I'm Jay Wong, currently studying a Bachelors in Construction Management (Honours) at RMIT.
What do you do as an entrepreneur?
I run 2 businesses, one is already a revenue positive business called Studio Frelik which acts as additional flow of income, another is a an innovative technology startup called Verge Security Systems which I am looking to exit one day. I also juggle a part time job while studying full time.
That sounds really tough to juggle! Don't you feel burnt out?
Haha I have a off day once a week that I dedicate to spending time with family and friends because after spending long hours working days and night (usually from 6am to 11pm, including meals and the general necessities)
What inspired you to start Verge Security Systems?
I was into startups since I was 19, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and that geared my mind for business early on. I also spent my time watching a lot of shark tank and some Gary V. & Tai Lopez.
I kept thinking of all sorts of ideas throughout this time but none of them would make sense in the end because they were not solving important problems around the world. There was one day however, I was helping my dad with the front lawn when it dawned on me: It was hard to detect if someone had crossed your property in attempt to break into your house.
In further research I found that most security systems would alert you when your home was already broken into, which would be too late, and that 70% of break-ins come from the back of the house. I also found that my solution would be prone to false alarms and would need to compensate for such situations. You can find out more at: www.vergesecuritysystems.com
What about Studio Frelik?
It began when I needed to make a website for Verge Security Systems, I found out that web development services cost far too much and take too long to create. When I managed to create my own website using tools like wix or squarespace, I realised I could provide the same service to small businesses at a significantly lower price and finish it faster than the current market offerings. You can find out more at: www.studiofrelik.com
What were your biggest learning points that you'd give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
It's so cliche but it's true: You won't learn the art of business and entrepreneurship from your parents, teachers or friends. You'll be learning it by yourself and you've got to have the right mindset to learn that failure is simply a lesson that brings you closer to success. You'll be working 15 hours a day, mostly in isolation, which also needs the right mindset to plough through the hard times.
You'll have to change your perception on what would be worth your time. For me, I see my effort as 5 years of hard work now, for a lifetime freedom. Whereas others trade 5 years having fun in university,and then will spend their entire lives working in a 9-5.
What did you gain from RESA and what was your best experience with us?
I mostly gained good networking in RESA. My best memory was your Reverse Mentoring event. A mentor at the event really liked my idea and that boosted my confidence to pursue my startup. We still have been contact since.
Although I don't study entrepreneurship, I remembered a time in class where a teacher noticed my work and she said to me "Jay, your only job at uni is to finish your degree and nothing else" and I really disliked that mindset.
RESA is the only entrepreneurship community in RMIT, it opens up the gateway for us to learn, share ideas with each other and hopefully encourage more innovative mindsets than the one I mentioned.