Hustling hard for the dates: start from the problem and work from there
Updated: Mar 18, 2020
The Refuel Team met with dateideas' founder, Raimie, to pick his brain on what he has learnt from more than five years as an entrepreneur. Read to the end to find out how you can participate in dateideas' Giveaway and win some amazing prizes.
As Singaporeans, we're bound to have had the experience of being at a loss when deciding on places to go and things to do, whether with our partners or when hanging out with friends. For the past two years, Raimie set out to solve this problem by working on dateideas, a platform which provides millennials with novel and interesting ideas on what to do for their next date.
Dateideas is not Raimie's first startup, though. The Business and Chemical Engineering undergraduate at NUS got interested in entrepreneurship before university, when he took part in a programme that enlightened him on how much value entrepreneurs could bring to the public. Inspired, he set out to launch his first startup, and searched for a technical co-founder by sending coders Facebook messages. This was also how he found his dateideas co-founder, Shu Peng. He eventually stopped working on his previous startup due to the lack of a clear market and problem. When he entered university, he began looking for another problem to solve and market to target, and thus started dateideas. The rest is history.
We learnt a lot about how solving a problem is the backbone of every startup.
Dateideas started off as a Telegram channel, which has 48,000 followers, and is growing every day. The startup has also since branched out to a website as well. In their early days, the dateideas team spent a lot of time cold-calling and emailing to reach out to merchants - and their hard work paid off. A quick glance at the platform reveals a whole lot of interesting and unconventional activities with established partner merchants, from Glamping to Kayak Fishing to an immersive dining experience.
A go-getter and self-starter
Raimie also worked in a startup in Silicon Valley, as part of a year-long stint with the NUS Overseas College. There, he witnessed how people were so passionate about their startups that they could leave their jobs behind to work on their ideas full-time. He knew that he wanted this experience to have a very direct impact on his life back in Singapore, which motivated him to take a Leave of Absence from school for a semester to work on dateideas full-time. Despite initial backlash from the people around him and the uncertainty of working full-time on a startup, he decided to take the plunge and dedicate all his time to dateideas. It was then that the startup began an upward trajectory of growth, and its business model started showing sustainability.
Execution is the most important. If you have an idea, don't sit on it and just wait.
For Raimie, the experimentation and business development never stops. Even though he will be embarking on an exchange programme in Croatia in the coming six months, he plans to work on dateideas from abroad, and even create a Croatian version of the platform. This project will act as a pilot testing for what the dateideas team needs to consider when branching out overseas, as the team envisions expanding to Indonesia in the coming years.
For the aspiring entrepreneurs
Many productivity gurus advocate setting small goals. This is an advice that could work for starting up too. When starting dateideas, Raimie began with something basic - a Telegram channel that could be created ASAP, rather than spending months developing an application. The next goal was also something achievable; sourcing for content to be uploaded, and private messaging 200 of his personal contacts to join the Telegram channel. Only then did his tech co-founder, Shu Peng, begin developing their website.
Even though building the website took time, at least I already had the Telegram channel and content to work with. (We) could do something while waiting for the website to be done. I strongly believe that entrepreneurs should follow this "layer-by-layer" concept.
You're in luck!
Dateideas is currently having a 15-day Valentine's Giveaway from 15 - 29 Feb with 40 Merchant Partners to choose from and 30 Prizes to be won. Check out the rules to take part
Learning more about entrepreneurship, innovation or just curious about how startups make money? Find out more about the dateideas business model here!
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