Smarter Me bootcamp

Hello, How Can We Help? 

Here are some frequently asked questions

 

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Most Frequently Asked

Who is Smarter Me?

Smarter Me was founded in July 2016, by a former Investment Banker and Head of Strategy at a listed company.

We started off as a website where parents can search for all sorts of classes (a marketplace) - from swimming, to taekwondo, to art and music.

But we saw a gap in the the education that our kids are going through, and what they need for their future.
In this fast paced, tech-driven future, where a problem-solving mindset, creativity, collaboration, communication, and resilience are the core skills which humans need, we felt that our kids are ill-prepared.

Which is why we launched the new Smarter Me, a school that equips children and teens with the skillset, mindset and heartset to help them navigate through the future.

All our classes are designed to instill the 4C1R - Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Resilience, and most importantly - they are designed to be relevant to the real world, and as realistic as possible.

We specialise in 5 Masteries - Coding, Robotics, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking and Financial Literacy, underpinned by Mindfulness and Happiness.

You can read more here.

Or watch these videos:

 

 

We (and our founder) have also been featured in a few articles:

Money FM

Straits Times

Asia Biz Today

Asian Money Guide

Where is your centre located?

Our classes are delivered through two models:

  • As holiday camps, and
  • As online lessons

We do not have a fixed centre. Our holiday camps are held at various centrally located venues such as City Hall (Downtown), Ayer Rajah (West), and Mountbatten (East). Please check the camp page to see where the specific location is.

For our online lessons, they are conducted through a video conference - so students can log in and join the class comfortably from home. Or wherever they are.

What makes Smarter Me so special?

Our unique value proposition and differentiating factors:

  1. Our teachers are practitioners - Ex-MOE teachers and Curriculum Director of The Keys Academy, serial entrepreneurs, Lead UX Designer at Grab...These are just a brief of the background of our teachers. 
  2. Real-world applicability - Students don't just learn for the sake of learning. They will also put themselves to the test as they apply their new-found knowledge on real-world corporate challenges.
  3. Convenient - Why be obsessed with limiting screen time? Could we instead think of how we can help our kids become creators of technology instead of consumers? 2 hours a week spent learning a relevant skill that will help their future, in the comfort of your own house, without the need for parents to send them to one more class. Now isn't that a winner?

And we had our own kids go through these courses!

How big is the class?

For holiday camps: We have a maximum size of 20 per camp, and we maintain a 1:10 teacher to student ratio. Your child will usually work in pairs or small groups of 3-4 students throughout camp, whenever they are building robots or their business. Your children's learning experience and enjoyment, as well as safety, is our top priority

For online classes: The class size is 4 to 10 students per class.

There are 2 key reasons:

  1. To facilitate regional collaboration and community: The more students that learn together, the more collaboration, the more cool, fantastic, groundbreaking ideas! 
  2. To make it affordable for you: There are some classes out there, but at double our prices. We believe in making future-skills education accessible to all, not just the rich, and this will allow us to do

That being said, we monitor all the classes closely and should the teachers and us feel that the class is too big to give our students the learning they deserve, we may take steps to adjust the class size.

Holiday Camps

Where is the camp held?

We run camps in several different locations. Please refer to the location stated in the camp details page.

For year-end of 2019, all our camps will be held at Trehaus Funan, walking distance from City Hall MRT.  

What's unique about your camps?

We specialise in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary camps.

We believe that at a young age, children should (1) explore the different topics and gain a wide perspective, (2) be able to see how the different subjects fit together. Because the world doesn't function in silos.

Our Innovation Junior Camp and Change The World Camp, for example, lets children learn coding, robotics and entrepreneurship in a week. At the end of camp, they will typically get an idea of what they enjoyed best - and this allows them (and you) to decide what specific skill they want to hone.

They also apply tech skills and design thinking skills to ideate a startup (entrepreneurship), culminating in a pitch presentation which relies on how they creatively thought about solving problems (literally, the way students are taught to come up with ideas is by thinking - "What problem do I want to solve in the world?") and how they split the work and collaborated.

Check out our student creations gallery  

Are there any pre-requisites?

Nope! Our camps are designed for children with little or no experience in coding or robotics.

If your child already has some experience in coding or robotics, do let us know beforehand so that we can advise on suitability, and we can also arrange for more advanced challenges and tasks for your child during the camp - we want to make sure they are learning new things!

For certain camps which has a pre-requisite, such as the Young Founders Camp or a Change The World or Innovation Junior Level 2 Camp, the requirement will be clearly stated in the camp page. Typically, this requires your child to have attended our past camps (or other tech camps) before.

 

What's the cancellation policy?

For our holiday camps, we provide FULL refund if the cancellation is made at least 30 days before the camp start date.

In the unfortunate circumstance that we have to cancel a camp, you will receive a full refund. 

 

Young Founders Summit

What is Young Founders Summit Global/Asia?

Young Founders Summit Global (referred to as Founders Bootcamp) is the world's first high school startup accelerator. Originating from Los Angeles, every year, teenager founders pitch to get cash investments and join an acceleration program.

In partnership with UCLA, Founders Bootcamp provides access to starting budgets, essential resources, and experienced mentors to empower student teams to create real companies from scratch. During the acceleration program in Los Angeles (originally held around June-July), top teams develop functional products, gain persuasive traction, and obtain investor funding.

Through years of testing and learning, the current Founders Bootcamp has evolved into a more fluid accelerator program. After rounds of selection and online mentoring, elite teams are selected to advance through to a year-long accelerator program. Teams will incorporate their companies, build their prototype, get real customers (all part of hitting milestones and targets set together with Founders Bootcamp), culminating in investor pitches in the U.S. to get equity funding. Some teams reach this "Fund-raising" stage sooner, some later, because no two teams are the same.

In the past, teams have secured between USD50,000 to USD500,000 of equity funding!

Young Founders Summit Asia is a standalone regional pitch competition with USD15,000 worth of cash prizes up for grabs. 

On top of that, the Top 3 winners will get the opportunity to be mentored by Founders Bootcamp and potentially be admitted into the accelerator program. Enrollment into Founders Bootcamp Global / the accelerator program is subject to the independent assessment of Founders Bootcamp and not guaranteed.

Who's Behind Young Founders Summit Asia 2019?

Smarter Me (The Asia Summit Co-Organizer):

Founded in Singapore in 2016, Smarter Me's purpose is to equip teens and kids with the skillset, mindset and heartset for the future. We conduct live online and also offline courses and camps in coding, robotics, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and mindfulness, and launched Young Founders Summit in Asia in 2018. 

Peking University, Beijing (The Asia Summit Co-Organizer):

Peking University is the Top 2 university in China. It is a major research university in Beijing, China, and a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities, analogous to the Ivy League in the United States. Founded in 1898, Peking University has educated and hosted many prominent modern Chinese figures, including Mao Zedong, Lu Xun, and the current Premier Li Keqiang. 

The bootcamp, Semi-Finals and Finals will be held at Peking University.

http://english.pku.edu.cn/

Exseedu Inc (The Founder of Young Founders Summit / Founders Bootcamp in Los Angeles and Backer and Sponsor of The Asia Summit):

Founded by Richard Dahan, serial entrepreneur and MIT-grad who has joined, founded, invested, or advised over 20 early stage startups; and Roger Kassebaum: Recipient of Milken National Educator Award, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Instruction, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation (AIAA) Educator Achievement Award, Pete Conrad Innovative Teacher of the Year Award. 

https://www.exseedu.com/

The Prizes

Champion:

  • USD10,000 cash prize (equity-free)*
  • Mentorship from Founders Bootcamp and the opportunity to join the Founders Bootcamp accelerator program**
  • Official certificate

First Runner-Up:

  • USD2,000 cash prize (equity-free)
  • Mentorship from Founders Bootcamp and the opportunity to join the Founders Bootcamp accelerator program**
  • Official certificate

Runner-Ups (3 teams):

  • USD1,000 cash prize (equity-free)
  • Mentorship from Founders Bootcamp and the opportunity to join the Founders Bootcamp accelerator program**
  • Official certificate

 

Key T&Cs:

* The champion team is expected to incorporate their own company (in a mutually-agreed location) after the competition, in order for the cash prize of USD10,000 to be disbursed to a company bank account. The winning team shall use the funds to further develop their business/ product. This requirement does not apply for the first and second runner-up. For the avoidance of doubt, the Co-Organizers of Young Founders Summit Asia 2019 will not have any shareholding in this company as the cash prize is a grant, not an equity investment.

** The mentorship post-Young Founders Summit Asia is directly offered by the founders of Founders Bootcamp (Richard Dahan or Roger Kassebaum), or any other affiliate or associate who they may appoint. The duration of the mentorship as well as entry (or non-entry) to the accelerator program is at the sole discretion of Founders Bootcamp, and is subject to, amongst others, readiness of the team, feasibility of the business plan, and milestone performances.

Why Should I Join?

We asked past participants this question, and here are the top answers as to why THEY joined:

1. Validation: 

It's a chance to get your idea(s) validated by real entrepreneurs and investors. Is there real meat to your idea and business plan, and how would you get there? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

2. Great exposure and learning opportunity: 

It's an experience that you would never have gotten in school. Last year, our contestants had the chance to visit Facebook's office in Singapore, heard from serial entrepreneurs and inspiring speakers, and met fellow entrepreneurs from all over Asia. 

Many of our previous students have said they learned more in our program than the rest of high school combined. In addition to the raw content and core skills, you will learn how to take initiative and approach challenges, which will serve you for the rest of your life.

3. It doesn't end at the competition:

If you leave a strong impression but don't win, you might still be able to receive funding and mentorship anyway. Last year, 2 finalist teams did not receive an award during the Finals. But post-Finals, they continued to make good progress on their businesses and ended up getting admitted to the Founders Bootcamp program and continue getting mentorship and funding anyway!

4. It seems cool:

You're treated like adult founders, you pitch like adult founders, you're part of this cool start-up thing that's all the rage right now. It's pretty cool. And if you make concrete progress on your startup and produce a polished pitch, that would look VERY impressive on your resume, independent of how you perform in the competition. Colleges, employers, and investors tend to highly value real world experience. (The co-founder of Founders Bootcamp sits on the admission committee of MIT and interviews university applicants, so hear it from him).

Not everyday would you get the chance to be treated and viewed on par as a young adult - where your ideas are worthy of being invested in, and not dismissed. There's a group of entrepreneurs and investors ready to invest their time and money in you - if you go for it - so why wouldn't you?

You decide.

Who Can Join?

Young Founders Summit Asia 2019 is open to all students aged between 10 to 18. From anywhere in the world.

This is open to any student (as long as you're aged 10 to 18, and not studying full-time in a university), from anywhere. 

In 2018, we had over 400 students from 6 countries apply. Applicants came from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Hong Kong, Philippines. We're aiming to top that this year!

What's The Process and Timeline?
  1. June - August: You will receive guidance notes, tutorials and materials which will guide your team to prepare your killer video pitch and pitch deck
  2. By 30 September: Teams will have to submit (1) 8 minute video pitch and (2) Pitch deck
  3. By mid October (Rolling basis): Announcement of teams who are invited to the Semi-Finalists
  4. September - November: Over the next 8 weeks, Semi-Finalists shall receive mentorship via video conference leading up to the Summit
  5. The Summit (16 and 17 November): Semi-Finalists shall attend the 2-day Summit (comprising of the Semi-Finals and Finals) in Peking University, Beijing, where you pitch to win USD15,000 worth of cash prizes
What Happens in Beijing?

Over the Pitch Weekend, invited Semi-Finalist teams will:

  1. Pitch your business to a panel of esteemed investors and entrepreneurs - The Top 8 will then pitch a second time to win the coveted Champion title
  2. Hear the stories of brave entrepreneurs, and learn what it takes to be a successful one - we'll be inviting cool, inspiring speakers!
  3. Network with each other - meet 100 aspiring young founders like yourself from all over Asia!
  4. Tour China's Silicon Valley - Zhongguancun.

Finally, this year, we're taking the Summit a step further and we'll be hosting a fun dinner for everyone to get to know each other and mingle!

Is There A Participation Fee?

At the Beginning

  1. Weekend Bootcamp: SGD 599 per person
  2. Online Pathway: SGD 99 per team to get access to a series of online lessons and tutorials to guide you for your business pitch video and pitch deck over the next 2 months (until end August)

At the Semi-Finals Stage

If you joined via the Weekend Bootcamp, ZERO other fees are payable thereafter. And since 80% of you who attend the Bootcamp Weekend will advance to the Semi-Finals, you are essentially paying ONLY SGD 599 for:

  • Opportunity to win USD 10,000 of cash prize
  • In-person coaching from top entrepreneurs at the Bootcamp
  • Online mentorship with a dedicated, curated paired entrepreneur / industry expert / MBA (at least 4 hours over 8 weeks in September - October 2019)
  • Lunch and networking dinner at Young Founders Summit Asia 2019 in Beijing
  • Tour of China's Silicon Valley and chance to visit top tech company(ies)
  • LOTS of FUN!

If you joined via the Online Pathway and got selected as a Semi-Finalist, you will have to pay SGD 150 per team member to advance to the Semi-Finals. This fee gives you:

  • Opportunity to win USD 10,000 of cash prize
  • Online mentorship with a dedicated, curated paired entrepreneur / industry expert / MBA (at least 4 hours over 8 weeks in September - October 2019)
  • Lunch and networking dinner at Young Founders Summit Asia 2019 in Beijing
  • Tour of China's Silicon Valley and chance to visit top tech company(ies)
  • LOTS of FUN!
What's the mentorship for Semi-Finalists for?

A winning team is one which has a well thought out business proposal that: 

  1. Has a real market (people actually want to buy your product), and
  2. Is feasible (it's actually doable/build-able, and not just with a fancy "powered by AI" word thrown in - when you have zero knowledge of AI)

Which is why we've curated a group of mentors who are experienced in entrepreneurship, innovation, start-ups and will guide you on what to do.

What will they be doing?

If you're one of the Semi-Finalist team, you will be paired with a mentor, who will guide you throughout your 8-week preparation towards the Semi-Finals on 16 November 2019. 

You are getting private access to these entrepreneurs and experts and the chance to tap into their brilliant minds. They will dedicate at least 4 hours to guide and coach your team! 

Now that's access that you normally don't get, don't you think?

How Do I Protect Against People Stealing My Idea?

The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.

The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t been thought of yet, the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea. 

The truth is that over 90% of ideas pitched have already been pitched - probably many times - in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea. “One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”

What's The Selection Criteria?

For the Qualifiers:

We will select teams to advance to the Qualifiers round based on your demonstrated thought process around why you want to solve the problem you talk about, or why you want to be an entrepreneur. At this stage, we will not assess how "real" your idea is, or how big your product can be. We're interested in YOU.

For the Semi-Finals:

If you make it through to the Qualifiers, and are working on your video pitch and pitch deck, what we look for when we select the Semi-Finalists are:

  1. Market opportunity - is your product/ service really needed?
  2. Feasibility - is your team (with some learning and help) able to make this product/ service?
  3. Innovativeness - Is it clear what your product/ service's unique value proposition is?

 

Note: The above are indicative only and the co-organizers reserve the right to make changes to the judging criteria. The selection decisions lie at the sole discretion of the co-organizers and the co-organizers are not obliged to disclose or provide any reasons for their decision.

 

Online Learning

What Topics Do You Offer?

Our lessons, both online and offline, are based on a 4C1R pedagogy: Each seeks to cultivates Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Resilience.

We currently offer the following topics:

  • Coding
  • Robotics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Design Thinking
  • Financial Literary
How Does It Work?

Does e-learning work?

Has your child ever learnt to make something by watching Youtube?
Slime or some DIY project? Or maybe Minecraft? Or how to play a musical instrument?

The kids of today are so different from us. They learn differently. And they should - because the world has evolved.

But of course, our top priority is to ensure that School of Mastery is effective in teaching kids.

It's LIVE

Not pre-recorded. Students and teachers interact real-time.
They can ask questions and have them answered.
They collaborate with fellow classmates in breakout rooms.
They get called out if they are not paying attention. And you, the parent, will be informed.

Supplementary learning materials

Valuable resources available to students during and post-course:
Video playback of the lessons (in case your child missed a class or simply wants to go revise something taught)
Weekly lesson materials

We're always open to hearing from students and parents on how to make this even better. Drop us a note at hello@smarterme.sg, anytime!

How Frequent Are The Classes?

The Online courses are typically weekly, 2 hours every week.

Students have to log in to the platform on the set day and time - like a video conference.

Young Founders Entrepreneurship Course

We currently have a pre-recorded online course for entrepreneurship. Originally available only to Young Founders Summit participants, it is now available for all interested students.

This course consists of on-demand lessons covering the entrepreneurship topics which we generally cover in our Bootcamps: Ideation, Selection criteria, Market targeting and sizing, Customer design and interviews, Competitive analysis, Lean Canvas, and Making Money. We expect teams to take 15 - 25 hours from start until 31 August 2019 to go through these videos and work on the assignments given to prepare your pitch deck

Students will also receive a Starter Account with AWS Educate :

  1. USD50 worth of AWS credits, with which you can consume cloud services available on AWS
  2. Access to AWS Educate's curated content to learn about Cloud Computing, App Developer, Web Development Engineer, Machine Learning Scientist
  3. Earn digital badges (Cloud Literacy, Robomaker, DeepRacer, Alexa, Gaming and more) that showcases your digital skills