October 24, 2013

Evernote at Web Wednesday HK (V78)

For our 78th social mixer, we have invited Troy Malone, General Manager of Evernote in Asia Pacific. [Read Troy's blog, follow him on Twitter or Facebook].

Evernote was born in 2008 and has now become "the external brain" to over 65 million users worldwide, of which around 5% pay for the premium service. [Follow Evernote on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus].

Unlike many US internet companies, Evernote has managed to conquer China with over 4 million users who know the brand as "印象笔记" and access via fully-localised website (yingxiang.com).

They have embraced Chinese social media with presences on Sina Weibo, Douban, Renren as well as WeChat (ID: "yxbj100" or scan the QR code below with your WeChat app).

We will discuss how Evernote has successfully localised its cloud-based, multi-media, note-taking service to over 18 countries, including Japan, Indonesia, China and Taiwan; how they have expanded into new areas, like food blogging and business collaboration; and how they are engaging application developers with the Evernote Market, the Trunk Conference and the DevCup.

Watch their promo video on Evernote Market, their new way to engage developer partners:

Doors open at 6:30pm with the interview starting at 7:15pm on Wednesday 6th November, 2013 at Bisous Hong Kong, 9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong.

Sign up on Facebook or MeetUp. We expect a good crowd so let us know that you're coming.

The entrance fee of HK$100 includes a complimentary drink and the opportunity to meet driven internet entrepreneurs, local developers and digital media folk.

Come learn why their CEO Phil Libin's goal is "to build a hundred year startup"!

October 23, 2013

Battle of the Apps V - Hong Kong Start-Ups

Calling all entr-app-reneurs!

Four months is a long time in the fast-paced world of mobile start-ups. So, due to popular demand (and a whole new slew of app launches), we have set a date for the next "Battle of the Apps" on 20th November, 2013.

This lively competition is open to application creators, developers and publishers who participate in a "pitching contest" in the heart of Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong party area. All apps welcome, be it on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Chrome, Symbian or any other operating system (TV, tablet or smartphone).

Networking will start at 6:30pm, with the battle from 7:00pm sharp on 20th November 2013 at Bisous, 9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong.

Submit your app via the form below, join the event on Facebook and spread the word on social media using the shortened URL "bit.ly/battleofapps5".

Curious to learn more? Read about BoA I, BoA II, BoA III, BoA IV and the winners of BoA IV.

Each contestant will have 5 minutes to present their creation (slides or live demo) followed by questions from the floor. Due to time limitations, there will be a maximum of 10 contestants.

At the end of the evening, the audience will vote with their fingers (good, old fashioned, analogue stickers!). The most popular app will win great prizes and a full interview slot at a future Web Wednesday Social Mixer, with all the associated promotional benefits.

If you're a contestant, sign up to join the fray below. Otherwise, do help spread the word - using "#battleofapps" hashtag on Twitter or the shortened URL "bit.ly/battleofapps5" for other social media.

Fill out my online form.

ZaoZao Co-Founder on Chinese Dating Show

Vicky Wu, entrepreneur and guest speaker for our 77th Web Wednesday gathering, likes to go against social norms. Here she is participating in a popular Chinese TV dating show, The Choice (转身遇到TA), where instead of men picking the girls, four 'Power Women' got to chose their favourite man from 15 bachelors. [See if you can spot the ZaoZao product placement?]

October 17, 2013

Shop ZaoZao at Web Wednesday HK (V77)

We're very lucky to catch another global internet entrepreneur, Vicky Wu, whose recently moved her Hong Kong start-up, ZaoZao, to New York City to be incubated by CommerceWorks.

Sign up on Facebook or MeetUp.

In the past year, ZaoZao has won several nomimations:
*Named one of the "Crowdfunding Pioneers in Asia-Pacific" by TechInAsia (Aug 2012)
*Listed as an "Innovative 'Presumption' Brands" in Trend Watching (Nov 2012)
*Called one of the "Top 15 Hottest Crowdfunding Sites Out There" by Business Insider (Nov 2012)

Vicky is a multi-talented lady, an accomplished concert cellist, neuroscientist and former banker, so has a punchy story to tell. Her business partner (on the left in the photo below), Xiang Ling Cai, was a former fashion accessory buyer for Kering/Gucci.

Personally, I like this description of how their idea came to fruition, "Over hundreds of emails, coffee sessions and sleepless nights, they came up with ZAOZAO. Within a week, both girls quit their jobs to dedicate their energy to creating a platform that could help turn designers’ dreams into a reality, one design at a time."

The cocktail party line to describe their budding business, is "Kickstarter meets Fab meets Moda Operandi".  Or in a more wordy way, "ZaoZao is an e-commerce startup, selling one-of-a-kind pieces including jewellery, accessories and handbags in an online, curated marketplace. We are differentiated by their travelogue concept, engaging Western women in a destination-shopping adventure where they discover beautifully curated, one-of-a-kind pieces by up-and-coming Asian designers. ZAO means 'early' ('早')and 'discover' ('找')in Chinese." (Don't mean to be pedantic but it means 'find' or 'look for' and is pronounced 'zhao').

In just over one year, ZaoZao has attracted users from over 20 countries, contacted 500+ designers across Asia and funded over 45 projects. And now she is about to pivot the business from "crowd-funding" to "curating" Asian designers. Follow ZaoZao on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Doors open at 6:30pm with the interview starting at 7:15pm on Wednesday 23rd October, 2013 at Bisous, 9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong.

Sign up on Facebook or MeetUp.

Download your mobile smartpass from pass.is/webwed. [Provided by Passkit].

The entrance fee of HK$100 includes a complimentary drink and the opportunity to meet driven internet entrepreneurs and digital media folk.

Do bring along any budding female entrepreneurs as Vicky is sure to motivate them to leave their cushy banking jobs for the life of a launcher!

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of interviewing Vicky Wu at Silicon Dragon Hong Kong 2013 in Cyberport which was captured and shared on YouTube.