Staying true to yourself, Embracing start-up challenges
Start-up was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. The entire project team worked together days and nights and strived to push to our limits every single moment. The moment we reached a milestone in success, that means we were ready for another.
Every time I share my startup journey, the time I had in The Base at HKUST has always been the top story. That is where I saw options and possibilities beyond employment, and where my dream was ignited — to establish my own startup. The real chance came when I started to notice that online resource sharing platforms were gaining popularity in Europe and the U.S. I began to consider developing an online learning platform, calling up some like-minded classmates, and together pooling around a hundred thousand dollars to make our dream alive and make it possible.
Startup was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. The entire project team worked together days and nights and strived to push to our limits every single moment. The moment we reached a milestone in success, that means we were ready for another. I still recall how ecstatic we were when we succeeded in improving students’ learning outcomes through analytics. To our surprise, we overestimated the market demand, and eventually hindered the business development. Even so, we did not dwell on this setback — the team was able to identify the issues, pull ourselves together and move on. We began to inject AI elements and eventually attracted new investors and customers. The transformation empowered us toward a new company that focuses on developing AI applications for our clients.
In the early days of this transformation, we took part in an enterprise competition to explore development directions. The competition led us to come up with idea of using CCTV for collecting customers’ behavioural data, which could inform real-time analysis and support resources deployment. We won this and were further motivated to develop various value-added AI solutions and technical systems with our “can-do” spirit and creativity, in order to strategically create new business opportunities through data analysis. We believe: the ways to overcome difficulties always surpass difficulties itself.
The pathway to create your own business is never easy. This year, I am glad to be selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List under the Retail and E-commerce industry. While seeing that more and more young minds engaging themselves in startup, I took the chance at the HeadStart@HKUST program to share my story as a mentor and a corporate partner. Just as I received support and encouragement from HKUST alumni back then, I now want to pass on the guiding light, walking along, and igniting more and more startup dreams among us.