BBA(GBUS & FINA)
Like many of his classmates, landing a job in investment banking had been Bradley's goal in life. However, his plans for the future changed drastically when he met Hong Kong University student Timothy Yu during a summer internship. The two hit it off right away and in 2014 put their heads together to start their own business, Snapask.
Launched in January 2015, Snapask is a mobile application that allows students—especially those in high school—to get real-time help with problems they come across in their studies. Students simply took a snapshot of the problem and qualified tutors would provide a near instantaneous response with explanations and solutions. After just one year, Snapask has already expanded its reach to other parts of the Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Taiwan and Shanghai. It currently averages 1,500 new users each day and a total of roughly 60,000-70,000 users, about 5,000 of which are tutors. The start-up recently received a pre-A round investment of approximately US $1.8 million (HKD $13.5 million), and aims to break even in all four cities by the end of 2016.
Introducing academic tutoring to the digital age has brought Bradley under the spotlight—he was recently named as one of Forbes Asia's Consumer Tech Top 30 under 30 Entrepreneurs—but the road to success was not easy. One of the biggest challenges for Snapask is quality assurance, as the platform cannot be sustained if tutors are inefficient or cannot explain solutions clearly. Hence, to ensure the quality of answers offered to students, tutors must share a copy of their public exam results and university transcripts with Snapask, and are only allowed to answer questions in their best subjects. The team also found that there were existing competitors elsewhere: when planning their expansion into Taiwan, they had to quickly change their plans of entry from Taipei to further south when they found a similar service in Taipei. For Bradley, it has also been difficult to balance academics with business. Thankfully his strong organization and time allocation skills have kept him on top of both his studies and his start-up.
More recently, Snapask is partnering with several local schools to run pilot programs that allow teachers to improve their lessons by reviewing their students' questions on the platform. The team aims to expand their network to 200 schools as well as launch a brick-and-mortar tutoring center by the end of 2016.