Khairul Rusydi (Singapore Entrepreneur)
|Education||Bachelor of Science (Biological Chemistry)|
|Alma mater||Nanyang Technological University|
Khairul Rusydi (born 1989) is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Reactor, a company that designs and develops entrepreneurship programmes for youths. In 2018, Khairul Rusydi was elected as a representative for Singapore at the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC). That same year, he was given special mention by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Singapore’s National Day Rally speech. Khairul Rusydi has also served on the board of *SCAPE and is a member of MCCY’s SG Youth Action Panel.
Khairul Rusydi is an alumnus of Raffles Institution. He then furthered his studies at Nanyang Technological University where he graduated with a degree in Biological Chemistry. He also minored in Entrepreneurship. Khairul Rusydi conceptualised Reactor, alongside three peers, as an undergraduate at NTU. In 2011, their proposal about entrepreneurship education (EntreEd) emerged the winner at the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum. Khairul Rusydi was also a SPRING Executive Development Scholar and an alumnus of the Temasek Foundation Young Societal Leaders fellowship.
After graduating from university, Khairul Rusydi worked as a full-time civil servant at SPRING Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore). He worked at SPRING Singapore for two years before leaving to run Reactor on a full-time basis. Speaking about his career shift, he said:
“I told my mum that it’s not really a matter of a push thing – there’s nothing wrong with what I was doing at that time, having a stable job. It’s more of a pull thing. I wanted to get students to work on real issues from poverty to food depletion to changing consumer behaviour. And I felt the best way was through a start-up.”
In 2018, Khairul Ruysdi was given a special mention by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for his contributions to the community through his work at Reactor. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the following:
"Recently, I met Khairul Rusydi, a recipient of Anugerah MENDAKI, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London... Rusydi co-founded Reactor, a start-up which conducts entrepreneurship courses and mentors youth. Having succeeded with the help of the community, Rusydi is now paying it forward by mentoring others."
Co-founder & CEO of Reactor School
In the context of entrepreneurship, Khairul Rusydi has described himself as an "ideas person". He co-founded Reactor in 2012 after observing that students in the Southeast Asian education system are not well-equipped to be entrepreneurs. Speaking about his motivations in establishing Reactor, Khairul Rusydi said:
“We (Southeast Asian students) are good at testing, but the future demands people who can build and solve problems…I built Reactor School because I believe entrepreneurship education helps us fill that gap. Currently, we only apply 3% of what we learn in the classroom to our daily lives; we learn the rest on the job. I want to optimize that process and help students build skills that remain relevant throughout their life.”
As of November 2020, Khairul Rusydi leads a team of four full-timers alongside his two co-founders. Over the years, he has been invited to speak about his company's journey at events such as Illuminate 2019; organised by Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), and TEDx.
Reactor School summary
Headquartered in Singapore, Reactor has since expanded its reach to countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. In November 2019, Reactor School debuted in Vietnam through a three-day entrepreneurship boot camp, EntreCamp. According to Prestige Magazine, Reactor has worked with over 10,000 students and 70 schools across Asia including National University of Singapore, Raffles Institution and United World College in Singapore alone. Apart from running programmes for youths, Reactor has also initiated an internship programme for educators from secondary and pre-university institutions called the Reactor Startup Immersion for Educators (RSIE).
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