Start-ups share tips on funding and business development
HKTDC Entrepreneur Day (E-Day) forum focuses on putting creative ideas into action
HONG KONG, May 28, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Hong Kong's burgeoning start-up ecosystem is helping countless entrepreneurs realise their dreams. Under the theme of "The Start-up Living Lab", the 11th HKTDC Entrepreneur Day (E-Day), organised by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), invited several notable speakers to share insights into establishing a business at the event's plenary session on 16 May.
|Jason Chiu, Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Startup Council, said that "real entrepreneurs are able to stay the course regardless of what difficulties they encounter, constantly learning from setbacks to realise their dreams."|
|Andy Chan, Founder and Executive Director of Qupital Limited, shared that the chance of a pitch being successful is greatly enhanced if you can "make the investors get your insights into the market, the company's unique revenue model, and the team's experiences and strengths".|
|Sergio Pachon, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Kiwi Campus Inc, shared that the key to making a brand stand out is to make its products and services user-friendly, "so that customers will fall in love with them and make them an indispensable part of their daily lives".|
At the plenary, business leaders and start-up entrepreneurs shared tips on entrepreneurship and their experiences turning creative ideas into viable ventures. The speaker lineup included Jason Chiu, Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Startup Council, Andy Chan, Founder and Executive Director of Qupital Limited, Jack Zhang, CEO and Co-founder of Airwallex, Jordan Fung, Founder & CEO of Pedosa Group, and Sergio Pachon, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Kiwi Campus Inc.
Focus your pitch - just three points in two minutes
Andy Chan, Founder and Executive Director of Qupital Limited, a fintech company focusing on supply chain management, said that having seen the difficulties local SMEs encountered in obtaining loans via traditional channels, he and his partner set up Qupital, an online platform for SMEs to seek financing on their unpaid invoices to meet their pressing needs, while offering investors an alternate investment option. In its first year of operation, Qupital received capital injections of over HK$15 million from the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, and in its first two years, transactions on the company's platform amounted to HK$1 billion.
Mr Chan said that one of the strengths of the Qupital team is its rich experience in pitching - a process where start-ups explain and present their ideas to investors. He added that it is best to make investors understand three key points within two minutes: (1) what the company does; (2) how big the market is; and (3) how fast the company is growing. "Your chances of success are greatly enhanced if you can make the investors get your insights into the market, the company's unique revenue model, and the team's experiences and strengths," he said.
Create new out-of-the-box experiences
A cross-border financial network service company, Airwallex has grown into a so-called unicorn - a privately owned start-up with a valuation of US$1 billion or more - in just over three years since its inception. In the past three rounds of financing, the company raised more than US$200 million through capital injections from investors such as Tencent and Mastercard. Currently, its remittance network serves 130 countries and territories worldwide with several billion US dollars remitted.
According to Jack Zhang, CEO and Co-founder of Airwallex, the key to his venture's success was the creation of a new payment platform that helps companies expand their business with the most convenient user experience. His hope is that the platform can change how an entire era of cross-border payments are made, adding that the happiest part about the venture is not about making money, but knowing that his services have a positive effect on others - for example, helping "a young guy, who used to run a simple online business", became the boss of an international company. "Now I wake up with a smile every day because entrepreneurship enables me not only to make my dreams come true, but also help others, making the world a better place."
Make customers fall in love with your products
Sergio Pachon, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Kiwi Campus Inc, said that his reason for choosing entrepreneurship was very "down to earth". He was motivated by the fact that deliveries, and especially food deliveries, are very expensive in the United States, which is why he and several partners invented the Kiwibot robot to deliver meals. The Kiwibot is equipped with multiple cameras and GPS to deliver food to customers. Over the past two years, 36,000 successful deliveries have been made, reducing the average hourly delivery cost from US$22 to US$5.
At present, Kiwibot mainly serves 12 universities in the US. Mr Pachon explained that serving campuses was a turning point in the company's development, and the reasons for its popularity was that it helped to improve the quality of campus life and offer students more food options. Moreover, it is easy to manage security while the company is also able to provide job opportunities for students interested in mechanical work. Mr Pachon said that robot deliveries are a growing trend and the key to making a brand stand out is to ensure its products and services are user-friendly, "so that customers will fall in love with them and make them an indispensable part of their daily lives".
Helping young entrepreneurs pursue their dreams
Jordan Fung, Founder & CEO of Pedosa Group, was the centre of attention at the forum because of his wealth of entrepreneurial experience, despite being just 16 years old. At the age of nine, Mr Fung created GLMET, an online learning platform, which soon had several hundred thousand active users. His current venture, Pedosa Group, covers digital media, tech ecosystems and education, with over a million active users worldwide.
Mr Fung said he encountered many difficulties while starting up the business, dealing with issues such as finance, lack of networks and public opinion on top of coping with his studies. However, entrepreneurship also broadened his horizons and enabled him to realise his dream, so the effort was worthwhile. He said that young people and adults alike can embrace new technologies and proactively drive digital transformation in their daily lives. He added that aspiring young entrepreneurs should be encouraged to advance technological development together to make the world a better place.
The key to entrepreneurship is persistence
Jason Chiu, Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Startup Council, said that every entrepreneurial journey is both exciting and challenging, adding that not everyone can succeed. "Ordinary people are often not able to finish what they start. Real entrepreneurs, however, are able to stay the course regardless of what difficulties they encounter, constantly learning from setbacks to realise their dreams."
As both an entrepreneur and an investor, Mr Chiu shared three entrepreneurship tips. First, he believes that entrepreneurship requires a big dream, but it must start with the details. Second, mistakes and failures are inevitable when you become an entrepreneur - but you will be fine if you make the biggest mistakes as soon as possible and learn from them. Finally, be sure to find a good mentor and seek external support when necessary.
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
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