Note from Editors:
Quarter Life Crisis, or QLC.io, is a platform that helps millennial- #professionals overcome their quarter life crisis by helping them find part-time work, without quitting their present jobs.
by David Ongchoco
You can call them the hipsters, the #millennials, the crazy ones, the ex-consultants, the immigrants but the Quarter Life Crisis (QLC) team has found a problem they want to solve, and yes, you got it right, they want to help people overcome their quarter life crisis by giving them an option to try out new roles and jobs part-time without having to quit their current jobs.
It was during my one-month stint as a content marketer in JFDI Asia where I got the chance to sit down with the QLC.io core team composed of cofounders Will Fan and Fei Yao, and CTO Luke Johnson.
QLC.io is a platform that helps connect highly talented, well-trained professionals with short-term projects. These professionals usually don’t have the right networks to get into the industry that they want to go into or the skillset that they want to build or social #venture they want to get involved in.
This is a solution to an overarching psychological problem that the QLC.io team sees and has experienced themselves as part of the millennial generation. Fei shared with me articles with headlines like, “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy”, and “Why Are Harvard Grads Still Flocking to Wall Street?” to help articulate the problem they’re trying to solve. But where did it all start?
From Accenture consultants to part-time entrepreneurs
Will and Fei first met as consultants in Accenture back in #australia when they realized that they faced the same problem. While consulting allowed them to meet a lot of people, travel to new places and work in a lot of different industries, both of them weren’t really aligned with the mission and vision of what they were doing.
This led them to venture out and do a few different side projects, including their first startup called #couchelo, a vintage furniture market place for Australia. In order to make this happen, Will and Fei decided to outsource the creation of the web platform, spending $5000 in the process. They would also start learning the basics of design through General Assembly.
Will and Fei had been doing Couchelo for 6 months before the idea for doing an accelerator started popping into their minds. Fei shared, “We would spend 40-50 hours on their day jobs at Accenture then the rest of their time on Couchelo, including the weekends.”
She added, “It basically got to a point where we realized we had to commit full time or it would be a very very slow and long process.”
The leap of faith to Singapore
A quick Google search for Accelerators in Asia would lead them to the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) Asia. A few weeks later, and the team composed of Will, Fei and a third cofounder (who has since left the team) decided to take the leap of faith and fly to Singapore, where they had to start from ground zero.
While the team had only gotten into JFDI Discover, a 21-Day Online Pre-Accelerator program, after 3 weeks of customer discovery, lean startup development and business development, they would get into JFDI’s #accelerate program. This is when their first big pivot would happen.
Will shared, “We came to Singapore and we wanted set it up from scratch. But we realized it wouldn’t work in Singapore because locals don’t really value vintage furniture.”
JFDI Cofounder Meng Wong also asked all the startups upon being accepted to the accelerator, “why are you the right person to do what you’re doing and why are you the only person who can do what you do?”
The Couchelo team would then go through a discovery process and ask themselves why they were doing furniture in the first place. Will shared, “We realized that we weren’t really the best people to work on the vintage furniture market. It just so happened to be our first step into the startup space. So we decided to pivot to something that we knew best, which was understanding millennials.”
Fei added, “We took a step back to why we came to Singapore to begin with. It was more of the fact that we were so desperate to get out of our jobs that we were looking for any reason to get out of it.”
She added, “I didn’t really know what an accelerator was at that time. I wasn’t even sure what startup we would be working on. I wasn’t even sure what Singapore was like.”
This understanding of what it means to be a millennial and the problems this generation faces led them to pivot to Quarter Life Crisis (QLC), in hopes of helping other millennials find meaningful work through short internships and part-time work.
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Featured Image credit to applecrestcapital.com