part-time jobs, which do not record student workers’ personal details and pay them directly in cash.
ProWider tackles this issue by automatically recording users’ placements and compiling them into a comprehensive record that can then be signed off by students’ academic supervisors as proof of their achievements. Users’ records will include the soft skills they have learnt at each placement to make it easier for employers to identify promising candidates with the relevant skills.
To further increase accuracy, we have developed a sophisticated tracking system that keeps track of users’ working hours using technology like geofencing and Wi-Fi location tracking – useful for employers who require candidates to have amassed a minimum number of working hours in a particular position.
AI and Insights from Big Data Facilitate Accurate Matching. Users want efficiency – they do not want to spend hours trawling through irrelevant search results. To avoid that, we require all users, students and corporations alike, to enter a comprehensive range of personal details when they first sign up. These data will be analyzed by our powerful AI search engine, which will then match candidates to the most suitable vacancies, saving time and mental effort for all.
Honest, Unbiased Reviews Lead to Better Decision-Making. Users may not fully trust the information displayed on personal or corporate profiles as there is always a risk that claims may be exaggerated. To remedy that, we have included a review function where candidates may review their former employers and vice versa. We guard against the possibility of fake reviews by mandating reviewers to have worked with the reviewee previously.
HatchLab: Hands-On Training, Right on Campus
HatchLab is an initiative we introduced in collaboration with various universities. HatchLabs are GenYouth’s physical, on-campus touchpoints that serve as a practical, hands-on complement to ProWider. While ProWider connects students to off-campus placements, HatchLab gives them the opportunity to obtain work experience right on campus by being trained to operate campus F&B outlets. As usual, their work experience will be recorded on ProWider and certified by the university.
HatchLabs are established on space granted by the university and populated by various F&B vendors. Within HatchLabs, there will also be a dedicated space for GenYouth outreach events such as employability workshops and open interviews. We envision them as hubs where students can dine, socialize, attend employability events, and gain valuable work experience by working part-time at the F&B outlets.
An Attractive Value Proposition for F&B Outlets. Our partner universities charge us (and by extension, HatchLab F&B operators) low rents as they recognize that HatchLab brings value to them by training and upskilling their students, making partnering with HatchLab all the more attractive to businesses looking for a cost-effective way to expand their customer base. In turn, this benefits students, who get to choose from a wide variety of both dining and employment options.
Engaging and Inspiring the Workforce of the Future. In keeping with our mission to train and support the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, we plan to organize regular talks, open interviews, and training sessions from industry leaders in HatchLabs nationwide. We hope that these initiatives will give students a head start on their career as well as cement our reputation as the main bridge between academic and industry for young people.
200 Companies and 2,200 Students Signed Up for ProWider in 30 Days
We launched ProWider in July 2020 with an initial focus on internship placements. The part-time job feature will be launched in November 2020 while freelance project opportunities will be available from March 2021.
Due to the tremendous goodwill and name recognition generated from our Connected Campus Tours, we had no problem getting students and companies alike to sign up for ProWider. Within a month of launching, we registered 200 companies and 2,200 students on the site, and more are signing up at this moment. Since user acquisition is only expected to accelerate as we promote the platform to more potential users at future events, we project an impressive 5,000 companies and 500,000 students will have signed up for ProWider by 2024.
One HatchLab Near Completion, with More Coming Soon
We are proud to announce that our first HatchLab is currently in the final stages of development and is scheduled to begin operations the next academic semester. Located in UM’s Central Library, it is a joint venture between GenYouth and HappyLemon, a world-renowned tea brand with over 2,000 outlets in 21 countries. The brand is a firm favorite of some of the world’s most successful companies, with outlets in Amazon and Alibaba headquarters as well as Shanghai Disneyland.
We are currently in advanced discussions with another two large public universities to establish HatchLabs on their premises. By the end of 2021, we hope to leverage our excellent relationships with institutes of higher learning to establish HatchLabs at the 10 most populous public and private universities in Malaysia.
A Massive Existing Customer Base of Over 200,000 Students, 350 Companies, and 100 Universities
Prior to developing ProWider, we specialized in bringing industry players to campuses to train, inspire, and mentor students through a series of events and workshops collectively known as the Connected Campus Tours. The 350+ companies we worked with include household names such as Huawei, Celcom, XPax, Monster Energy Drinks and others, while our 200,000 student participants come from more than 100 renowned public and private universities like Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), SEGi University and etc.
Guided by Experienced Mentors from the Cradle Coach and Grow Programme
We were fortunate to be accepted into the Malaysian government-backed Cradle Fund’s Coach and Grow Programme, where promising technology startups receive coaching on how to grow their business from seasoned experts who are successful entrepreneurs themselves. With our experienced mentor on hand to guide us through the difficult early stages of the expansion process, we are sure that we will find the best ways to overcome our challenges and emerge a better business in the end.
Supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
To facilitate our expansion into the digital economy, we have formed a strategic partnership with MDEC, which will advise us on various regulatory issues and provide us with insights on trends in the digital economy. We can also count on support from the Ministry of Education’s Department of Higher Education, which sent us a letter affirming their support for our student-focused initiatives in October 2019.
MOUs with 10 Universities and 5 Industry Associations Who Consider Us a Trusted Partner
We have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with 10 universities and 5 industry associations, all of which have expressed their willingness to help us promote our initiatives to students and business entities alike. We are confident that we can depend on their recommendations to market our initiatives to the widest possible audience at the lowest possible cost.
Numerous Awards from the Business Community Indicate Their Confidence in Us
In just one year after our inception, we were named ‘Most Promising’ in the 2017 Star Outstanding Business Awards in recognition of our potential to completely reshape the Malaysian workforce. Since then, we have been on a winning streak: we won the 2018 JCI Malaysia Sustainable Development Award for Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, among other accolades.
Resilience in the Face of Adversity
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, forcing the government to issue a Movement Control Order (MCO), our large-scale physical events inevitably had to be cancelled. Nonetheless, we did not give up: after coordinating with companies and universities, we moved entire events online, ensuring that students’ career planning could continue uninterrupted. Following the success of the first few virtual internship and career fairs, the first Internship and Career Fair which co-organized with Universiti Malaya on 13th July 2020 being awarded in Malaysia Book of Records for “The Most Number of Student-Employer ‘E-meeting’ in a Virtual Career Fair’ and ‘The First Student-Employer ‘E-Meeting’ In A Virtual Career Fair’, we now have 6 more planned for the rest of 2020 – a testament to our dedication and staying power.
Bringing Value to Students in Higher Learning, Universities, and Corporations
Students. ProWider enables students to easily search and apply for internships, part-time jobs, and freelance projects where they can accumulate skills and experience; while HatchLab offers them part-time positions right on campus. This will be especially helpful to students from the B40 socioeconomic group, who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to augment their income. Students also benefit from the training and mentoring programs that comprise our Connected Campus Tours.
Universities. Our event planning expertise allows us to reduce the workload for universities organizing industry engagement sessions. After each session, we provide universities with valuable data – e.g. student attendance numbers and hiring rates – that helps them assess the effectiveness of their outreach efforts. In addition, by upskilling their students, we make it easier for these students to get desirable jobs after they graduate, enhancing the reputation of the university as an incubator of highly employable graduates.
Corporations. We connect businesses with a never-ending pipeline of fresh talent through ProWider and our Connected Campus Tours at very reasonable costs. F&B operators who partner with us on HatchLab also get the opportunity to expand their customer base while fulfilling their corporate social responsibility obligations.
Diversified Income Sources that will Only Increase in the Future
We have multiple streams of income from our various ventures, which limits our shareholders’ risk exposure if any one of these ventures experiences financial difficulties.
|Connected Campus Tours||
UniConn. We are currently developing UniConn, a one-stop lifestyle platform that aims to be the equivalent of Grab among university students. From June 2021 onwards, students will be able to check in at events, shop online, rent accommodation, arrange transport, and pay for on-campus services such as laundry on UniConn – a truly convenient solution.
Data Monetization. Over time, ProWider and UniConn will aggregate data from hundreds and thousands (potentially millions) of students, making this information extremely useful to companies targeting the youth market. We plan to take advantage of booming demand to sell data to businesses interested in understanding young consumers’ preferences.
Near-Zero Marketing Costs Give Us Higher Net Profits
Expanding businesses inevitably need to market themselves to new customers, which typically involves hefty costs. GenYouth, however, is different – we are so well-known and trusted that universities and companies proactively recommend our services to their contacts, who in turn refer us to even more people, promoting our services without any effort or cost on our part. Low costs and an expanded customer base result in higher net profits for us, which in turn is funneled back to our investors.
Asset-Light Business Leaves Investors with Little to Lose
GenYouth has few fixed assets, helping us save on upkeep. Our main asset is our business relationships, which we will not lose even during economic downturns. Even with our expansion into the digital economy with ProWider and UniConn (in the future), these are online products that do not require high maintenance costs. This makes us better-positioned to adapt to financial challenges without significantly impacting shareholder returns.
Highly Scalable Business Model Maximizes Our Growth Potential
Our Connected Campus Tours can be easily adapted to suit any country in South East Asia or even the Asia-Pacific region, giving us ample room for expansion. Similarly, ProWider and UniConn, our online platforms, can be quickly modified to cater to users abroad e.g. adding languages and payment methods. As we expand into foreign markets while maintaining low costs, our profits will only continue to grow, maximizing returns for shareholders who opt to invest early.
A Thriving Market for Higher Education
According to a report from Ken Research, the Malaysian education industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% from 2018-2023, with higher education dominating the market in terms of revenue. Their positive assessment of the future of the higher education industry is shared by Datin Paduka Dr. Siti Hamisah Tapsir, the Director-General of the Malaysian Higher Education Department, who spoke of the industry’s bright outlook in a 2019 interview with The Star. This is undoubtedly a boon to GenYouth as it expands our pool of potential clients.
Constant Demand for Industry Exposure from University Students
With the rise of automation and digitalization, graduates will be expected to prove their worth by demonstrating a wide variety of technical and soft skills. GenYouth is well-placed to benefit from this trend by matching each new intake of students to suitable placements through ProWider and HatchLab in addition to connecting them with key industry players through our Connected Campus Tours.
In 2019, there were 1.27 million students in higher education in Malaysia – that’s 1.27 million potential users, with a new influx every few months.
Few Direct Competitors in Our Specific Market Niche
Unlike other employment portals, ProWider is youth-centric – it is specifically designed for university students seeking internships and part-time work experience. Even recruitment platforms like WOBB, which focus on young jobseekers, pose little threat to us as they primarily cater to graduates seeking full-time jobs. This gives us plenty of room to grow and dominate our specific market niche.
Even if some of our indirect competitors seek to capitalize on our success by expanding their services, they face high barriers to entry as they lack our extensive network of close relationships with universities and industry players, who know us well and trust in our expertise. It will take them a long time to replicate our network of contacts, affording us extra time to enhance our services to always stay one step ahead.
We seek RM3,000,000 in funding to:
1. Cover ProWider and UniConn IT development costs 40%. To create the best user experience, we require funding to engage IT development experts and deploy advanced technology.
2. Expand our outreach 20%. While we have already amassed an enviable number of contacts, we want to expand our network even further to create more engagement opportunities in the future.
3. Establish more HatchLab contact points 40%. University-granted spaces need to undergo refurbishing to be transformed into attractive student hubs. Funding will be used to redesign and renovate the space to make it fit for purpose.
Founders Who are Outstanding in Their Respective Fields
Eldrick, Founder and CEO. A talented young entrepreneur, Eldrick has founded several successful startups, including GenYouth and Creative Today Sdn. Bhd. In recognition of his accomplishments, he has received several prestigious awards, including being named one of the top 30 Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards 2017 and 2018 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Malaysians Awards.
Gillian, Co-Founder and Director. With an MA in Business Administration and over 17 years of experience in event planning, including a stint as director at the Malaysian Book of Records, Gillian is well-qualified to develop and implement our business marketing strategy. She was responsible for cultivating most of our valuable business contacts.
Distinguished Advisors with Considerable Business Acumen
Mr. Ng Kee Peng, Managing Director at Freedom Venture PLT. Kee Peng is a skilled business advisor. Under his supervision, b’smart, a company that was averaging RM10 million in annual revenue, saw their profits increase by 300% in 5 years. He is highly sought after by companies worldwide, having given seminars in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and China.
Datuk Seri Garry Chua, Managing Director of the ROTOL Group and Immediate Past President of the Malaysian Retailers Chain Association. Datuk Seri Garry is a businessman of many talents. Aside from overseeing the ROTOL Group, he was also the President of the Malaysian Retailers Chain Association, where he advised members on business strategies. His other achievements include being a senior advisor to renowned firms like the Aladdin Group and Fusionex International as well as being on the board of directors at KL Wellness City and the Human Medical Research Ethics Committee.
Tan Sri Danny Ooi, Founder of the Malaysian Book of Records. Inspired by the determination displayed by ordinary Malaysians striving to excel in their respective fields, Tan Sri Danny founded the Malaysian Book of Records in 2019 to record the achievements of these remarkable individuals. As the President of Miss Tourism International and 7 other international beauty pageants, he was also responsible for transforming Malaysia into a major player in the beauty pageant industry.
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