Just 5 weeks after our previous article, Startup Next Hong Kong Spring 2016 is almost over. We have been impressed by the teams’ progress and are confident that they will do great after the pre-accelerator. Big thanks to W Hub, for organising this edition with us and Jessica Choi from Hirely.
Startup Next Hong Kong is proud to present you the 8 teams that were selected for our second cohort!
When we brought UP Global’s programs (now Techstars Startup Programs) to Hong Kong in November 2011, little did we know how big our community would be 4 years later. Excitingly, we went from half a dozen of organisers to over 50; 70 alumni to 1,500+ and 1 edition to 16! An additional achievement is bringing Startup Next to Hong Kong for a cohort in fall 2015.
Startup Next, a Techstars program, is the #1 startup pre-acceleration program in the world
It prepares startups for accelerators and seed investment, by providing high quality mentorship and leveraging a global network of investors, mentors and founders.
The program is designed in such a way that founders are able to continue building their product, since it’s part time and consists of 3-hour weekly sessions for 6 weeks. The program is free of charge and no equity is taken.
Even though Startup Next is part of Techstars, it’s not exclusively preparing startups for Techstars accelerator programs. Over time we have built a strong network of accelerators and investors worldwide and work closely with them to refer our accelerator/investor-ready alumni.
We are back for Spring 2016 and things look great already!
With the help of W Hub, we selected 8 teams out of 81 applications and met them for the first time on April 5th. The entrepreneurs will be under a lot of pressure to grow their business and make sure they are ready to pitch at our Demo Day late May.
- myfairtool – digital solution to increase business results on trade shows
- TapTab.io – a DIY platform to create interactive music lessons
- ME Solution – E-Learning Platform for High School Students
- Pilgrim Coffee – a community-built worldwide map of specialty coffee
- Vaultarch – securing the world’s collectable cards against counterfeit, fraud & loss
- Todi – smart door lock using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies
- Coinvenience – machines converting spare foreign currencies into useful outputs
- Steel Available – marketplace for customized steel products dedicated to the heavy industry
We have partnered with great organisations to provide opportunities for our teams and open doors for them:
You can find more about our lead mentors, mentors and speakers on our event’s page here.
This post has been written by Thomas Merritt – Find the article on Medium
Last year, Hirely was selected to join the first batch in Hong Kong of Startup Next, a Techstars program. Startup Next is the #1 startup pre-acceleration program in the world and was designed in a way that founders are able to continue building their product. The first edition was co-directed with Nest and Startup Weekend HK.
The timing was perfect for our startup as we were in the final stages of product development, gained steady traction with beta users and demonstrated proof of concept in a controlled group.
Joining the accelerator program helped us focus on our business goals, set objective KPIs and measure our progress from week to week. During the 6 weeks, we perfected our pitch, sharpened our business model and gained an invaluable business network.
Here are the top five takeaways from Startup Next:
Test, test, test again.
We were reminded early that no simulation compares with getting live feedback early from the target market. We met and interviewed over 135 party vendors and entertainers in Hong Kong to test our product along every stage — from an idea on a napkin to a prototype to final launch product. Without testing with our potential customers, Hirely would not be as useful to them as it is today. Meet your market, understand their pain points, internalize feedback and tweak your solution. And repeat.
2. KPIs & accountability are king.
You can’t underestimate the importance of measuring quantitative progress. We were required to develop a set of KPIs to be accountable for every week. This enabled us to measure your progress step by step as well as keeping close count of what works and what doesn’t. Setting yourself growth targets is key but identifying the right parameters is just as important and they vary from one startup to the other. To this day (3 months on), we still use similar weekly KPI metrics that we developed from the Startup Next program.
3. Jump back into the arena.
It’s better to draw a blank during a test pitch then on demo day. To prepare for my first solo pitch, I practiced a one-minute pitch for days to perfection. However, under pressure, I lost focus and, in a blink, the pitch was over before I could recover. As embarrassing as it was, it was a useful reminder that things don’t always go to plan. In spite of the bruised ego, I put this behind me and delivered a 3-minute final pitch effortlessly a few weeks later.
4. You get what you put in.
Joining an accelerator (or pre-accelerator) program is a big commitment in both time and work. Do your research, identify in advance what you want to get out of the program and from the mentors. Once you’re in the program, respect your own and others’ time by putting in the effort that’s required to get your startup to the next level. Everyone is there to help you along the way, but if you don’t pull your own weight, all efforts are lost.
5. Invest in your network.
The raw energy from being in a room with like-minded individuals with a common hunger was addictive. It was inspiring to see so many people volunteering their time to offer mentorship and support the start-up community. Through the network of Startup Next, we sponsored our first event and met business partners. Two mentors from Startup Next remain to be our advisors today.
Startup Next is back in Hong Kong for round two this spring with a kick-ass list of mentors. This time, it will be co-directed by W Hub. I encourage early-stage startups looking to join world-class accelerator programs or kickstart fundraising efforts to apply. Applications are due on March 22nd and you can submit yours here. Feel free to reach out to me at thomas[at]hirely.asia or hk[at]startupnext.co with other questions.
Tom is the cofounder of Hirely, an online marketplace that simplifies the way people find, compare and hire curated event professionals that make their events truly unique. Hirely recently launched in HK.
Startup Next, a pre-acceleration program run by Techstars, is kicking off in Hong Kong with the help of Nest VC. The free program provides local entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with great mentors and coaches to get their business to the next level.
We have been organising Startup Weekend in Hong Kong since 2011 and through the 12 editions, we were able to positively impact over 1,000 participants. We are humbled by the passion people show during the intense 54 hours program. Complete strangers come together to create their very own tech startups and with hard work, make it a sustainable and fast growing company. We start to see the important impact of our events on the Hong Kong Startup Ecosystem and that encourages us to move forward.
Based on general feedback from Startup Weekend, we discovered that we could and needed to go one step further to help entrepreneurs in the following areas:
- A deeper dive in the customer discovery and development processes;
- More hands-on mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs;
- Clear focus on preparing projects to successfully apply and get accepted into world-class accelerators and raise seed funding.
To help startups with these challenges, we have brought Startup Next to Hong Kong for the first time! As an example of its quality in different cities around the globe, the program has assisted over 20 startups to get into top accelerators, including Techstars and 500 Startups, while 11 more startups have collectively raised $11.1M for their seed rounds in 2014.
How does Startup Next work?
Startup Next is a six weeks, mentor driven pre-acceleration program that brings established teams together for three hour sessions on one evening each week.
The three key components of the program are:
- Working 1:1 with top local mentors to address the main challenges each startup is facing, in order to help get the team focused on growth.
- Learning from successful entrepreneurs about their experience on various topics like Product / Market fit or funding, which are crucial for founders to understand.
- Getting feedback from a group of mentors on the strategy, execution and startup pitch.
Startup Next Hong Kong is run in a collaboration with Nest VC and a number of community partners, venues and the most amazing people helping startups and entrepreneurs to reach the next level. We’re proud to team up with some of the greatest co-working spaces in Hong Kong to host our teams for each session. Startup Next participants will discover KPMG, Blueprint, Brinc.io, Paperclip, the Infiniti Lab and the DBS Vault.
We are excited to announce the 7 teams that will take part of Startup Next Hong Kong this Fall 2015:
- Limezy, limezy.com -> a leisure learning video platform focused on food and beverage;
- Salon7, salon7.meteor.com -> a professional space for the shared economy of ideas;
- Smartcasual, smartcasual.co -> an iOS app to meet with professionals in the next 3 days with time and location pre-posted;
- Holumino, spincle.photos -> Spincle is an app to create animated panoramas & generate 3D content in VR;
- Easy Take, easytake.hk -> end-to-end medical app that includes appointment, payment, recording and medical reminder features;
- Hirely, hirely.asia -> introducing local event service vendors to individuals and corporates organising events for their upcoming parties;
- Deal N Ship, dealnship.com -> flash deal site that focuses on luxury “big ticket” items.
The program starts this Saturday and we will share teams’ updates on a regular basis. It is organised and facilitated by Jessica Cheung (Nest.vc), Mark Koester (Techstars), Tony Verb (Nest.vc) and Matthieu Bodin.
Interested in helping these teams, sponsoring or investing? Contact us at email@example.com for an introduction.
You will be judged – A Startup Weekend experience
Written by Joanne
“Which box can I put you in?”
“None”, I replied.
For a dubious looking group of people, it’s a not-so-typical Friday night gathered at Cocoon’s co-working space in Tin Hau. They have chosen to sacrifice their entire weekend of freedom for 52-hours of planning, plugging and pitching. It’s Startup Weekend’s first education edition!
Already not fitting in…
I arrived straight after work and was warmly greeted by co-organizer Kitty Ng (BSD Academy). After being handed an orange nametag signifying my skills and experience in education, I swiftly immerged myself into the crowd… I clocked a few fellow oranges, said hi to some greens (service-providers) and found myself gravitating toward the food table. Munching and mingling there with me were reds and blues (businesspeople and techies, respectively).
The small talk had already begun but along came Marcel Ekkel, co-organizer of the event, to make sure the ice was truly broken. Bingo! Each box on our piece of paper contained a certain skill. The goal was to find as many different people in the room with the desired skills and fill our page with their names.
“Know how to use a business model canvas?” asked a green.
“Ever organized a Facebook campaign?” asked an orange.
“Know about wireframes?” asked a red.
Questions were flying in all directions and my answer remained the same: “No!”
At this point the voices of self-doubt that visit us all from time to time piped up (yes, already!). Nevertheless, I hung in there… I was sure that I also had skills to bring to the table. So I laughed off the fact I couldn’t be put in a box and got busy scoping the skills in the room.
One fast and fun pitch warm-up later and playtime was over. The microphone beckoned any daring individual with an idea in education to win their peers over in a quick fire 60-second pitch. All you had to do was state the gap in the market, your brilliant idea and who you needed to make it happen- web developers, curriculum writers, game developers and so on… Simple!
I fell flat on my face.
Why am I here?
To be honest, I didn’t have any one, fully formed idea ready for pitching when I signed up for this. Ed-tech was also unfamiliar territory, but I wanted to go anyway; talent, creativity and can-do attitudes all in one space? Experts and mentors at hand? Sold! I resolved to maximize every opportunity presented to me.
As per my personal promise, I jumped in the deep end and gave pitching a shot. Just putting myself out there and doing it was a massive learning curve. Ok, I didn’t do as bad as I made out- it turns out I have very high expectations of myself! So I added that to the list of things to remember next time, along with all the mental notes I took whilst watching the other pitches.
Pick me! Pick me!
After casting votes for the ideas we liked best, a third of the ideas remained. For this special 10, the challenge of recruiting the people and skills necessary to make ideas a reality began. My off-the-cuff idea didn’t make the cut, and although teams began forming around me, I didn’t feel myself gravitating to any which one. I rooted for many other groups, but either felt my skills didn’t match their needs, or the group was already too large for me to make a worthwhile contribution.
That’s when I saw three others floating in limbo, having the same dilemma as me. I liked these guys. They were switched on, had great visions in their pitches and we all hit it off too. Sparks flying, we truly got into the entrepreneurial spirit and forged our own path… we made our own team. Badass.
We got busy blending the best of our ideas, stopping just in time to grab the last MTR home…
A new day, a new problem
Saturday presented new challenges. Other than myself, there were three guys in the team… Leo the startup entrepreneur, Ben the finance guy, and Marc the academic researcher-turned-math teacher. We sure hit it off Friday, but for an Ed-Tech event we were no “dream team” skills-wise. We really could have used someone with tech skills to develop a prototype and address some of our app development concerns. Being such a small team, it also had to be all-hands-on- deck from here on in.
To make sure that happened, the team appointed me their project manager for the weekend. Far from being the know-it-all of the group, I took note of their strengths and assigned tasks accordingly. Everybody was important and we spent rest of the day researching, number crunching, tech talking and even laughing…. With all the hard work ahead of us, I was glad to have such a good- humored team to get through it with!
Meeting the mentors
The event organizers were always on hand to help out… Chris Geary (BSD Academy Founder) stopped by with reminders of the judging criteria and Marcel regularly tipped us off on what we should have completed already.
They’d also arranged for experienced professionals to visit us and share their pearls of wisdom. Mark Koester (UP Global) listened to our proposition and left us with some tips about the current market and potential competitors. That really helped us to determine our edge.
We were especially grateful to mentor Jah Ying Chung (founder and air marshal of LaunchPilots) who walked us through the business model canvas template still staring blankly at us. Marc’s on-point responses later in the Q&A session were also largely based on her sound advice. (Thanks, Jah Ying!)
By the end of the day, we were pretty worn out and one man down (fever… far too much excitement!). Despite this, we went our separate ways that night with that quietly confident feeling that we were onto a good thing.
Sunday aka THE day
After a few hours sleep, we arrived charged and ready for the sprint to the finish line…the final presentation scheduled for 5:00pm that day
T minus 8 hours
With work pending and deadline looming, there wasn’t much time for chitchat. Ben worked on product validation whilst Marc finalized some market research. A whizz with PowerPoint, Leo had been drafting our presentation materials. It was a good time to check in on his progress and identify any gaps in the presentation whilst we still had a few hours to fill them.
I worked with Leo to ensure the presentation unfolded in a logical manner, erasing any ‘not-essential-right-now’ information that would just clutter the slides and detract from the main point. Consistent formatting and relevant content to headlines are paramount too — why jeopardize our chances with clashing colours, misused semi-colons or comic sans font?!
The basic content of our slides looked something like this:
- Identify the gap in the market
- Highlight why already existing companies and potential competitors aren’t effective
- Introduce and summarize our business
- Outline the edge over other services
- Demonstrate the user interface
- Detail how the business earns revenue
- Further evidence of market validation
- Social impact
At this point, we realized our vision has shifted since Friday evening and our name is no longer representative of the business itself. Brainstorming is not ideal so late in the game… panic and creativity are not the best of friends! A catchy name and concise tagline define and wraps up your business into a pleasant, unintimidating package. Luckily, a challenge for the most fantastically terrible pun for a name dramatically eased the tension… Out of the madness came a moment of clarity: our (child-friendly) name was born!
The presentation space was reserved and all ours. We walked through the presentation a few times and gave each other some helpful tips. Nerves kicked in!
Allison Baum, co-organizer and managing director of Fresco Capitol, reminded us of the goodies up for grabs and the first few presentations fly by. As we stood the green room patting each other on the back, our name was called….
5 minutes to sell.
Leo proved his presentation skills and achieved just the reaction we wanted… Laughs and nods all around from the audience and judges! Perfect! He was the right man for the job. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t get enough time to talk through the final slide; Marc knew the numbers and coolly and calmly answered the judge’s questions…
We took our seats once again and relaxed somewhat. Just one pitch more, and all that could be done was done. The judges headed out clasping their notes tightly to their chests. The nerves and anticipation in the air were certainly palpable… But even though every team wanted to win, you could also feel the support and mutual respect from everyone in the room.
“You will be judged!” (Chris Geary’s honest words of warning from day one!) The panel returned and took to the stage. Everyone was sitting up straight, eyes forward; ready to hear what the experts had decided…
Staring back at us were the following successful individuals:
- Tytus Michalski (managing director, Fresco Capitol)
- Irene Chu (partner in KPMG China, Head of High Growth Technology and Innovation Group in Hong Kong)
- Crispian Farrow (Learning Technology Advisor and Facilitator)
- Justin Harman (Educational Technology consultant)
Irene Chu cleared her throat.
“Good presentation, team work and sound idea. In moving forward, I encourage them to seek further market validation… Third prize goes to…”
I was very, very happy with that and so were the guys. Of course we were in it to win, and I think everyone should be, but the real winners are those who learn. It’s all about what you do next! We walked away with prizes, certificates, newly acquired skills, top tips, and friends.
I’ve since met up with a few people I met that weekend for a coffee catch up, to get some advice or even get involved with their current projects. I’m very excited about their potential as well as the opportunities opening up to me.
Hong Kong’s startup community is a competitive yet welcoming one. Things get done here in Hong Kong. Does that intimidate you or incredibly inspire you?
No, I don’t want to recommend the Startup Weekend to you… I want to challenge you to it! Or go do whatever it is you’re scared of! Like best selling author Karen Salmansohn said, you’re an unfinished work in progress and “one of the good things about life’s challenges: you get to find out that you’re capable of being far more than you ever thought possible.” So, what will it be?
Joanne works in Human Resources and Communications for a group of schools across Asia and has been living and working in Hong Kong since 2010. Her passion for people, positivity and progression makes her well suited to her role in education and administration. Twitter: @jomariebrent
Post written by Charlotte Fernandez
Now that the next Startup Weekend Hong Kong is coming up, I can’t help but do a recap of the last one. The obvious reasons are that it was a great learning experience, crazy fun and the best crash course in startup-isms there is. Anyone coming out of SWHK can attest to this. However, not everyone can walk away with hands-on knowledge on what it takes to have a perfectly balanced team. It’s nothing short of sitting in a Formula 1 car knowing that the machine was meant to be driven to win.
The best part of SWHK #7 was my kick-ass team. I know that sounds like a very cheezeball, sentimental and un-business-like thing to say, but I’ve got the facts the prove it. The facts come in the form of SWHK #7’s Crowd favorite and Execution/Design awards. 😉
Unlike many of the teams doing the hustle at Cocoon that weekend, the business canvas model was a secondary tool to building our startup. We jumped into what we felt actually mattered to people – the journey. Guided by the bright minds of Apogee, Dan and Jo, we found the best way to validate our idea. We let people tell us their stories and experiences with “sifus.” Our prompts were completely open ended and they could tell us anything they wanted – this is where our team hit gold: 98% of the people we talked to had a horror story about dealing (finding, hiring, scheduling and paying) with a sifu. The remaining 2% had parents who were gracious enough to handle the matter.
We collected these stories and analyzed them. We built our product around the patterns we found across the experiences, not the other way around. That’s what created product value for “C Fu” and made it resonate with the general public; we listened to people’s horror stories then provided a solution.
The comedy value from the stories we heard during customer validation were the icing on the cake! We had giggles to last for weeks and that showed through in our pitch which you can see here:
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Now this short recap is basically 54 hours condensed into a two-minute read. But I need to stress that because of my brilliant team, all 54 hours of SWHK really were as seamless as it sounds here.
Not one of us played second fiddle in any sense and we all pulled our own weight towards the same goal. Individually, we each knew what we were good at and played to our strengths – which providentially checked all the boxes for a winning (yes, twice) team! But big ups to TofuPay and GranChat, the other big winners at SWHK #7.
Team C Fu didn’t think we could fix every single problem in HK. We only discovered a situation that was generally a painful experience for many people in Hong Kong, ex-pats and locals alike. We set out to solve it, without any intentions on making big revenue, just by making something that could work. Thanks to everyone for all the encouragement to keep working on C Fu. Next steps? Building an ecosystem that works…
Check us out and get on our list at: C-Fu.co
Post written by Charlotte Fernandez
Nest’s due diligence team were asked to be judges at the StartupWeekend event over the past weekend.
Participants were given 54 hours to find cofounders, build a team, validate a business idea and hack out a prototype.
This was the first university-themed StartupWeekend in HK and was hosted at Hong Kong University. The participants were 75% HKU affiliates and lended a lot to the very tangible energy in the room.
Alongside Alyssa and Jess on the panel were notable HK entrepreneurs Ray Chan, founder of 9Gag and a HKU Alumni as well as Raymond Yip founder of Shopline, who actually formed his all-start team at a previous Startup Weekend event himself.
The teams worked hard to find their cofounders and validate their ideas. Ultimately, four teams out of the thirteen stood out in particular:
1. Business Model Award – #Ask
Team #Ask created a solution to connect tutors and parents. They identified the outdated method by which parents now find tutors for their children as outdated and inefficient. Tutors are similarly unsure of how to reach out to students who require their knowledge and expertise. The key concern from the judging panel revolved around verification and trust, which is often the most important element for parents. With some refinement on this front, this team could be onto something very interesting.
2. Validation Award – Talent4U
Another recruitment-based idea, Talent4U matches freelance copywriters with people requiring their services. Though their manual vetting process might be a ‘bottleneck’ to scaling rapidly, judges saw potential in the other verticals that they could expand into. The validation they had done to differentiate themselves from their competition was impressive, as was the charismatic and well-rehearsed presenter!
3. Execution and Design Award – Spots
What’s a weekend without some drama? The enthusiasm and energy from this team was unrivalled, and they certainly ruffled a few feathers with their idea. Within minutes of their elevator pitch, tweets started pinging in with:
— Douglas Crets (@DouglasCrets) March 15, 2015
— Nayantara Bhat (@scarychica) March 15, 2015
For an app that essentially promotes ‘stalking’ (the founder’s words, not ours!), they had gone through the processes that are encouraged at SW events, testing their app with the market (by spending the night at LKF no less) and building a good mock up of the final product, which earned them the Execution and Design Award.
4. Special mention – CloudBox
CloudBox aimed to improve the lives of shoppers and tourists by providing lockers around Hong Kong and a delivery service for everyday use. Sort of an Uber for shopping crossed with delivery/pickup solutions that are taking off overseas, this team has identified a clear market need that with some more research and thought, could certainly turn into a viable business solution.
A very well done to all the teams who participated. As usual, it has been inspiring to see how much can be achieved in such a short time!
The next StartupWeekend will take place at BluePrint, April 17th. Register here
I was one of the participants in Startup Weekend Hong Kong 2012 and my team, Dishing Up! was the champion. It was a great experience!.
Inspired by my unhappy experience of ordering takeaway, we aim to connect all restaurants and eaters through a mobile app, in which users can browse the menu and place order directly.
5 TIPs for future SWHK participants
Make friends and contribute yourself
SWHK is one of the hottest startup events in HK. It draws a lot of talents from different fields like marketing, business development and programming. It might be the first time for you to meet but don’t be shy. Keep your mind open and share as much as you can. No matter they join your team or not in the competition, they could be your startup mate or supporting team in future.
Step out your comfort zone
People in SWHK are all very talented. They might share something what you don’t know you don’t know. I know it might be hard to digest at first (Like me, I come from a pure business background and felt nuts when I was talking to programmers). Try to understand and ask for clarification honestly. Most people are friendly and mentors would be there to help if you need. Just in case they are not very friendly, you can still google it yourself. :p
Keep your team small
Like running a real startup, keeping a small team and define everyone’s role clearly makes the progress goes smoother and much more efficient. Golden team formula is 1 Designer + 1 BD + 1 Programmer.
Clear Value statement and business model. Skip animation and jargons.
Imagine you are sitting in front of the Tycoon Lee Ka Shing and he only gives you 1 min for pitching – what will you say about your business?
The competition is just the beginning.
Test the idea no matter whether you win or lose. Only market will tell if the idea works or not. Just GO and TEST! ☺
Joining SWHK is an awesome experience especially when you are tired about your current jobs. Refreshment and sparkles would be brought to you and push yourself to go further.
Article written by Meimei Cheung – read her blog in Chinese
Startup Weekend Hong Kong是什麼?
2012年5月，男友見我工作到無晒電，帶我到一個香港創業活動 Startup Weekend Hong Kong，希望讓我重拾創業的熱情 (真是用心良苦難為家嫂)。Startup Weekend是一個刺激又爆seed的活動，活動要求於54小時內與陌生人組成一隊創業團隊和把Idea實踐及推出Prototype，讓評判挑選出勝利者。
當時參賽點子叫「Take Eat All通吃」。Take Eat All是一個點餐外賣app，透過GPS得悉你的所在地後會為你提供最近你的餐廳以及它們的餐牌。提供外賣服務／自取外賣服務的餐廳更可讓你透過手機app直接落單，外賣單會直接送到餐廳，取締傳統落單方式，而時間只係需要3秒！
這個點子雖然只是改變了餐廳平日的一點運作，但已將本來Offline的冰室生意帶到線上，輕易的讓本來傳統的餐廳業務瞬間hi tech 咗，又可以透過Online平台與自己餐廳的客戶更容易地溝通！
最重要是，我常常無故地忽起上來很想吃某些食物（係！要即刻吃！吃不到會不爽），如果集齊全香港的餐牌我便可以極速知道如何找到這些美食了！（跳起Yeah!）這個點子一直放在我的心裡，在沒有準備的情況下我便膽粗粗地在Startup Weekend Hong Kong 分享了我這個想法。
2013年7月25日，首張Take Eat All Team Shot
贏咗之後係咪已經好威威？那你就錯了！現在才是開始。輾轉地花了整整一年的時間才組成了現任創業團隊（實在太感恩可以遇到我的隊友！*hug*）並將原來的idea初步整了一個Andriod Beta Version。
Article written by Meimei Cheung on her blog
It all started with a Startup Weekend event where the masterminds of Singli.com, Felix and Karson, first talked to each other. Although did not win the competition with their respective teams in SWHK, Felix and Karson realized they could make a good team together, for they are both determined to start a business of their own and with similar ideas towards the future. Singli.com is then founded not long after the event, an idea that would revolutionize the way how Hong Kongers browse and purchase their travel luggages. Startup Weekend, provided a quality platform to gather like-minded people with an entrepreneur will, has played a major role in facilitating the suitcase revolution in Hong Kong.
The suitcase revolution
As we all know, Hong Kongers like to travel during their holidays, according to Information Service department of HKSAR, a total of around 277 million passengers arrived and departed ports of Hong Kong in the year of 2013. As startup entrepreneurs with a goal to build a better future, we not only recognize a huge potential value in the market of a travel must-have — suitcase, but also try to create more efficient ways for travellers in obtaining their suitcases.
Current suitcase problems in Hong Kong
Space is one of the scarcest resources in Hong Kong, and therefore every inches of space at home should be utilize wisely. Quite a few of urbaners are living in extremely tiny “shoebox flats” in order to save on rent. Storing suitcases at home has become a headache for many Hong Kongers, as they generally consume large spaces and are not of frequent usage.
Even though some people may have some extra space to store one or two suitcases at home, purchasing suitcases can also be a hassle in Hong Kong. Although convenient, public transportation in HK is usually very crowded most of the time and carrying large belongings with you meaning you have to fight your way through the journey.
So, how can we minimize these drawbacks in preparing for our wonderful getaways? The following two startups formed an alliance with the same goal to revolutionize the suitcase industry are, therefore, being created to tackle the two major suitcase issues respectively.
Rent-a-Suitcase offer suitcases and action camera rental services to travelers, putting a stop to the headache for many families living in smaller flats. Moreover, renting travel gears means less waste and cost generated by your travel, creating a stronger sustainability and mutual support within the city.
For those travelers who need their own suitcases, the team of Singli.com works hard to make sure their suitcase purchasing process can be as seemless as possible. Trying to spare suitcase purchasers from all the hassle in transporting the suitcases across town, Singli.com offers the convenience of luggage choices for nationwide online purchase from the comfort of your desk, home or mobile device.
Just for Startup Weekend readers
Thanks for sparing the time reading our ideas on how to revolutionize the suitcase business, we have prepared some perks to all the Startup Weekend readers to join our revolution today. From Rent-a-Suitcase, type in discount code (“SWHK2015”) in reservation to get 10% off to the total on your first suitcase or GoPro rental. Use the same discount code (“SWHK2015”) when checkout get you 10% discount to the total of your bill in Singli.com.
Story written by Rachel Cheung