Interview With EdTech Entrepreneur Kevin Chan

By now many should have read this analogy as least once. It goes like this:

CFO asks CEO: What happens if we spend money training our people and then they leave?

CEO: What happens if we don’t, and they stay?

It speaks volume about the importance of training your people because the quality of your people determines the quality of your business.

But for many, training is also a dirty word.

Far too many times had we attended training, feeling incredibly stoked about it and never so determined to change the world.

Then reality sinks in.

A few days later it is back to the same old routine.

That’s the problem with traditional classroom base training. Logistically it makes sense to condense them over a few days back-to-back.

But our absorption of the material is another matter. Just like you can’t frontload sleep, you can’t frontload training either.

Which is why I was extremely impressed by Coursepad business when I first got to know about them at an event in Lifelong Learning Institute.

It brings training to your phone and pushes it out to you in bite size.

To make it interesting, there is a gamification element to it. Complete some modules; you get an incentive sponsored by your employer. This encourages adoption.

Here’s Kevin Chan, CEO and Founder of Coursepad to share how he got into this and his entrepreneurial journey:


1. Please share a bit about what you do

Hi, I’m the founder of Coursepad — we’re focused on building great mobile learning solutions that empower our clients to increase their staff performance and productivity.


2. What were you doing before starting your business?

I was involved in another startup in the event software and mobile apps space.


3. How did the idea for your business come about?

Coursepad - Kevin Chan

Coursepad came about as we had quite some friends in the HR space and we realised that current training systems were not very mobile friendly — and yet everyone spends all their time on their smartphones!

We saw this as a great growth opportunity as most of our clients have not figured out how to capitalise on the mobile training opportunity yet.


4. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I wouldn’t classify myself as someone necessarily successful yet, but getting a startup up and running puts a toll on your mental stress as it feels like taking care of a baby on life support a lot of the time.


5. How did you get funded?

Well, we are not venture funded at the moment, and we supported our development via securing pre-orders and contracts from our first clients.


6. Could you describe your first sale and how it came about?

Coursepad - Kevin Chan

Our first sale came from our contacts in the HR industry for a large MNC Bank.

We were aware of their problems they faced in distributing e-learning and designed the first version of our software around breaking their distribution roadblocks and providing a good native mobile experience.


7. How do you go about marketing your business?

The learning space is a small world, and we do quite a bit of networking at learning related conferences and events. That has worked out best for us so far.


8. Describe/outline your typical day?

My day typically starts at 8 am with my morning routine of meditating, light exercise and journaling on my work priorities.

My morning meetings are usually scheduled from 9 am onwards, and I get into the office after lunch period to work with the team till 6:30 pm.


9. Who has been your greatest influence in your business and why?

Coursepad - Kevin Chan

My dad. My dad showed me that one can have a successful business and also have good work-life balance by working with people you genuinely want to hang around with.


10. What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?

Clinching a deal with a large investment bank and convincing them to switch their provider from a large established player to our platform exclusively.


11. What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work?

Focus on getting one big thing done a day.

Let the other things fall away and just focus on what is vital. A lot of the firefighting I used to do I realise now to be just noise.

[Tweet “Focus on getting one big thing done a day – @kevincjz”]


12. What is your biggest screw-up over your entrepreneurial journey?

Taking too long to clarify/re-adjust internal discussions/issues before they grew too big.

Nip internal discussions and brewing matters in the bud and get things cleared up in black and white before they get too big.


13. If you could go back in time to speak to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell him?

Coursepad - Kevin Chan

Focus on getting on big thing done a day and let the rest fall aside.


14. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Read and learn as much as you can, make friends with entrepreneurs who have been there and done that, and just get out there and execute!


15. What’s your business focus for this year?

To unify our solutions to a common code-base and scale via a reseller networks


16. Where can people find you online?


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