The company of the day is 1800-TEACHER.com, based in Singapore. 1800-TEACHER.com is an education communication portal featuring free e-books and peer support. You will find below an interview with Lau Chin Loong, founder of 1800-TEACHER.com. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Hi! I'm Lau Chin Loong. I'm the founder of 1800-TEACHER.com, Singapore Education Network. An education communication portal featuring free e-books and peer support.
I was a commercial banking officer at United Overseas Bank Ltd from 1992-1998. I joined the Ministry of Education from 1998-2003 to be a primary schoolteacher. I left the service in 2003 to start my own tuition services. 1800-TEACHER.com came to be in August 2007.
People needed a central number to call for education services. So, I got two toll-free numbers: 1800-TEACHER and 1800-TUITION to meet that need. Next, there is a big demand for school workbooks. So, to fill that need, we've been busy writing 100s of them as e-workbooks to rival a very popular bookstore in Singapore. As the school system here is very demanding, students and parents need a portal to help one another with homework questions. Hence, the Homework Help section in the website came to being. Coming up soon will be a live chat section.
We are the first in the world to offer a free education portal with e-books thrown in. We look to produce 20 e-books in a month. We have contracts with 2 US ebook retailers to sell some of our Singapore Math workbooks. Ultimately, ad revenue is the key. Our mission is to be the world's leading education portal with a MS tie-up to rival Google or Yahoo.
Our members come from every corner of the world. Name a country, we would have at least one member. If not, it'll be in the works.
Two partners we have retail contracts with:
SG$200,000 is self-funded.
Due to lack of funds, we have no budget for advertising. On average, we have 20 member signups a day. We sell about 60 e-books a month in the US. The potential for growth is exponential. This is a highly scalable portal. First of its kind in the free world.
I have 4 employees. We've outsourced our IT dept. since Jan.2009 to cut cost.
The more the better. Unfortunately, we are self-funded, so there is a freeze now.
We've outsourced, so, there's nothing in-house. No comments.
We are not doing anything in software development. But, our portal is the first of its kind in the world.
Lee Kuan Yew.
There's a huge market for my services in developing countries in Asia: ASEAN, China and India. The ad revenues would be good.
Our expenditure is at SG$100,000 a month. To grow over the next 3 years would take SG$3,600,000 in extra funding.
It's a wonderful program for start-ups. Software forms quite a bulk of expenditure.
Start young, think big, and stick to it. (Got this from CNBC!)
Take a ride with the future on 1800-TEACHER.com!