He starts pest-control business despite fear of cockroaches
Temasek Poly alumnus overcomes fear to start firm
He is petrified of cockroaches, but Marcus Ong, 27, managed to keep his fear in check and started a pest control firm, PestGoCleaning, last year.
About two months ago, he cleaned up an industrial warehouse that had thousands of dead cockroaches on the floor.
Mr Ong, who is the company director, told The New Paper: "My fear became my interest when I read up on how to get rid of them, but also found out a lot about cockroaches."
He also realised that the industry here faced an unmet demand for innovative pest control solutions.
By the end of the year, Mr Ong said, he intends to develop 100 per cent organic pesticides for people with sensitive skin, pets and children.
He didn't want to go into detail on how he plans to do that.
Mr Ong has one full-time employee and employs others on a part-time basis .
When he registered his business, he needed a working space and guidance.
An alumnus of Temasek Polytechnic (TP), he heard about the Temasek Launchpad, an innovation and entrepreneurship hub with office spaces for start-ups on the campus.
Speaking at his office at the campus, Mr Ong said: "It's been great ever since I came here, because there is a lot of support and guidance from the staff.
"The start-up community here is very different from others, because people here genuinely help."
There, he met another TP alumnus, Mr Kenneth Koh, 26, an entrepreneur in curtains. The two firms are merging, and will soon be known as Horizon Collective.
Mr Koh said: "We agreed there was potential to expand from solely pest control in the traditional sense into other areas of business such as interior and product designing."
The soon-to-be partners said they are developing products related to both pest control and interior design to be released for crowd-sourcing in the coming months.
In the meantime, Mr Ong admits that he will have to get over his fear of cockroaches so that he can do his best on the job.