On 9th November 2020, we kicked off our first ever decentralised NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, also known as NYEC. It is a four-day capstone competition where the top three students from each school participating in the NFTE programme come together to pitch their ideas and compete for a chance to represent Singapore as the Global Young Entrepreneur, an opportunity presented upon emerging as the winner of the NYEC. There were three parts to the competition: a business bootcamp, a business pitch, and an idea showcase segment, where members of the public could vote for the idea they believed to be the most investible.
However, due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, the preparation boot camp and competition were organised slightly differently. Instead of having all the participants gather at one venue, facilitators were dispatched to the schools to guide them through the process of refining their business plans and prototyping with masterclasses occurring online through zoom. Business coaches from various industries chipped in to give the students more feedback on their business pitches prior to the competition. The students developed different prototypes according to the type of product they have pitched. From digital marketing collaterals to applications and even physical prototypes, these ideas came to life over the course of the three-day boot camp in preparation for the final competition.
The ideas ranged from immersive themed cafes, water dispensing robots, dance applications and even truly wireless charging technology.
Over the three days, the participants also pitched their business ideas in one-minute showcase videos to appeal to the public to vote for them as the most investible idea. As we were not able to host all the participants and audience at the same venue, the showcase segment was held online on our NFTE instagram page, where public voting was open to individuals far beyond what was previously limited by an onsite audience capacity. On the Instagram page, the featured participants interacted with the public, answering any questions or feedback they received in the comment section. It was bustling with activity, synonymous to what one might experience at a live marketplace.
Then came the last day, a full day of pitching for the students as they vied for a spot in the Grand Finals. Decked in formal business wear, the students presented their business ideas and prototypes to an esteemed panel of judges from a variety of organisations like Enterprise Singapore over an online video streaming platform, adhering to the new safe distancing guidelines. As the pool of finalists trickled to a handful of six at the end of the semi-finals, the lights at the venue of the Grand Finale came on.
The six finalists were quickly ushered into a cab and made their way to the Grand Finale of the night; the finals of the competition they worked tirelessly over the past year for. The Grand Finale, held within COVID-19 safe management guidelines at the Star Vista, was livestreamed across all of Singapore, with guests cheering them on from the comfort of their homes and offices. Our judges for the night were Carolyn Kan, Founder of Carrie K., Jon Chua, Creative Director of Zendyll Music and James Keady, Regional Digital Director at CITI.
Grand Finale Judges
Founder, Head of A&R & Creative Director
Regional Digital Director
The finalists kept us all on our toes for the rest of the night with their novel ideas and presentation skills. Before we knew it, the exciting night came to a close as Khea Satore Yap Chen Li from St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School was crowned our Global Young Entrepreneur 2020. Jubilant cheers and congratulations flooded in from the public and fellow participants over the livestream. It was truly a night to remember, concluding the end of their NFTE journey for the year.
We also awarded the Global Enterprising Educator award for 2020 to Mr Scott Chew from Unity Secondary School, for his commitment and innovation in running the NFTE programme.
Halogen Foundation Singapore would like to express our heartfelt
appreciation to all who showed their support.