As entrepreneurs, we're always looking for ways to reduce costs, de-stress, and connect with like-minded people. So there's no better way of attracting startup founders to an event, than offering free beer and pizza!
WeWork were the perfect hosts, as it was an ideal evening to show everyone where our first batch of startups will be based, for our accelerator program launching in early 2017.
After hosting several information sessions over the past month, sharing startup stories and hosting investor Q&A panel discussions, this drinks and networking night gave people an opportunity to have an informal chat and pitch their business ideas to our team of partners and mentors.
The Betatron roadshow hit ‘The Wave’, a huge co-working space in Kwun Tong, last night on Tuesday 8th November. Kwun Tong is growing a startup hub and was one of the locations we knew we had to reach.
Jacky Lai was our guest entrepreneur speaker this week and we were all excited to hear his unique story, as he’s been through some extreme highs and lows during his journey.
In 2009, which he was still at University in the U.S, he founded Wavee. It was a ‘penny auction’ site which he grew to serve nearly 1 million customers. Not only did he manage to acquire customers, but he also managed to monetize them too, and generated an impressive annual revenue of US$40 million. Great work for a business he started from his college dorm room!
Unfortunately, though, the explosive growth didn’t last very long, as the U.S government got involved and enforced industry regulations which hit the business hard.
At this point, Jacky knew it was time to transition to something else, as the industry didn’t have the same growth potential. So he sold the business and decided to come back to his native Hong Kong to plan his next move.
His latest venture is Switchbox (switchboxhq.com), which is also known as 同道 in Chinese. It’s a mobile marketing automation company that empowers businesses to build better relationships with their customers through personalized engagements at scale.
The business is currently experiencing great traction and has been through the China Accelerator program as well as having several angel and VC investment rounds.
On Thursday 3rd November, we held our latest roadshow event at CoCoon. CoCoon Ignite Ventures are one of Betatron’s founding partners, so it was a great honour to hold the event in their impressive coworking space in Causeway Bay.
We like to start our events with a local Hong Kong entrepreneur sharing their startup journey to the audience, showing that building a successful company in HK is possible and can be achieved.
“I slept in my office for several months”
Our next event in our roadshow will be held at CoCoon (3/F Citicorp Centre, 18 Whitfield Rd, Causeway Bay) from 7pm - 9pm.
7:00pm-7:15pm - Sign In
7:15pm-7:30pm - Opening Remarks (Rafal Czerniawski – Co-founder and CEO of IC Studio and Betatron)
7:30pm-7:45pm - Startup Journey (Daniel Lo - Founder and CEO of GoGoChart)
7:45pm-8:15pm - Investor Panel and Q&A (Roland Yau – CoCoon Ignite Ventures and David Chang – MindWorks Ventures)
8:15pm-8:30pm - Betatron Programme Overview
8:30pm-9:00pm - Final Q&A + Networking
When planning where Betatron’s events should be located, the whole team agreed that we should spread them all over Hong Kong, to ensure entrepreneurs based in all parts of the city could attend and get a fair chance to apply to the programme.
Lai Chi Kok is an up and coming startup hub, so we chose to hold our second event at ‘Ooosh For Startups’, which is a great coworking space, run by a fantastic team of people.
The event kicked off with Andy Chan, the founder of Qupital, who shared his entrepreneurial journey with the audience. Qupital is a FinTech startup which allows companies to raise finance against their receivables by connecting them with investors.
Tuesday 18th October was the official launch of Betatron - Hong Kong’s first non vertical accelerator program, providing upfront seed funding to startups.
We held the launch event at Metta and had a fantastic turnout - despite the typhoon and heavy rain! We wanted a small but intimate occasion, so we initially allocated only 30 tickets. However, after we sold out in only two days, we knew we had to increase the capacity. Luckily, Metta agreed to give us extra space and extended it the for 20 additional people!