He’s solely 25 years outdated, however Jonathan How has already launched his first app known as Sharetings.
The Nationwide Technological College (NTU) enterprise undergraduate can be the founding father of fashionable Telegram channel Singapore Freebies (Sgfreebie).
He’s on a mission to democratise upcycling, and his enterprise is fully pushed by the need to cut back pointless waste by making it handy for folks to upcycle their undesirable objects via an internet platform.
“Recycling and donation drives may be inconvenient, however platforms like Sharetings permits you to (upcycle) out of your cellular,” mentioned Jonathan.
What A Waste
The inspiration behind Sharetings got here from the prodigious waste Jonathan noticed his schoolmates produce.
In what has since grow to be type of a faculty custom, scores of college college students shifting out from their dorms would dump undesirable objects each semester.
He sees it an enormous waste of supplies.
“They’d throw away helpful objects, (and) there was a scarcity of digital initiatives to resolve this downside,” bemoans Jonathan.
When he was in his first yr of college in 2018, he constructed Singapore Freebies, which allowed customers to checklist undesirable objects without cost via a five-step course of.
With the assistance of a number of pals and volunteers, the Telegram channel shortly made waves.
By early 2019, Singapore Freebies had over a number of hundred postings a day and over 5,000 subscribers.
The take-up price of things hit a gradual 70 per cent and over 56,000 objects had been listed by 2020.
Motivated by the leap in customers, Jonathan set about evaluating the market hole for sharing apps, and realised that Singaporeans had been large on freebies.
As an illustration, Singaporean Fb teams providing free exchanges had over 100,000 subscribers. Bolstered by the demand, he made his subsequent step into entrepreneurial territory.
Constructing A Sharing Platform
In June 2019, Jonathan utilized for the Nationwide Atmosphere Company’s (NEA) Name For Concepts Fund in a bid to lift the capital wanted to create a cellular app.
The plan was to construct a platform that may succeed the place Singapore Freebies failed.
Nevertheless, Jonathan needed to discover a co-funding associate with a purpose to qualify for the federal government grant.
It took him some fast considering and resourcefulness to discover a co-funding associate. He landed on Southwest CDC, which was providing the Eco Fund Plus on the time.
Over a espresso date, Jonathan satisfied the committee members to present him the grant — a serious danger, provided that he was a younger and comparatively inexperienced pupil.
“My ardour persuaded them… It’s about presenting a case that individuals consider in, creating perceived worth in order that they buy-in throughout your pitch.”
Killing two birds with one stone, Jonathan succeeded in buying seed cash from two authorities companies by December 2019.
By September 2020, Jonathan had constructed and launched the beta app for Sharetings.
A big step up from the Telegram channel, the app rewards its customers for exchanging freebies in-app, is able to aggregating information on transactions and prevents scams via an automatic moderation operate.
“It’s undoubtedly a giant milestone,” says Jonathan.
A Put up-Graduate Undertaking
Jonathan is presently about to graduate from NTU, and Sharetings is a undertaking he plans on engaged on far past commencement.
“It’s significant,” he says merely.
Customers of Singapore Freebies have posted tales about how their objects have helped others on-line.
Jonathan has additionally held two occasions to lift consciousness about Sharetings earlier this yr.
The primary was held in Choa Chu Kang, and concerned a freebie giveaway pulling collectively over six blocks of residents. The second occasion was held in partnership with Jurong Group Centre.
At present, the customers of Sharetings and Singapore Freebies largely comprise of housewives, and the objects shared on-line are usually family home equipment.
Trying ahead, Jonathan needs to construct traction for his app, and have the ability to contribute in some small technique to the burgeoning sustainability motion in Singapore.
“We are able to leverage on expertise to seek out fascinating options for issues. It’s all about (making it straightforward) for folks to vary their habits.”
Featured Picture Credit score: Sharetings