Farewell Hong Kong Startups

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The farewell talk I gave in Hong Kong after running Startups Unplugged and AcceleratorHK. Summing up the last year, some observations, suggestions and opportunities for startups in Hong Kong. Updates provided at: startupsunplugged.com

Farewell Hong Kong Startups

  1. 1. Paul Orlando @porlando Farewell, Hong Kong Startups!
  2. 2. It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future. You can observe a lot just by watching. If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. -- Yogi Berra
  3. 3. Startups Unplugged #1 Startups Unplugged #2 Startups Unplugged #3 AcceleratorHK #1 AcceleratorHK #2 One year ……..What I did this year. We Are HK Tech list
  4. 4. 13 Startups Unplugged startups. 4 traveled to HK for the program. 12 AcceleratorHK startups. 6 traveled to HK for the program. 250 one-to-one first-time meetings with other startupers. 50 were HK visitors. I lost track of other meetings (500?) One year .…….What I did this year.
  5. 5. THANK YOU! Thank You! Steven Kopec Startups Unplugged sponsor
  6. 6. Tytus Michalski Richard Campbell Jochen Kleef Edith Yeung Oscar Ramos Remi Caron Mikaal Abdulla Cory Kidd John Bristowe Deverick McIntyre Salim Virani Patrick Lee Hristo Neychev Vassil Terziev Zarko Georgiev Peter Burton Thank You, Mentors! (as of July 2013) Michael Michelini Felix Lam Bernard Suen William Liang Steve Forte Po Chi Wu Dominic Chan Simon Newstead Ken Lee Jason Li Nick Ho Vinod Menon  DJ Kumar Marcel Ekkel Paul Harris James Giancotti Steven Kopec Oussama Ammar Ronald Yu
  7. 7. THANK YOU! Thank you! 多謝 !
  8. 8. What Didn’t Work What Happened Nanofund: HK$1,000 to talk about work, get help. Got questions, not applications. Group to talk to parents to let their kids join startups. Lots of attention and volunteers. No students asked for help. StartupHug: Package startup services together. Attention, but few sales. Didn’t have right mix? Revisit in future. HK Startup Survey: 40 responses to long survey. Collected data, needed more time to write it up. WeAreHKTech (version 1) Original name for a HK accelerator. Without funding, turned into Startups Unplugged. Being too nice. People drink too much, go to
  9. 9. Lots of Startup news… But do your customers read these publications? New Rule
  10. 10. How your customers feel when you read too much TechCrunch
  11. 11. Lots of Startup Events… But when did you last go to your customers’ events? New Rule
  12. 12. Pitch events… The pitch event should exist to serve you. New Rule
  13. 13. You, at a Pitch Event?
  14. 14. “Silicon + [local geographic characteristic]” You have better uses of your time than worrying why Hong Kong isn’t on any top 10 startup lists New Rule
  15. 15. There is no Hong Kong Zuckerberg* * statistically, there is no US Zuckerberg, either.
  16. 16. Sexiness: The startup’s scourge
  17. 17. Not sexy, but a real business
  18. 18. Hi, I’m working on a Startup Business
  19. 19. WeAreHKtech.com
  20. 20. Marcel Ekkel Andre Martin We Are HK Tech: Phase 2!
  21. 21. 李學斌 Ben Crox Thank you! 多謝 !
  22. 22. Charles Ng Thank You!
  23. 23. Steve Forte Thank You!
  24. 24. Opportunity: Provide the test markets. Startups need to test their ideas with others, often with specific backgrounds. Within this large room of attendees, our combined networks should be able to get any startup in the door of any test customer segment. This shortens the runway needed for startups to learn. It’s good for everyone. I’ll leave this up to someone else to organize in Hong Kong.
  25. 25. Opportunity: Corporate accelerators. The VC-backed model does not currently work in HK, but I like the corporate backed model. Let me know if you want to build a tech startup accelerator that plays off the strengths of HK, or your current location. (AcceleratorHK is corporate backed.)
  26. 26. Opportunity: Crowd-funding. With a limited tech investment community in HK, crowd- funding is another option. And a word about some investors in small markets. Startup desperation enables a few bad actors to survive within the tech investment community. Interview your potential investors and ask to talk to their portfolio companies.
  27. 27. Opportunity: Group source any lacking design or development skills. The skill set gaps among early-stage startups in HK that are testing ideas can keep a few designers and developers employed fulltime. Better than lots of early-stage teams struggling to find and interview talent for each project.
  28. 28. Opportunity: Green. In comparison to neighboring geographies, HK looks great as a location for environmentally-friendly products and services.
  29. 29. Opportunity: Get 100 new founders to HK every six months. This would have a huge impact in a small market. HK has enough going for itself in terms of lifestyle to make this easy.
  30. 30. Opportunity: Peer pressure. Know someone who has delayed their new release again and again? Use peer pressure to force action. By that I mean use threat of embarrassment to get them to act faster. While you’re at it, you can do the same for yourself. Commit to something publically. We have been doing this by messaging a group of mutual contacts their stated release dates. And we also choose earlier release dates when people set them too far in the future. (At this point during the talk, nine people in the audience publically committed to release, get paid users etc. Very cool to see.)
  31. 31. Hello, Los Angeles! (new home) Book: Building new tech communities (a commitment I’m making to write) StartupsUnplugged (continuing), AcceleratorX (will get back to you on what this is), advisory (continuing) One Year, Part 2… (check back in one year) Good luck! Paul Orlando @porlando Farewell, Hong Kong Startups!

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