They became bosses with poly's help
Temasek Polytechnic's Entrepreneurship Centre helps graduates take business idea from conception to fruition
Their delivery start-up has more than 7,000 couriers and services over 500 companies.
The idea for the business, run by Mr Elston Yee and Mr Wong Yongjie, both 33, may have never materialised if not for their time in Temasek Polytechnic (TP).
Mr Yee was a business and information technology student but it was a course on technopreneurship that sparked the idea of having his own company.
"It taught us the technology to actually start our own company," said Mr Yee.
"Throughout the three years, any school project or assignment would be geared towards preparing you for a future where you can start your own business."
Though the two went on to take day jobs, they still harboured the idea of starting their own business.
In 2014, Mr Yee finally decided that it was time to take the plunge. The duo had quit their jobs in January that year - Mr Wong left his position as a director for Starbucks China's loyalty programme, while Mr Yee was a customer solutions supervisor. But it was only in May that Mr Yee had his eureka moment.
Mr Yee told The New Paper that his inspiration came partly from Carousell and how people were selling things on their own but it was still cumbersome to pass the items to buyers.
He said: "I thought maybe there was a way to digitise the entire process (buying to delivering items) and because Uber came around that time as well, we decided to do a combination of both."
They approached TP's Entrepreneurship Centre with their business idea and have not looked back since. Qourier, an on-demand service that connects customers to crowdsourced couriers, was born.
Said Mr Yee: "We really thought of TP only when we were looking for investors.
"For TP, it's entirely about helping you, getting up to mark and providing you with all kinds of connections."
Mr Wong said when they started out, they could not afford to hire anyone .
He added: "Our design, marketing, even the T-shirts we wear were all done up by me."
Their burdens were eased when TP recommended them to Spring Singaporewhich provided them with a $50,000 grant.
TP also provided them with mentorship which helped them with their business plan, fine-tuned their pitching and suggested ways to grow the business.
TP also introduced them to Mr Satheesh Thekku Veethil, who was the chief technology officer (CTO) of another start-up at the time, but was eventually convinced to join Qourier as their CTO.They said the centre still keeps in touch with them, alerting them on workshops that are relevant to their business. They were even offered an office space for business expansion.
Said Mr Wong: "Of course we're grateful. With their help, we're looking to expand to other South-East Asian countries."