In the eyes of many, Generation Y stands for brashness, self-absorption and egocentrism; they have unorthodox views and take eccentric actions which society does not appreciate. But Tommie Lo, a young entrepreneur, debunked this perception with his very own success story of starting up a business.
Lo founded Prologue Online Tutorial, the biggest online education provider in Hong Kong, in 2011. The company offers a wide array of free or economically priced, high quality online courses and tutorial videos for secondary school students. Thanks to the efforts of a team of young minds, the business is growing exponentially with more than 55,000 users registered already.
Every success story starts with a dream; Lo’s success is no exception. He was admitted to London School of Economics and Political Science, planning to graduate with a PhD in economics and become a high-flying investment banker. But everything changed during a trip he made to Manchester.
As he recalls, it was a nice morning in London when he took the two-hour train ride to give classes to a small group of students as a private tutor. The tutorial did not go well – the kids were tired and obviously not in the mood for tutoring. This reminded him of his days in Hong Kong, when he had to travel around for hours merely to receive tutoring via a video. He realised right there: his dream was to provide affordable education that was available anytime and anywhere.
With a desire to bring education to a new level, Lo left London for Hong Kong, where he was born and bred. Commencing a business was not an easy task. Lo’s family was both surprised and antagonised by his sudden decision to suspend his studies in the UK, while many of his friends also disagreed with his plans.
Nonetheless, Lo was fearless. As a youngster who had already forgone a PhD and lost most of his friends, he had nothing more to lose. He was new to the market, but ready to start a relentless pursuit of his dream.
With every challenge comes an opportunity. Recognising the importance of education to adolescents in different stages of their lives, Lo was determined to bring the online education project to a larger audience. Thus, he joined Hong Kong Science & Technology Park’s incubation programme, where he was offered valuable business support and technological assistance. This laid the foundations for Prologue to flourish and thrive, providing Lo with a chance to fulfill his dream.
Every book begins with a prologue. By starting up Prologue, Lo is writing a new chapter of his life. With the assistance of technology, he rendered learning boundaryless, portable and better adapted to the needs of students of today.
“Think about what ideas can come up in society and try to produce what society will need in the future,” he says.
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