***Son Le Thanh is the Singapore Startup Grind Chapter Director***
Sometime, things come when you least expect it.
Last Sunday I received the acceptance letter from Founder Institute that I was accepted into the Singapore Summer 2012 semester. I finally made it after four times applying for the program and being rejected the previous three times. Let me tell you about how it happened and why I didn’t give up.
My story begins in early summer 2010. Founder Institute opened their first semester in Singapore and I was in the last year of my studying at National University of Singapore. I was really busy with my workload and pressure of the last semester. I had been in the corporate world for 7 years by that time and I wanted to quit the corporate ladder to pursue my own dream as an entrepreneur.
However, I have been aware that I lacked of necessary skills and experience for becoming a successful entrepreneur. Hence, I quickly applied for this program immediately as I knew I could learn a lot from it. After finished the predictive Admission test including logic test and personality test, I was rejected due to irrelevant experiences to be accepted into this program.
Life moved on, every time a new semester was opened in Singapore, I kept applying for it again and again. Every time, I had to use another separate email account as if I logged in with the previous email account, my status was always ‘Rejected’. At the same time, I kept improving myself by accumulating a couple of technical and professional certificates like Oracle Certified Enterprise Architect, Project Management Professionals.
Last October, I decided to be more involved in the local startup community in Singapore by attending the Startup Weekend Singapore, an event where you form a team to work on a product prototype in 54 hours over the weekend. I continued working with folks from another team which also participated in the event and we spun off and tried to come out with the final product. I still keep my full-time job and work on this product nights and weekends. Buddies in the team went over to my house several days a week to work together. Besides that, I kept pitching this product whenever I had the chance, like in the Facebook Mobile Hack Singapore 2012. Our team even went to Silicon Valley to attend the eBootcamp organized by Stanford University. I went out to attend various startup and networking events to pitch about the product with VCs, founders in Palo Alto and the San Francisco areas.
This year the Founder Institute Singapore semester was opened again and I applied for the program together with my partner. We used the product’s idea to tell the judges what we are planning to do and why I wanted to do the startup. I also finished the Admission Test as usual and got no response from Founder Institute similar to previous times. I checked with them and surprisingly they responded that I was selected based on result for the test and my biography.
In my own story, I think there is an invisible force keep watching your effort and patience when you are persistently striving to do something. As long as you don’t stop pursuing it, you will get it in the end when you least expect it.