Chong Ing Kai, a Year 2 DEB student, was recently awarded the Gold Award for the National Youth Entrepreneurship Award.

National Youth Entrepreneurship Awards (NYEA), with its inception in 2017, takes place annually to celebrate the achievements of budding entrepreneurs and recognise their contributions to build a more vibrant start-up ecosystem in Singapore. The NYEA theme for 2022 was Tech-Celeration, and aimed to recognise youths who have created innovative and inspiring solutions to facilitate digital transformation for individuals or businesses, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and recent technological advancements, to address pain points and enhance the quality of life on both personal and work fronts.

Ing Kai founded a start-up, Stick’Em, in 2021 with three of his childhood friends. Utilising 3D printed geometric connectors and chopsticks, Stick’Em builds STEM learning kits at 1/10th the cost of conventional robotics kits. Its primary objective is to make STEM education accessible and affordable to all children, in particular the financially disadvantaged. Complemented with an online ecosystem, schools would be able to run cohort-wide robotics programmes without the need for specialised trainers or expensive robots, thus resulting in substantial reduction in manpower or equipment costs for the schools, without compromising on the quality of STEM education.

Stick’Em had earlier won the River Hongbao Hackathon Entrepreneurship Competition on 7 Jan 2021. Ing Kai was also conferred as a 2021 Philip Yeo Initiative (PYI) associate on 1 Nov 2021 for this project. What made his achievements more remarkable was that Ing Kai was actually diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at the age of nine. Through the years, notwithstanding his condition, he learnt to channel the hyperactivity and inattentiveness to work on projects that benefitted society, by leveraging his technical skills and teaching robotics to children. He envisages making STEM education accessible to all using chopstick robots and credited SP for providing a conducive environment and grooming him to realise his vision.

Chong Ing Kai

Chong Ing Kai (left) receiving the award from Minister of State, Mr Alvin Tan

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