Andros Wong is a 4th year Engineering, Economics and Management student and the CEO of Silo. He's built a platform that connects students with funding institutions whilst also crowdfunding. Users can search for scholarships, bursaries and grants for free on the largest, most up to date database in the UK as well as utilise the increasingly popular option of crowdfunding for their education. Their mission is to solve the problem of market inequality in education.
What is your background? Why are you doing this?
I am a Canadian who now lives in Hong Kong but I have been British Education for 11 years. With the rise of tuition fees and postgraduate loan interest rates, many of those close to me have found it incredibly difficult to pursue the further education that they deserve. I want to help them, and others who may be less advantaged to achieve their academic goals.
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship, to me, is about taking the risk of putting your all into solving a specific problem and the ability to weather the storm of harsh reality.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
It really started when I started my first business at 16 selling comedic posters. I designed and co-wrote the content of the posters. When they came back from the printing press, I have never been more proud of something I had built at that point. That's when I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur - to build products that can change the world.
So what would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?
Determination, self-awareness and creativity
What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
When I receive feedback about how a product I built had positively impacted someone's life - the feeling at that moment is inexplicable. I like to think that is what drives me to work even harder to improve.
What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?
In terms of inspiration, it has be Elon Musk - the man who will probably end up being the saviour of humanity.
If you could have 5 minutes with the above indiv/company/org, what would you want to ask or discuss?
"What is your motivation to continue at your highest points of struggle?"
What has been your most satisfying or successful moment in business?
When Silo reached 1000 signups - I took a moment with my co-founders to be proud of our accomplishments but also took it as motivation to work even harder.
What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?
It is never the right thing to be comfortable - I had lived a little too long in the comfort zone and as entrepreneurs we need to step out of that as soon as possible. Also, the team you build will almost be the most important thing in your business.
What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?
There is certainly access to experts and being part of the University can have its perks. However generally the support for student entrepreneurship has been lacklustre in the university. Thankfully we have had crucial support from key members so we hope that continues.
If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship information or resources in Oxfordshire, where would you send them?
I would send them to Oxford Entrepreneurs.
Any last words of advice?
Your mission has to be clear and you must be passionate about your goals. At your lowest points you will need to remember why you embarked on this journey in the first place.