Yodaa, a play on both Yoda (legendary Star Wars Jedi master) and yadaa (Hebrew lexicon for “to know”), may look like other online tuition services; a dime in Singapore’s booming tuition industry.
But here’s why Yodaa is different – they boast great turnaround responses from quality teachers in just 24 hours.
How? Yodaa meticulously curated only experienced tutors to onboard the platform. Albeit initially tedious and time consuming, it ensured every teacher who responded on Yodaa was both socially and academically adept.
Yodaa is the brainchild of Samuel Huang, 28, and his co-founders; they have been raising it since they were in university. Of course, getting here was not easy. Samuel shares three key points on how the company came to be.
A desire for exposure. From the start, Samuel took time to dive into the start-up scene – helping out at conventions, college module pitches, accelerators programmes, etc. The goal was to acquaint with teams, companies and individuals more seasoned and knowledgeable than him to glean practical insights from them.
Then, there was getting used to legwork. At the inception, the team often went to schools, libraries and community centres to speak with parents. to hear their concerns. They did so for 11 months while juggling other full-time jobs of their own.
There was also getting used to uncertainty and rejection. The team had to self-fund the business initially – while trying to pay off hefty university student loans too. “There’s nothing glamourous [in] starting a start-up. Every single time we’re really grinding through it, calling parents up and what not. When approaching partners, we get rejected nine in ten times,” says Samuel.
“Rejection is the accepted status quo…the process of doing it over and over again did make me a little callous,” Samuel recounts. Yet, the experience also made him to “be more resilient to rejection” and not to take rebuffs personally.
This is especially crucial since there were many points where things went south – new technological developments, changing industry landscape, shifting education policies in the region… The team had to navigate these currents to keep the ship afloat, while maintaining their industry credibility among stakeholders. Samuel underscores the stance on how to “see these things as the norm” and to keep sculling even “if the ride is not that smooth”.
After all, the difference between treading and swimming is what slant you choose to paddle.