Startup Magazine of Hong Kong: Jumpstart Issue 18 (November/December 2017)

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ELCOME TO THE new-look Jumpstart magazine. Starting with this issue, over the next six months you will witness a transformation taking place within the magazine as well as where it is distributed. Having worked in Hong Kong print and digital media for more than 20 years, it feels refreshing to come aboard such a well-known and respected publication that serves the startup and entrepreneur community. I feel like a newbie, which is great. It turns out that I know a great many of the people involved in this community in Hong Kong. Originally from Canada, my background includes creating website content and doing a Mac column for SCMP many years ago, writing and editing for luxury publications over the past 11 years, and generally never being afraid to meet new people and find out what they do so I can connect them with other people I’ve met who might help them achieve their goals. The first thing you’ll notice with this issue of the magazine is that it feels different. There are more pages, the paper stock is thicker, and so is the cover. The design has been tweaked, and will continue to be over the next few issues as we get feedback and input from readers like you. Please, tell us what you think. Jumpstart magazine is also expanding distribution to several markets with the aim of reaching as far as Melbourne and Sydney by next spring (or autumn Down Under). The goal is to continue covering what’s happening in the HK, China and Singapore startup scenes, and also extend our coverage to Macau, Taiwan, Manila, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta. This will give our readers the opportunity to find out what’s going on in other markets, while also exposing our advertisers to places, people and companies beyond Hong Kong and China. In turn, more copies of the magazine in more places will also boost our digital platform exponentially as more people tune into what we’re posting online regularly through the website, social media, weekly EDM and so on. Inside this issue, the Cover Story puts the focus on gender and specifically female entrepreneurs trying to succeed in a male-dominated industry. This is followed by several features exploring some of the issues and experiences our esteemed contributors have gone through to get where they are today. We have also added some sections to the magazine, such as News and Lifestyle – which includes product pages as well as an article about a trip I took to Japan recently to drive the Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith and Ghost models, which are aimed at a younger demographic than previously. There’s a Guest Column space near the front of the magazine, and we welcome you to contribute articles that explore things like issues facing the people and companies in our networks. In the startup community, you cannot sit still for long. Here at Jumpstart magazine, change is happening quickly within the company as well as the communities we cover. You’re invited to boldly go with us. Cheers,

Glen Watson


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ENDER IS A necessary discussion, especially in the startup ecosystem. Women in startups are underrepresented. With this issue, Jumpstart aims to change precisely this and reinforce the universal truth that gender does not matter, because a woman can do the things that a man can do, and vice versa. Abilities are not measured by our genders, but by our talents, the choices we make and the opportunities that we are presented with. Talents exist in the startup scene (which includes many women). We want to celebrate female startup founders – not for being female, but for the achievements they have made. Our genders are a part of our identities. In this issue, female startup founders talk about their identities and their successful (or unsuccessful) stories. They share how they have navigated through gender-based problems such as the male-orientated startup culture, sexism in the workplace and the “motherhood penalties” to stand where they are today. We believe that it is high time that a space is created for women in the startup scene to show the world that they exist and are a force to be reckoned with. Join us in creating this safe space and open discourse for all. We want to consider how gender equality and equity come to play in the startup ecosystem. Relevant equity measures include issues such as maternity and paternity leaves, policies on workplace diversity, discrimination laws and developing an open-minded and inclusive startup culture. One of the clearest examples of how we treat genders differently can be seen through the demonstration of leadership and directness in the workplace. According to sociolinguist Deborah Tannen, when men adopt a conversational style that

is dominating and direct at the workplace, it enhances their authority and masculinity. However if women do the same they are depicted as “unfeminine” or “bitchy”. When female leaders display aggression, we put them down with words like “feisty”, “sassy” and “fierce”, while we refer to male leaders as “aggressive”. Although disguised as compliments, these words used to describe women are never used to describe men. Think about it – have you ever heard of a male leader being called “feisty”? This problem isn’t just reflected through workplace leadership, but in many other occasions. We refer to grown women as “girls”, but never grown men as “boys”. We look down upon women who demonstrate verbosity, calling women’s speech as “chatter”, “chit-chat” or “nag” – showing a general distaste for women who talk. On the other hand, as a society we applaud men with “few words”, or with another saying – “a man of his word”, emphasizing that they are worth listening to. And the most relevant to the startup ecosystem: we refer to female chief executive as a “female CEO”, when a male is just a “CEO”. But this sword goes both ways. When men demonstrate actions associated with femininity, we label them with words like “sissy” or “pussy” to put them down. Gender is a necessary discussion and discourse, not just for women or men, but for all. Gender should not be a force that plays any part in our decision-making. Women should be given real freedom to make decisions, not an illusion of choice that comes from tight-rope bias, sexism in the workplace, parenthood penalties and gender wage gaps. What we need to do as a society is to redefine what it means to be “female/feminine” and “male/masculine” and change the perceptions and stigmas that we hold for different genders.





THE 40-HOUR QUALITY MOM A successful CEO and mom in China explain how she does it Anna Fang, CEO and Partner of Zhenfund



CONFRONTING GENDER ISSUES What it means to be female in the startup ecosystem Sharon Yuen, Associate Editor of Jumpstart


HIRING FOR THE FUTURE Challenge the assumption that people become redundant when they are 60 Priyanka Gothi, Founder and CEO of Retired Not Out 4 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017



THE BEST CARS IN THE WORLD Rolls-Royce unleashes the Black Badge models to attract younger, edgier clients to the world’s most-prestigious brand Glen Watson, Editor-in-Chief of Jumpstart





JUGGLING MANY ROLES Dr Elaine Kim in Singapore offers her prescription for motherhood Chloe Wong, Associate Director of Content Development of Jumpstart

WHY GENDER IS A PROBLEM Insider perspectives from Singapore and Japan on why it’s an issue or not in the startup ecosystem Joelle Pang, Committee Member of Lean In Singapore Akiko Naka, CEO of Wantedly






BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Transitioning from corporate to startups in Singapore leads to support group for women Christina Teo, Founder of Startup Asia Women

Helping startups become investable in a male-dominated world Nicole Denholder, Founder and CEO of Next Chapter


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HELPING EACH OTHER TO GROW A look at two organizations empowering women in mainland China Daisy Qiu, Founder and CEO of She Power Rinchy Deng, Founder of Lean In Guangzhou 5

ISSUE 18 November/December 2017 Managing Director James Kwan Editor-in-Chief Glen Watson Associate Editor Sharon Yuen Associate Director of Content Development Chloe Wong Associate Director of Content Operations Tiffany Wong Graphic and Digital Marketing Specialist Eugenia Mok Director of Community Engagement Anita Chan Director of Product Development Maggie Lau Community Evangelist (Silicon Valley/LA) Li Xing Chang Founder/Advisor Yana Robbins Advisors Shitiz Jain Leo Ku Derek Kwik Contributors Steve Bruce Rinchy Deng Nicole Denholder Anna Fang Priyanka Gothi Akiko Naka Joelle Pang Divya Samtani Alex Tanglao Christina Teo Daisy Qiu Special Thanks Sherry He Joyce Ngo Justin Tan

Jumpstart is available at over 700 locations in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and China. Follow us on



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Copyright Š 2017 Jumpstart Media Ltd. The contents of the magazine are fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted without permission. The publisher and editors accept no responsibility in respect to any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue or for any errors, omissions, or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. The mention of any specific companies or products in articles or advertisements does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by this magazine or its publisher in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentioned or advertised. Published articles do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Jumpstart magazine.





ERE’S A USEFUL filter that I use before posting anything on LinkedIn. It saves me a lot of trouble and makes sure that I remain focused on presenting myself powerfully on the platform.

Is This Post Useful/Interesting?

Sounds obvious but the thing is, it is easy to think that something that is very interesting to you will be just as fascinating to your network. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Is LinkedIn The Right Place To Post It?

Before posting, I always ask myself this question. Would another social media channel like Facebook or Instagram be a more appropriate platform for this content? Save those cat photos or inspirational quotes for a non-business platform, unless you quickly want to destroy your credibility in the eyes of those you are trying to influence.

Who Do I Want To Influence?

Think carefully about this one. Is the kind of person you are trying to influence a potential client; a decision maker in a potential new client company; a recruiter; an existing or past client; or is it your whole network?

What Do I Want My Reader To Think/Do?

When you post on LinkedIn, especially an ‘article’ post like this one, you should always include a call to action. This could be “I’d love to hear what you think, please comment below” or “please get in touch to learn more” or even “please give me a call to learn more”. Or it could just be that you want your reader to have a positive impression about you and your knowledge on your chosen topic.

Does The Post Present Me Powerfully?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steve Bruce is a marketing consultant in Hong Kong with over 30 years’ experience, including running his marketing consultancy SB Consulting for nearly 15 years. Last year, Steve generated more than HK$400,000 in revenue using LinkedIn. He presents workshops and regularly gives talks at events about how to use the site to build a professional profile, present yourself as an opinion former and thought leader for your industry and most importantly, generate new business.

Many people use LinkedIn to get known as an opinion-former, industry influencer or expert in their field. In order to become regarded as an expert in your industry, you need to pick up to three niches or micro-niches and become known as one of the foremost experts in these areas. Having a scattergun approach or trying to be all things to all people does not present you as an expert. You can’t be ‘jack of all trades’. If your target clients or those you wish to influence can’t understand quickly what problems you can solve for them, they will become bored quickly with what you have to say. In my case, I generally focus on three things: 1. Linkedin training; 2. Social media; 3. SME Marketing Consulting. The only time you will generally see me deviate from these is when I’m interacting with a client’s post. Have a think about what those three things are for you and stay focused on them. Being consistent over time will help to build your credibility. I hope you find this posting filter useful and will use it. As ever, I welcome your comments and feedback. Happy Posting! 7





ANY STARTUPS CORRECTLY focus on getting the business fundamentals right. Thinking about how to commercialize the product and raise funding is crucial to making any startup a success. However, another area that many founders often neglect is the legal part. There are five legal pitfalls that all startups should avoid to ensure that the business is legally sound.

Clarify Co-founders’ Rights And Duties

In the rush to develop the product and build a team, many co-founders forget that it is crucial to set out the rights and obligations of each member of the founding team. In other cases, co-founders mistakenly believe that sitting down to properly discuss a Founders’ Agreement is unnecessary as the co-founders have worked well with each other so far. Both scenarios can lead to disastrous outcomes when co-founders realize they are not on the same page and misunderstandings or disputes arise. Get it right from the start by putting together a Founders’ Agreement, which describes the respective rights and obligations of the founders and how the company should be operated. As co-founders are typically shareholders in their company, this can be set out in a Shareholders’ Agreement (in fact, the expressions Founders’ Agreement and Shareholders’ Agreement tend to be used interchangeably). Key clauses in a Shareholders’ Agreement include: ● Name, address, and shareholding of each shareholder; ● Restrictions on share transfer (with the option to include a tag-along clause and/or a drag-along clause); ● Level of consent required for key business decisions (e.g. adopting business plan, approving any transaction above a certain value);


● Level of consent required for fundamental decisions (e.g. changes to share capital, winding up); ● Option to include a non-competition clause; and ● Confidentiality obligation. The importance of a Shareholders’ Agreement is so great that we would describe it as a legal ‘must have’.

Not Choosing The Right Business Structure

Depending on the business structure that you choose for the startup, your business and its owners will be subject to different types of personal liability and tax requirements, among other things. When approaching the subject, consider the following elements: 1. What are the characteristics of each business structure, and the pros and cons of each? 2. What are your long-term business plans, and the underlying business objectives? 3. What filing and documentation is required for each type of business structure? The business structures commonly found in most countries include sole proprietorship, partnership and limited company.

Flouting Employment Laws And Regulations

As an entrepreneur, you may decide to start up your business in another country for various reasons, such as the availability of certain types of talent and the ease of access to a certain target market. When hiring a team in a different country, remember that legal protections for employees and, correspondingly, the obligations of employers may vary. If you are looking to expand your business beyond Hong Kong into the rest of Asia Pacific, make sure to read up on topics such as the legal considerations

when hiring new employees in places like Australia and whether there is a minimum wage in New Zealand.

Neglecting Intellectual Property Protection

During the early stages, startup businesses often don’t own anything more than their idea, a business name and logo. While this may not seem like much, it is central to what your startup has to offer. The exclusive rights that apply to intangible human creations, otherwise known as intellectual property (IP), are a core asset of the business. The main types of IP include trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets. When managed properly, even something as simple as a trademark has the potential to become one of the most valuable assets of your business.

instance when it comes to enforcing the payment terms in a Sale of Goods Agreement. ● Increase in time and costs: While startup founders often DIY their legal needs in order to save time and costs in the first place, fixing a problem that arises due to poorly drafted contracts may end up causing time and costs to balloon. In order to self-service legal needs while keeping costs low, startup founders can get innovative and turn to legal tech solutions such as Dragon Law. With a comprehensive suite of legal documents, this platform employs a Q&A interface that enables business owners to quickly and easily customize legal documents for their unique business needs.

Drafting Contracts Based On Internet Templates

In the early stages when startups are tight on finances, the legal area is most easily overlooked, despite it being crucial. Hiring a lawyer to draft a simple contract may be an expense that a startup simply cannot afford, so the founders inevitably end up employing a do-it-yourself approach to managing their legal needs. While we are all for a DIY approach, startups subject themselves to a multiplicity of risks when they don’t DIY the right way. The risks include: ● Legally unsound contracts: While a simple Google search will turn up free contract templates ranging from Shareholders’ Agreements to Employment Contracts, what people don’t often realize is that such templates may not reflect the most updated regulations, or even be relevant to the jurisdiction that they are operating in (for example, a Hong Kong document may not work in Singapore). ● Reputational damage: A poorly drafted contract may give rise to disagreements over the interpretation of the contract, for

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Alex Tanglao is the Marketing Manager at Dragon Law, the cloud legal software trusted by more than 15,000 businesses. Alex leads a talented team of Dragons as they drive growth and implement localized marketing strategies across Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. Having studied law, and now working in the legal tech space for more than three years, Alex has a passion for helping startups and SMEs scale up their businesses using technology.




sanity in order to succeed socially or HEN IT COMES TO success, professionally. The more I started to see it’s all about the people. networking as a way to make a difference Whether you’re on the in people’s lives as well as to explore and hunt for talent, new ideas, enrich my own, I was off to the races. It or are simply open to learning new all came down to some strategic reframing things, there is nothing more powerful and playful perceptions. Here are a couple than putting yourself in a position to tricks that helped me get started. constantly meet new people. In today’s hyper-connected, highly networked world, seizing these Creativity Training opportunities is even more critical. As According to Steve Jobs, creativity is they say, it’s not what you know but nothing more than simply, ‘connecting who you know. That being the case, the dots”. The issue, however, is that then practically speaking, the best “most people don’t have enough dots to thing you can do is get out there and connect because they haven’t had many start networking. diverse experiences”. This is where the This is where you either nod power of networking comes in. Exposing knowingly or cringe. To the latter – I yourself regularly to people outside don’t blame you. As someone who started your standard social circle is the perfect her career in the world of PR, marketing way to come into contact with new and and media, and now meets literally potentially important dots. Just sit back, hundreds of new people per week, listen, and let those creative juices flow. networking isn’t so much a nice-to-have in my life as it an I-better-have. A Matching Puzzle Yet having cultivated a phobia of There’s no doubt that networking can speaking to strangers for most of my be time-consuming. But try to look at childhood and well into my adult life, the it as a game, one in which the goal is to idea of having to schmooze and small talk is see how many matches you can make one I’ve always approached with trepidation. that generate synergy – in other words, JumpstartI Magazine_Bleed_CMYK.pdf 10:17 AM Luckily, realized early on that 1 18/10/2017 connecting someone with a need to I did not have to sell my soul or my someone else you know that can fulfill it.



Real networking is all about finding ways to deliver value to others, and by sharing your connections in this way you’re not only fueling collective success, but making yourself indispensable.

An Oasis of Learning and Inspiration

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way and in that, I learn from him.” The desire for lifelong learning is something that all successful individuals have in common, and where better to fulfill this than in a room full of hidden intellectual gems just waiting to be discovered. Once you realize that every single person has the

Accelerating Serendipity potential to unlock brand new worlds and ways of thinking, awkward conversations become voyages of discovery and, possibly, even epiphany.

Opportunity to Share your Gift

Sometimes you’ll meet someone who is so passionate about what they do that their eyes just light up and you can’t help but smile along. It’s a magical feeling for both the speaker and the audience, and it’s surprisingly easy to achieve. It starts with knowing who you are, what you’re looking for, and sharing that story with as much enthusiasm and open-heartedness as you can muster. While this may sound like a whole

This is my favorite way to see networking, and it’s something I’m grateful for the chance to experience at work almost every day. Richard Kelly, Chief Catalyst Officer of Li & Fung and Creativity Curator for Mettā, describes Mettā as “the social serendipity of like-minded souls”. Essentially it’s a place where brilliant, bold and like-minded individuals from across disparate networks connect with one another, fusing new relationships, and unleashing magnificent amounts of energy in the world. Think of it like a nuclear reactor, with the result being everything from businesses, movements, and communities being created, to collaboration groups and industry-


lot of effort for people you don’t know, you’ll find that it’s extremely effective in blitzing away people’s barriers and banishing the small talk. Not only will you be left feeling great that you’ve been true to yourself, but you’ll radiate an energy that is both contagious and also empowering for others. After all, you never know how a few words might inspire someone else, and perhaps even change their life.

change projects being formed. It’s nothing more than good ol’ serendipity, just accelerated. If at the end of the day, we all live one life and that life is all about the people we share it with, then why not give it your best shot? You can either see networking as a necessary evil of the professional world, or you can choose to see it how I do – pure alchemy. The best part of it is that you never know just who will spark it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Divya Samtani is a content and branding specialist who has built marketing, media and communications strategies for some of the world’s largest financial and tech organizations. Fresh off a recent programming course, she is currently Head of Global Brand and Content at Mettā in Hong Kong, where she focuses on the education and empowerment of the community, as well as on breaking global business barriers to lead a collaboration revolution.


NEWS NEW WORLD’S EUREKA NOVA ANNOUNCES INCUBATEES New World Development’s Eureka Nova accelerator and incubator tailor-makes entrepreneurship enrichment programmes to speed up the successful development of starting entrepreneurs and enterprises. This is done through a mix of training and workshops focused on different aspects of business operations. Eureka Nova also organises sharing sessions by business professionals, corporate visits, business pitch nights, and a vast array of networking opportunities with other startups and like-minded entrepreneurs. New World’s Eureka Nova incubation programme is unique because it is a fully integrated enterprise support programme, helping young startup hopefuls to turn business ideas into successful and sustainable enterprises.

JetsoEye is the first-ever OnO (Online & Offline) coupon posting platform for brick and mortar and small- to mediumsized merchants to post, manage and market coupons online within minutes in real-time from the smartphone.

Appus Technology Limited, which is creating the OMyCar platform that connects drivers and share real-time traffic information (e.g. speed cameras, traffic accidents, parking tickets).


ASA Innovation & Technology Limited (ASA) is focussed on air purification smart solutions such as Airluna, an air purifying lighting system designed to detect and alert the user about indoor air quality.

Peacify Limited is dedicated to infant health care by building products that help to transform parents’ lives and give them peace of mind.

ConnectAR Limited’s SnapPop is an offline-toonline marketing platform that enhances ROI for marketers, brands, retailers, and malls.


P-Sense Limited’s focus is on location-based service and people sensing.


GOOGLE HK RELEASES SMARTER DIGITAL CITY WHITEPAPER The “Smarter Digital City Whitepaper” from Google Hong Kong unearths the status of the city’s digitization with an analysis of four key business verticals – Retail, Travel, Finance and Living. Conducted by Nielsen, the research revealed digital disparities between perception and practice, among consumers and corporates – 81% of smartphone users in HK believe they are digital savvy while only 42% are actually digital savvy; 79% of corporates are currently managing digital initiatives, but only one out of five consumers are highly satisfied with their digital experience with brands. The whitepaper concludes with recommendations to the four key business verticals.

DALTON LEARNING LAB OPENS IN CYBERPORT The Dalton Learning Lab, Hong Kong’s first after-school lab dedicated to preparing students aged 4-13 for a world dominated by robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), began classes in October. Set up by technology entrepreneur Yat Siu of Outblaze together with Peggy Yeoh and Eva To – two co-founders of Dalton School Hong Kong (DSHK), a child-centered primary school adopting the progressive Dalton plan – the Dalton Learning Lab addresses gaps in Hong Kong’s education system by providing a project-based lab environment where children can experiment and develop useful skills particularly relevant to the world of tomorrow. The Dalton Learning Lab offers courses for children aged 4-13 on robotics, coding, digital art, and digital music. All curricula are designed around principles of project-based learning and design thinking, with the goal to advance students’ capacity for divergent thought, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, digital fluency, and other important skills and traits.

BEYOND VENTURES VC FUND ANNOUNCED Hong Kong-based venture capital fund Beyond Ventures launched on September 21 to help high-potential startup enterprises and entrepreneurs get innovative business ideas off the ground. The initiative has been established by several serial Hong Kong entrepreneurs including Alex Fang, a seasoned venture capitalist and Co-founder of eGarden Ventures; Lap Man, one of Hong Kong’s most respected entrepreneurial “angel” investors and Founder and CEO of DYXnet Group; and veteran entrepreneur Marvin Hung, Vice Chairman of Hung’s Group and Executive Director and CEO of Hop Hing Group Holdings Limited (stock code: 47). “We plan to invest in five or six Hong Kong start-ups by the end of this year,” says Man. “And the selected companies will get capital from US$100,000 to US$5 million.”

KING’S HOTEL IN WAN CHAI MAY BECOME SHARED OFFICE SPACE Several media outlets in Hong Kong are reporting that an unnamed property group has bid HK$1.4 billion (US$181 million) to purchase the King’s Hotel on Wan Chai’s Jaffe Road. The transaction will reportedly be closing soon, according to an account in the Hong Kong Economic Times. The report indicates that the new buyer intends to convert the 193-room King’s Hotel into a co-working centre, the latest in a string of properties to be refitted as shared offices in the city. The reported price for the 86,000 square foot (7,990 square metre) hotel works out to around HK$16,200 per square foot, or HK$7.3 million ($929,000) per room in the three-star hotel, according to The deal would prove to be the latest windfall for billionaire property investor Tang Shing-bor, known as Hong Kong’s “shop king” for his sprawling retail portfolio. Tang already began cashing in on co-working in July by selling the Wave in Kowloon East’s Kwun Tong area to Bank of China (Hong Kong) Asset Management, after successfully transforming the former industrial workshop into a coworking hub, according to Mingtiandi.




GOBEE.BIKE EXPANDS TO FRANCE Hong Kong’s first and fastest-growing dockless bike-sharing platform announced its first expansion overseas in Paris, France. After a successful start in Hong Kong and soft launch in Lille, France, the GPS-enabled, self-locking green bikes will become an eco-friendly and alternative transport solution in Europe. Unlike traditional bike-sharing platforms, Gobee.Bike’s technology requires no fixed racks and allows bikes to be parked anywhere legal and responsible. Following the company’s US$9 million Series A funding round in August, just months after the company’s inaugural launch in April 2017,’s debut in France continues the company’s rapid growth trajectory. The launch marks an important milestone for stationless bike-sharing in Europe as France is renowned for being the European capital of bikesharing, boasting the largest network of docked bikes. “We are thrilled to launch in Paris, my hometown and the birthplace of one of the world’s best known docked bikesharing systems,” says Raphael Cohen, Co-founder and CEO of Gobee.Bike. Gobee.Bike will scale up its European operations from its European headquarters in Paris over the next several months with the goal of deploying a large fleet of its bikes to other countries and aims to operate in 10 cities across Europe by the end of 2017.


INFINITI Motor Company and Nest, a leading venture capital firm and innovation partner, launched the INFINITI LAB Global Accelerator 3.0 in October under the theme of “The Future Consumer”. INFINITI LAB is a global program that aims to address locally relevant challenges. Embracing the opportunity to boost retail innovation in Hong Kong, INFINITI has invited seven high-potential startups, two from Hong Kong and five others – from Canada, Germany, Mexico, Sweden and the US – to its global headquarters to develop future technologies that enhance the customer journey. During the program, they will test, evolve and refine their technologies to win over investors and industry leaders. “INFINITI has an established reputation as an innovator with a pioneering spirit. This makes us a natural partner for entrepreneurs who seek out new experiences and push boundaries every day,” says Dane Fisher, General Manager, Global Business Transformation & Brand, INFINITI Motor Company. The two Hong Kong-based startup ventures are COVE and actiMirror. “We have created a bespoke 10-week program for our startups and look forward to working with these highpotential businesses,” says Nest CEO Lawrence Morgan. The program will conclude with Demo Day on December 13, when the entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to a panel of investors in hopes of securing partnerships and funding to propel their businesses to the next phase. They will also have a chance to pitch their business cases to key decision makers from INFINITI and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.


ALIBABA ENTREPRENEURS FUND INVESTS IN SIX RISING STARTUPS The Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, a not-for-profit initiative run by Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), announced in September that it has invested approximately US$10 million this year in six rising Hong Kong startups spanning the fields of Financial technology (Fintech), Internet of Things (IoT), Sharing Economy and digital healthcare. The companies receiving the new round of funding are Origami Labs, a company utilizing bone conduction technology to bring to market voice-activated smart rings; Qupital, Hong Kong’s first accounts receivable (invoice) trading platform; AQUMON, a robo-advisory engine developed by Magnum Research to provide automated, algorithm-based and customized global asset allocation service; CompareAsiaGroup, a personal finance management platform to help personal finance with independent online comparison and management tools for financial products;, a station-less bike sharing operator; and Prenetics, a genetic testing and digital health company. The new investment will bring the total amount invested by the fund since its launch in November 2015 to around US$20 million. The portfolio companies have increased to 12, with 75% of them being early–stage (from seed round to Series A round) start-ups established for approximately two years, and 60% of the company founders are local Hong Kong entrepreneurs with an average age of 32. “We’re very excited with the progress of our investment program. With these six companies added, our portfolio now covers a wider range of industries and technologies that are set to transform traditional sectors,” says Cindy Chow, the fund’s Executive Director.

GENESIS BLOCK LINKS CO-WORKING WITH BITCOIN Located on Hennessy Road in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district, Genesis Block co-working space aims to change an impression that cryptocurrencies are connected with shady activities, says Director Wincent Hung, who funds the coworking space through cryptocurrency trading and hopes its prominent location will drive foot traffic. He and sister Traci also run the upscale Check Inn HK hostel at the same location. According to an SCMP report in October, the co-working office includes a space dedicated to the trading of digital currencies that comes complete with bitcoin ATMs. Hung hopes the space will become a showcase for virtual money much like Apple stores are for iPhones and iPads. The official launch is in early November. “The impression most people have about cryptocurrencies is pretty negative,” says Hung. “But if you actually understand the technology behind it, you will see it is actually a good thing. “Eventually, I hope to see traders and beginners together, socializing. Like the Apple store, you can come in and ask and it doesn’t matter if you buy or not.”

LALAMOVE RECEIVES US$100m Hong Kong logistics startup Lalamove says it has raised US$100 million in the latest round of funding, placing its valuation to close to US$1 billion, giving further impetus to its expansion plans in Southeast Asia and maintain its market leadership in China, according to a report in South China Morning Post newspaper (SCMP). The funding round was led by ShunWei Capital, a venture capital firm that counts Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun as one of its founders. The investment round also saw participation from previous investors such as Xiang He Capital and Hong Kong’s MindWorks Ventures.







Beyoncé says if you like it put a ring on it – how about a smart ring? With a simple touch to your ear, you can make calls, send and receive messages, add an event to the calendar and much more. Origami Labs builds voice-enabled hardware to transform the way we communicate with electronic devices and each other. Via Bluetooth, the ring connects to the smartphone’s voice assistant (Siri or Google), enabling the user to be connected while on-the-go – wirelessly and screen-free!

It’s fall again, the perfect time to go bike riding a stop for a picnic with your best friends. Gobee.Bike is Hong Kong’s first and fastest-growing stationless bikeshare operator. With two taps, users can unlock an eco-friendly bike and ride to any destination of their choosing without needing to return it to a fixed station. just launched its stationless bikeshare system in France, and also became the the first to launch a bikesharing app on the Apple Watch. Available HK locations: Tung Chung, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai, Sheung Shui, Fanling, Tai Po, Sha Tin, Ma On Shan, and Tseung Kwan O. Price: HK$5 for 30 minutes. Security deposit HK$399 (fully reimbursable). 16 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

Spice up your home with some musical light shows. Released last year, the Nanoleaf Aurora is a modular smart light that enable you to transform the Aurora light panels into color displays created by your playlist. The small sound module plugs into any Aurora panel for a two-second setup. The built-in audio sensor automatically picks up on beat and melodies, translating the sounds into light shows.

We all have that tough moment when stepping out of the home to go to the gym. With Move IT, you can turn any 3m x 3m space into a a gym. It is all-in-one fitness equipment for effective cardio and endurance training. Combined with an app, Move IT has a set of smart handles with a modular design that are compatible with four types of attachments. No more excuses now!



Being too cold is no excuse anymore for skipping your workout routine. Clim8 is providing its intelligent technology to clothing brands so their garments can automatically increase your thermal comfort during outdoor activities by integrating the technology into next-to-skin garments. It can detect when you are cold, and to warm you up according to your needs. It even has embedded sensors to monitor body temperature. You can control it and view the collected data using a mobile app.

HOW SWEDE IT IS Headquartered in Stockholm, Casten Design’s flagship backpack is the Vandra (HK$850) with 15 unique anti-theft features, as well as antishock, water-repellent and havinga built-in USB charging port. Vandra began as a Kickstarter campaign with a funding goal of HK$78,000 and closed off the campaign with a whopping HK$213,929 – exceeding the goal by 174%. Casten Design also makes the Vandra Plus (HK$930), with the Vandra Black series and Vandra Business series to be available by year-end. Available in Hong Kong at Backer Store in K11 Art Mall, TST.


Everyone likes perfect fit. Isabella Wren creates customizable dresses for ladies while employing a sustainable manufacturing system where only what is ordered is produced. The diversity of the designs is also what makes an Isabella Wren outfit so powerful – from boardroom to cocktail bar. You can be smart and professional at a business meeting, but equally stylish, elegant and dazzling on an evening date.

BUY, RENT, SHINE They say you can wear anything as long as you buy a nice pair of shoes to go with it. Now you can even rent a pair of Andrew Kayla shoes for your next big pitch or speaking engagement. Passionate about using high-quality materials that are fit for purpose, Andrew Kayla shoes are all about simplicity and quality. To ensure every detail is considered, the entire concept-toconstruction process is overseen in-house.




MOVED FROM California to Hong Kong in 2011 with several missions – one of them being to explore my roots. My parents were born in Hong Kong, but I was born in California. I grew up in a very Chinese household, but really got to experience all of the things I saw while watching Hong Kong TV dramas. I resolved to learn as much about Hong Kong culture as I could, like finally understanding what it meant to have “hot air” (e.g. from eating too much fried food). Now fast forward six years. Endless hours of exploration, and what feels like millions of questions later, I have a much firmer understanding and appreciation of why Hong Kong people think and do the things they do. To learn about it, I didn’t just wander around different districts by myself and look at things. I talked to the local people and asked why, why, why. I was that annoying kid that relentlessly asked why. What I realized is that I’m privileged to be able to communicate with the local people and have access to them. I was lucky to make patient friends who cared to explain things to me. There is no way to truly understand without first learning the why. These are my top suggestions when exploring a new city.


Visit a grocery store. Not only will you find local snacks (the perfect gift or souvenir), it gives you a lot of insight on local flavors, traditions, and values.


Take part in a festival, ceremony, ritual, or holiday. These are gateways into the history and culture of a city; and by taking part, it allows you to be a part of the city instead of just observing.




Listen to a local story – fact or fiction. Factual stories help you understand how the city came to be, while fictional ones help you understand why it still is the way it is today. Many beliefs and customs that make up the DNA of a city are passed on through these stories. Because of these past experiences, my Co-founder and I created Sam the Local – a platform that enables people to experience a city with local insiders. During these interest-based experiences, you can ask all of those burning questions you’ve always been curious about and learn the information straight from the source. We hope to help people not just look at a city but to actually see it and not just hear stories, but to listen to them. With an open heart and deeper understanding of diverse people and cultures, we can learn to accept the differences that make us unique instead of letting these differences divide us. As St Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR Maggie is the Co-Founder and CTO of Sam the Local, a platform that connects people with local insiders for private, customized tours to experience the authentic side of Hong Kong. Sam the Local now has more than 75 Locals who come from eight countries, covering 12 languages and 10 interest categories. Sam the Local has partnered with key industry leaders, such as Swire’s The Upper House, Cathay Pacific, and Uber. It’s expanding to other cities, such as Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai.

W o r k To g e t h e r G r o w To g e t h e r

Garage Collective is home to Hong Kong’s next generation of tastemakers, w h e r e w o r k a n d l i f e s e a m l e s s l y c o m e s t o g e t h e r. T h i s l i f e s t y l e h u b i s t h e fi r s t o f i t s k i n d i n t h e c i t y w i t h i t s F & B o ff e r i n g s , d e s i g n - c e n t r i c p o p u p & e v e n t s p a c e s , a n d p e t - f r i e n d l y p o l i c y.

Garage Collective

w w w . t h e G a r a g e S o c i e t y. c o m

S h o p 4 - 7, 1 5 8 A C o n n a u g h t R o a d W e s t Sai Ying Pun

@GarageAsia @Garage Society

E n q u i r i e s @ t h e G a r a g e S o c i e t y. c o m Te l : 3 9 5 2 7 4 0 0





HEN YOU THINK ABOUT a startup, the image that conjures in your head is rarely that of a 60 year old speaking calmly to a team. It’s usually an adrenaline charged quartet of 20 somethings wearing coordinated T-shirts and a look of intense purpose. Does that ever make you wonder why the optics of looking old are so hurtful for a startup? Startups across the world, including in Hong Kong and Asia, are often compelled to steer away from anything that ‘reeks’ of the past because of the pressure of being ‘future-centric’. As founder of Retired Not Out – a Hong Kong-based professional platform for people over 50 to find opportunities to learn, work and connect – here are some insights I can share on why startups that want to scale should go salt and pepper when it comes to building a future-proof team.

Burgeoning Ageing Trend

By Priyanka Gothi


According to the United Nations report “World Population Prospects: the 2017 Revision”, globally the population aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups. Additionally, by 2020 there will be more people on this planet aged over 60 years than children under the age of 5, according to the World Health Organization’s “Report on Ageing and Health”. Hong Kong has not been spared from the effects of ageing and in fact is one of the most rapidly ageing places in the world. By 2041, 30% of the population is expected to be over 65 years of age. Hong Kong also enjoys some of the longest life spans with men living an average of 87 years and women, 92.

As a startup trying to acquire new customers or access evasive investors, networking is business-critical. Networks are built over time and through multitudes of connections and longterm relationships, which also only come with time. Needless to say, older professionals are connected and have relationships across industries and countries. They can open doors for your startup in a way younger staff possibly couldn’t.


Networks Come with Time

Redefining ‘Talent’

With rapid ageing and longer life spans comes a ripple effect of socio-economic consequences. The most alarming being that people may stay retired for 30 years or longer in Hong Kong – leading to a severe labour shortage and an untapped talent pool of seniors. This is one of the main reasons Retired Not Out launched in Hong Kong – to empower and engage the growing base of ‘young old’ who are highly capable, motivated and not yet ready to hang up their boots.

The future of work is dependent on what is replaceable and what’s fundamental to your business. With AI, repetitive tasks may be passed over to machines, but work that needs subjectivity and inference may be best executed by older talent who have rich, textured experience. Working at an office may give way to flexible work across any location. Logging hundreds of hours a week to prove worth may be traded with limited hours of quality produced by a dedicated employee. Let’s start challenging the assumption that people become redundant when they’re 60. Skills don’t fade, experience doesn’t vanish and what is new can always be learnt. Older employees are driven by passion, not just by money. They have a sense of calm and security that makes them great coaches and team-players and display rigour that makes them dedicated workers – classifying them as some of the most attractive talent in town. Being a ‘young’ organization has a very transient badge value. The last piece of advice is: everyone’s going to age, including you. It will happen and that is why holding on to a ‘young company’ badge has little future value. It may serve better to build badges out of the values the company upholds, which are likely to be far more sustainable. In the meantime, build a company that values experience.

Older Talent Has Competitive Advantage

Most companies have a bias against hiring older people because they may lack new-age skill sets, but these are all learnable. Retired Not Out’s senior school programme helps up-skill seniors with technology and soft skills to keep them relevant in today’s professional landscape. What makes this segment unique is that they have an additional characteristic that is completely ownable and can be an incredible competitive advantage for companies. The average age of a startup employee in Hong Kong is 24, with about 2-3 years of experience. So while these employees might score high on hustle, they are likely to rate low when it comes to subject matter expertise and experience in dealing with a variety of situations.

You Can’t Learn Experience

If your company is looking to move faster and not make mistakes that have been made in the past, it may make a lot of sense to get a senior talent on board and leverage the accumulated wisdom and subject matter expertise for business growth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Priyanka Gothi is the Founder and CEO of Retired Not Out, an online professional platform for older talent to find meaningful opportunities to network, learn and work. Currently in a public beta mode in Hong Kong and operational since June 2017, Priyanka has built Retired Not Out into a community of 100+ seniors (locals and expats, retired across different levels), acquired 15 clients and placed 14 seniors in SMEs, startups and large corporates. Prior to founding Retired Not Out, Priyanka was a digital marketer leading regional initiatives in India and Switzerland with a global foods giant. She’s a mum to a 2 year old and a staunch believer in creating sustainable social impact.






T STARTED IN THE 1900s with people working away in a garage… No, this story isn’t about Apple but the brand is equally famous, if not even more so. Rolls-Royce Motorcars was once a startup with a dream on the cutting edge of technology and the aim of creating “the best car in the world”. Founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce unveiled their first car – the Rolls-Royce 10 hp – at the Paris Salon in December 1904. Shares in their company were sold in 1906 to help offset the costs of expansion. Newer models with better technology were rolled out over the years, with many winning races and helping the company build its reputation. Unfortunately, in 1910 Rolls was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft (and the 11th person anywhere). The company carried on and in 1914, the British government asked Rolls-Royce to begin building airplane engines. In 1919, two RR Eagle engines were used in the first successful transatlantic flight. Today, the Rolls-Royce car and airplane engine companies are separate. Now owned by BMW, Rolls-Royce Motorcars is an extremely admired company – so much so that many products are referred to as “the Rolls-Royce” of their markets. Even in pop music, Rolls-Royce is the hottest brand with more lyric mentions over the past three years than Ferrari and Hennessy, according to Bloomberg. Drake’s song “Portland” includes the line “Park the Benz, just to ride the Wraith”, referencing one of the newest Rolls-Royce models, the Wraith – the Ghost and Dawn models are also popular with music artists, who are not paid by Rolls-Royce although it will sometimes provide cars for music videos. Performers such as Future, The Weeknd, and Kodak Black also sing about the brand, raising it to a shorthand expression for luxury, aspiration and status. This certainly hasn’t hurt the brand’s scalability, with production up 500 percent since 2005 when nearly 800 cars were born at the HQ in Goodwood, England. In 2016, more than 4,000 cars rolled off the line. Which bring us to the present and the introduction of the Rolls-Royce Black Badge models, directly aimed at the younger generation of millennials and 30-somethings who are independently wealthy or perhaps just sold their startups. The convertible Dawn is the latest to join the Wraith and Ghost Black Badge models first unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. “Black Badge speaks to the darker, more assertive, confident and demanding aesthetic of a new breed of RollsRoyce customer – today’s generation of young, self-empowered, self-confident rule-breakers who are uncompromising and 22 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

unapologetic in their choice of living and lifestyle,” Rolls-Royce says.“Their predecessors include Howard Hughes and our own Charles Rolls and they follow the road less travelled and live the unconventional life, darkly obsessed by their own pursuits and accomplishments from which they derive a pure adrenaline rush.” The power of Black Badge communicates itself into the ground through new composite carbon fiber and lightweight 21-inch alloy wheels unique to Black Badge. Inside, the centerpiece of the Black Badge cabin is the aerospace-grade aluminum-threaded carbon fiber composite surfacing – material often seen on the surfaces of stealth aircraft. To create this beautiful and innovative material, threads of aluminum just 0.014mm in diameter are painstakingly woven together before being bonded with carbon fiber. This surface material then has six coats of lacquer applied and is left to cure for 72 hours, after which it is hand-polished to a mirror finish. In addition to the creation of this luxury material, the air vents on the dash and in the rear of Black Badge motor cars have been darkened through the use of Physical Vapour Deposition. Set into the cars’ fascia is a newly created Black Badge clock with hands tipped in orange and the face is adorned by

Dawn Black Badge

Like its stablemates Ghost and Wraith, the distilled essence of Dawn is amplified through the engineering that underpins the Black Badge philosophy. In the case of Dawn, the engineering substance that leads to more spirited driving is accentuated by the creation of an entirely new exhaust system, that when deployed by the press of the ‘low’ button, celebrates RollsRoyce’s hallmark V12 engine with a menacing bass baritone, announcing its arrival with authority rather than hysteria. The engineers have exploited the flexibility of Dawn’s magnificent 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12 to generate an extra 30bhp over the car’s already ample 563bhp, bringing the total to 593bhp. That hallmark sense of one infinite gear is also given bolder expression with the addition of a further 20NM of torque available from 1,500rpm, bringing the total to 840Nm.

the ‘Unlimited’ rating infinity logo, which is also embroidered on the upholstery. The final touch is the moody light cast from the black starlight headliner, and reflected around the cabin from the polished fascia, to create a darkly atmospheric ambiance. Although part of the Black Badge editions, as with all other Rolls-Royce cars you can choose from a nearly unlimited selection of colors for the exterior and interior.

Ghost Black Badge

This model benefits from a power increase of 40bhp (30kW) to 603hp (450kW) and a torque boost of 60Nm to 840Nm, while upgrades to the eight-speed automatic transmission give Ghost Black Badge an added sense of urgency in how it delivers its power.

◄Wraith Black Badge

Already the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the world at 624bhp (465kW), Wraith has always been the most driver-focused car in Rolls-Royce’s model range. Wraith Black Badge benefits from 70Nm more torque, bringing it to 870Nm, in addition to tweaked air suspension and an upgraded gearbox leading to more spirited driving. With this, Rolls-Royce has produced an even more driver-focused, agile Wraith, while at the same time preserving the intrinsic elements of the effortless Rolls-Royce Magic Carpet Ride. 23




By Sharon Yuen




MAGINE THIS: With your brows furrowed in concentration, you talk about hiring decisions and investment deals during a business meeting… while on maternity leave as you breastfeed a newborn baby. You walk briskly to a restaurant to attend an 8pm business meeting… because you routinely tuck your kids into bed at 7:30pm. Anna Fang has been there and done all of that. Fang is CEO and Partner of ZhenFund, a seed-stagefocused venture fund in China. To prepare for the hustle that accompanies being a mother, she has planned every step down to the last detail. In this day and age, working while being a mother is no easy feat and Fang predicted this well. She waited to begin her motherhood journey until she knew that her boss couldn’t live without having her in the office – so then she could take her maternity leave in peace, while resting assured that ZhenFund would welcome her back with open arms. When you become a parent, your worldview changes. When you’re a mother, there is an extra mile to what you have to do. Nicole Denholder is founder of NextChapter, a rewardsbased crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs in Asia. She found herself facing a wall when she left her 15-year corporate career to become a mother. Denholder says that she was told repeatedly that if she didn’t return to the workforce within three years after giving birth, her prior work experience might no longer be relevant. These struggles, exclusive to women, are faced by many moms around the world. There are many struggles that women have to face in this male-dominated working world. Most of the world is talking about achieving “gender equality” in the face of “gender inequity”. Most people agree that equal rights should exist for men and women. Equality refers to men and women enjoying an equal amount of fairness. This means that each has a 50/50 share and will be able to choose all paths freely. Equity, on the other hand, is what is needed to achieve equality. Equity measures are implemented to compensate for disadvantages stemming from sex differences, whether social or historical, so that both genders will be on a level playing field from the beginning. The universal truth is that talent is talent. Presented with the right skills, equal opportunities and freedom to make choices, a talented person is a talented person – regardless of race, age, class or gender. Women in startup can do all the things that men can do, and vice versa. However, the reality of the startup ecosystem (and of the world) is that we view people through gendered lens, fitting them into expectations and roles that we stereotypically hold. When someone falls out of these incorrect portrayals of gender roles, people shame them, label them and call them out. There needs to be a discussion about gender in order to understand the problems that come from gender constraints and overcome them.

“ There needs to be a discussion

about gender in order to understand the problems that come from gender constraints and overcome them” But when it comes to discussing the problems stemming from gender discrimination and sexism, the startup world encounters a wall. Not too long ago during an investor conference in China, Luo Mingxiong from early-stage VC firm Jingbei Investment said, “Rule #10, We Don’t Usually Invest in a Woman CEO”. The most recent gender-related stint is the memo written by a Google ex-employee, claiming that the difference in representation between men and women in the tech fields stems from biological differences and that diversity programs offered for minorities should not exist. It is easy to dismiss these occasions as anomalies, as one-off incidents that will not happen again. But that is not the truth.

“ Rule #10,

We Don’t Usually Invest in a Woman CEO” – Luo Mingxiong, Jingbei Investment From just a few chosen statistics, it is apparent that the representation of women in the startup, business and tech scene is largely disproportionate. According to the BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report 2017, 35% of the world’s entrepreneurs are women. According to a Fortune Knowledge Group 2017 report, among the 7,585 senior management positions in Fortune 500 companies identified, only 19% are held by women. The BNP report also reveals that women tend to be slightly more successful as compared to their male counterparts and have higher expectations. A study conducted by MSCI in 2015 found that companies with strong female leadership generated a return on equity of 10.1 percent per year vs 7.4 percent for those without. It’s not that women generate good business, it’s talented people who generate good business. Yet going by this logic, it doesn’t make sense then that one gender dominates the ecosystem while the other gender is largely unrepresented in the field.



Navigating the Male-Orientated Startup Waters

The lack of female representation in the startup scene is unsurprising, if you consider how the ecosystem is controlled by an omnipresent Big Boys Club. The startup culture is predominantly male-orientated. Denholder and Joelle Pang, a technology entrepreneur and a market launcher, both find the startup culture to be very exclusive. Denholder has always found it curious that she is always referred to as a “female” entrepreneur. It’s an interesting term when you consider that the term “male entrepreneur” is never used. With her eye on the investing scene, she knows that the investor language and landscape is male-orientated. “Let’s hit the ball out of the park. Let’s agree on how to get everyone on to the field. Can we stop with the sporting analogies to explain our business goals?” Denholder says. She believes that men and women have a different approach to seeking funding and dealing with debt, which makes the startup investment process harder to navigate for women. Based on a talk she attended on Gender Financials in Hong Kong by the Criterion Institute’s Joy Anderson, Denholder found that women tend to establish one revenue line and consolidate that position before growing the next business line, whereas men typically take a more multiple business-line approach. This shows how the genders may have different needs when it comes to business growth. “Are we expecting female led businesses to fit into this system? Or, should we be creating structures and services to meet their unique needs?” she asks. As a mother with parenting responsibilities at home, Denholder notes that the startup events are often times not family-friendly, making it a great deal harder for parents to commit to these much-needed functions. “How often can we actually commit to full weekend hackathons? This structure cannot and does not suit everyone. Can there not be other options?” Tiny, albeit significant, issues like these pop up in the 26 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

startup world, making it difficult for women to feel encouraged to be involved or stay within the startup ecosystem. As a technology entrepreneur, and a woman, Pang has experienced the impact of subconscious gender biases in the industry. She notes that women have to deal with sexism and harassment on a daily basis, not only physically and verbally, but mentally as well. “Women [receive] lower salary offers than men for the same job at the same company 63% of the time, as only 30% of women negotiate their compensation package,” Pang says, citing Katie Donovan, founder of Equal Pay Negotiations. To Pang, the issues related to gender are not complex. The causes are easy to pinpoint. The first is that some men perpetuate the lie that biological differences make women less suitable for jobs in tech. The second cause, however, is internal. “We cannot ignore the fact that we often greatly contribute to this problem by holding ourselves back from advancement with self-imposed barriers,” she says.

Pushing Down the Maternal Wall

Balancing work and life is a struggle that Fang and Dr Elaine Kim, co-founder of family-friendly co-working space Trehaus in Singapore, have to face. But this issue isn’t specific to parents or women. The maternal wall – a term coined by Law Professor J.C. Williams from the University of California – refers to the extra questioning of competence and commitment that working mothers receive upon having children. Fang and Dr Kim both have to push down the maternal wall in order to enjoy the expectations and responsibilities that come with being working moms. Fang has taken her motherhood journey very seriously, and has planned for it well in advance. “I wanted to be in a relatively stable and senior role before I started a family so that my position wouldn’t be compromised after a maternity leave (which was only one month for Konrad and two weeks for Kirsten),” says Fang. “I deliberately put myself in a situation where Bob, my boss, couldn’t live without me, even if I had to take time off for kids.”

what really matters, which is to build great products and services that really take the human race to the next level”


“ Spend more time and focus on

– Akiko Naka, CEO of Wantedly

Gender’s Silver Lining

In terms of the work/life balance, Fang says cheekily, “I don’t believe a balance exists; one is really at the expense of the other.” But even so, she draws inspiration from other CEOs who are mothers. Through learning from their examples, she has become a 40-hour quality mom. “Zhang Xin of SOHO China taught me to prioritize family when possible, cutting down any unnecessary obligations so that I can spend dinners and weekends with the kids. I now ask myself before committing to any dinners, is this more important than spending time with my kids?” She has come to realize that scheduling meetings is important, but so is scheduling time with her kids. “One important habit I have been trying to develop is to put my children into my calendar. I once wanted to attend a storytime with my children, so I blocked that day on my calendar two weeks ahead. “I block one hour every two weeks to take my daughter to her baby group class. After my first time taking her to class, she finally started mumbling those sweet two syllables, ‘mama’.” Treshaus stands unique in Singapore as the first coworking space that provides childcare and learning facilities. Dr Kim founded it to alleviate the motherhood penalty faced by women in Singapore, through demonstrating how women can also be productive and successful given the temporal flexibility to manage their work/life balance. Coined by sociologists, the term motherhood penalty refers to the argument that working mothers encounter systematic disadvantages in pay, perceived competence, and benefits relative to fathers and childless women. Through founding Treshaus, Dr Kim wants to prove to mothers everywhere that they don’t have to pick between “pursuing a successful career in a corporate world versus being an involved and full-time stay home mother”. Dr Kim is also living proof. She is a serial entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a doctor specializing in palliative care, a journalist and a mother of three. Dr Kim’s secret? She doesn’t have one. “It is a process of trial and error… You need to plan every aspect and be very conscious about your priority. I want to make sure I spend quality time with my children and husband, as well as spend time on my businesses productively, so I am very mindful and protective over my time.”

Akiko Naka, CEO of Japanese social recruiting startup Wantedly, is one of the youngest women to list a company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO 3991). She believes that being a woman is not all doom and gloom. “I think we all should contribute to the next generation to make this world more equal, but at the same time, I think minorities are too conscious about the fact they are minorities,” she says. “We all should unlearn the artificial categorizations [about perspectives of social identities] and liberate ourselves. Spend more time and focus on what really matters, which is to build great products and services that really take the human race to the next level.” Given her background, Naka is asked constantly about her thoughts and experiences as a “female” entrepreneur. But to her, the story is not about being female. “Personally I feel like the biggest issue is that female entrepreneurs or business women are too selfconscious about the fact they are female. “Trapped, in a way, these women are too busy advocating for the issue and therefore are unable to build impactful businesses in general... Typical businesses from that community are always associated with “the gender issues” such as entrepreneurial schools for women, etc, which are not really scalable. Every time those people in the community appear on the media, the selling points are only the fact they are women, and fundamentals of their businesses are empty.” Christina Teo founded Startup Asia Women because, in her transition from corporate to startup, she realized that the startup scene has a lack of women-centricity and it is clear to her that women need more support starting up because they are fewer in number, especially in tech, and don’t speak the “bro code”. “Having said that, I am a strong proponent that women in advanced cities, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, are more privileged and get the support from both the male side and the female side of the camp. Female founders who have created a following or have garnered some achievements – and this includes women VCs – would want to do the right thing to show support to other women. “Male founders are barking up the trend of diversity and gender equality. With so much rallying around personal branding in the startup arena, male founders and investors who are vocal about supporting female initiatives do set themselves apart.” 27


Feeling Empowered

Sarah Chessis is the Founder and Managing Director of Isabella Wren, a custom tailoring company for professional women. She believes in empowerment, but not in a gendered sense. “Whilst in my early years I did not necessarily consciously think of myself as an empowered female executive, I have always felt in my core that my duty as a human, a boss, an employee, a mother and a friend was to be the strongest and most positive person I can be.” This philosophy has enabled Chessis to transform from a 14-year-old, hard-driving sales girl in a small town in Essex (“I had to lie about my age to get the job”) to where she is standing now as Managing Director of Isabella Wren in Hong Kong. If Chessis has a goal, she will put her mind to achieving it. When she worked in the banking industry, she realized that it was very difficult to find professional dresses and suits that could be customized for her so as to reflect who she is as a person without needing to speak. “I did not want to just shop for outfits off the racks. I

wanted an outfit that fit well and worked as hard as I did, that would look as good in the evening as when I put it on first thing in the morning,” she says. Thinking positively and keeping a big smile on her face has allowed Cessis to maintain an “unshakable feeling that everything in life is possible”, even through the ups-anddowns of and challenges presented by her entrepreneurial life. “It has been my experience that the spirit I choose to adopt not only plays a tremendous role in my ability to overcome these challenges, but also affects the quality of my experience as I go through each of them,” she says. It was this vision and this to-do attitude that enabled her to leave her comfort zone and pursue the “radically different and widely more satisfying life as an entrepreneur.” Responding to the challenges she has faced, she says, “In the beginning it was a bit of a challenge, I’m not going to lie. But the people that knew me best, knew that if I had a goal, I’d make it happen. In fact, a lot of friends from my previous life started coming over to the showroom and allowed me to help them find their voice through fashion.” This philosophy can also be found at Isabella Wren. “We are a firm founded and run by women, and our core mission was always to make women look both beautiful and powerful. After all, ‘power’ is at the heart of being empowered… It is this same spirit that we instill in all of our staff and in our designs: we are empowered women who produce powerful designs.”

Images from Isabella Wren 28 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

change the status quo – one baby step after another”

The Next Step

Singapore Pang is positive that change is forthcoming. She actively contributes to Lean In Singapore and Women In Tech chapters. Lean In, a campaign initiated by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, is known for its efforts in encouraging women and men to “lean in” and address gender issues. “We enable connections, provide resources such as free expert lectures and opportunities within a supportive environment that consists of over 1,000 women from the world of technology, and aim to provide a platform for women leaders to give back and encourage other women to say “yes” to doing more,” Pang says, referring to her work with the two organizations. Teo’s Startup Asia Women offers a safe space “for corporate women to ask ‘naïve’ startup questions”. The group organizes events around a variety of startup related themes, such as crowdfunding, social impact, subscriptions and business models. As much as Teo believes that such events could benefit men as well (and the events are opened to men), the support network is mainly targeted for women running, working at, or aspiring to work at startups.


“ What we need to do now is

China Rinchy Deng gathered with her friends from AIESEC and formed Lean In Guangzhou, a local social enterprise, because they could not find communities or organizations that could help them share and grow. Since their founding, they’ve grown from a group of seven to a support network of 10,000 members. “We have held more than 50 events, built our own conference Lean In Talk, and cooperated with 30+ different brands and organizations,” Deng says. Daisy Qiu transformed her one-to-one mentorship platform to She Power (睿问), a professional women empowerment platform that designs online and offline courses for professional women and female entrepreneurs. “China has the #1 female employment rate in the world,” Qiu says. “There are about 300 million working women in China, but without a platform that provides learning courses only for women.” She adds that Chinese professional women are exceptionally ambitious, with 76% wanting to step up to executive positions, as compared to only 52% in the US. Over the past year, there have been four big She Power forums with 800-100 offline participants, and Qiu believes the group has influenced about 100 million professionals in China. Hong Kong There is a strong support network for female entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. The Women’s Foundation, a non-profit organization, runs multiple projects that challenge gender stereotypes, empower women and grow the numbers of women in leadership positions. To name one of many, the Girls Go Tech Programme aims to inspire female secondary school students to connect to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and career paths. The 30% Club Hong Kong gathers accomplished women together with CEOs and directors of leading business companies. The Women Entrepreneurs Network runs a small group supportive format that allows fellow entrepreneurs to share business issues they have encountered. Its first event, The Circle, is a facilitated mentoring group for women entrepreneurs.

At the end of the day, regardless of our ages, races, and also our genders, we can join our hands together and work towards making the startup community more inclusive and welcoming. The first step comes from understanding and awareness. The second step comes from action to stop gender biases coming from the people around you and possibly from yourself. What we need to do now is change the status quo – one baby step after another.





By Anna Fang


OMETIMES I WONDER if I am a terrible mom. I missed my daughter’s first birthday because I was speaking at TechCrunch in San Francisco. My husband and I both missed Kirsten’s first steps because we were away on business trips. My son, Konrad, tells me that what makes him least happy is when I go away. These are the unfortunate consequences of the life I chose – to continue a career that I love in venture capital while growing a family. In making career choices, I also made decisions about what not to pursue. I could have been a worse mom! A cursory flirtation with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur was interrupted by the realities of a “9-9-6” regimen (startups in China work 9am-9pm, 6 days per week ). Those excruciating 30 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

hours mean that I would sacrifice my favorite daily activity – reading to the kids. Venture capital, in contrast, allows me to manage a relatively independent schedule. Speaking of time, the timing of my career decision was also carefully calculated. I wanted to be in a stable and senior enough role before I started a family so that my position wouldn’t be compromised after a maternity leave (which only ended up being one month for Konrad and two weeks for Kirsten). I deliberately put myself in a situation where Bob, my boss, couldn’t live without me, even if I had to take time off for kids. People ask about balancing work and family, but I don’t believe a balance exists – one is really at the expense of the

“ My first meeting

back from maternity leave was at my boss’ house, while Konrad fed amidst our conversations” I once heard Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo say that she starts conference calls after the kids are asleep, so that she can have quality time with her kids when she gets home. My new rule is to put down my cellphone when I step in the door. If these women can do it, why can’t I? Why can’t we? There have been many other lessons along the way. One important habit I’m developing is to put my children into my calendar. I once wanted to attend story time with my children, so I blocked the event into my calendar two weeks ahead of time. I’m working on blocking one hour every two weeks to take my daughter to baby group class. After my first time taking her to class, she finally started mumbling those sweet two syllables, “mama”. One secret to working an intense job is that I live in China, where help is affordable. The majority of my friends and colleagues in China live with one set of parents. That means the grandparents often take care of the toddlers when the parents are at work. That is also one reason why more professional women stay in their jobs compared to the West. Whether it’s parents or other caretakers in the house (and I’m very open about the fact that I have two full-time nannies), it makes it easier to focus on work and on children. It means

that though I love cooking, I don’t have to cook on a busy day, and I don’t have to do the laundry, ever. My kids have a routine and that has helped me manage my time. Gina Ford’s book The Contented Little Baby Book, although controversial, allowed me to understand that I should dictate my kids’ schedules, and not the other way around. I followed her guidelines on when babies eat and nap. My kids get into bed at 7:30pm every night. As a result, I can accurately predict the best times for meetings and calls. A dinner meeting can be scheduled at 8pm at the restaurant near my home.


other. But I have witnessed many women who succeed at both. I draw my strength as a mom and CEO from their examples. The founders of my firm, ZhenFund, once told me stories about how Xiaohong Chen of H Capital (formerly Tiger Asia) breastfed during board meetings, as if to say that it would be acceptable for me to breastfeed during meetings. And I did. My first meeting back from maternity leave was at my boss’ house, while Konrad fed amidst our conversations about deals to invest in and hiring decisions. I’m fortunate to work with colleagues who are flexible about the workplace environment. Zhang Xin of SOHO China taught me to prioritize family when possible, cutting down any unnecessary obligations so that I can spend dinners and weekends with the kids. I now ask myself before committing to any dinners, “is this more important than spending time with my kids?”

“ I get 40 hours of quality time

with the kids each week. I don’t know if that’s high or low, but I’m a contented mother, both at home and at work” Sleep training the kids has saved my life. I find that most of my friends in China are not aware of sleep training. Getting a continuous 7-8 hours of sleep per night has been the reason why I’m not tired at work. I did so by gradually reducing the amount of milk taken at night, then replacing milk with water so that they were no longer relying on that nutrition at night, then crying it out for a night to learn self comforting. The twoweek process worked like a charm. I also trained my body to produce enough milk with 3 pumps per day (morning, early evening, before bedtime), so that I didn’t have interruptions during the daytime. The craziest place was secretly pumping as soon as the person next to me fell asleep on a long United Airlines flight, hiding my protruding pumps under the covers as people walked down the aisle. I eventually stopped breastfeeding at eight months for both kids. Perhaps most importantly, I am grateful for having a supportive, helpful and forgiving husband. He loves that I have my career and an interesting job, seeing it as a strong example for our daughter. We share responsibilities, both trying to be home for dinner each night but being understanding when work gets in the way. He is so hands-on with the kids that during his garden leave between PE funds, he effortlessly took care of both kids for six weeks by himself! I am lucky to have a true partner in raising the kids. I might fear I am a terrible mom at times, but I don’t regret the choices I made. At least not yet. My sister-in-law says that research shows each week, 19 hours are dedicated to household work that is not “quality time” with kids. Despite a hectic work schedule, I estimate that I ABOUT THE AUTHOR get 40 hours of Anna Fang is the CEO and Partner of ZhenFund, quality time with an early stage venture capital firm investing the kids each in innovative technology companies in China. week. I don’t Anna oversees the fund’s investments, know if that’s portfolio management and operations. Anna’s high or low, but investments include ecommerce companies I’m a contented such as Xiaohongshu, Mia, Club Factory and mother, both at Zaozuo. Other investments include Yitu, Mobvoi, home and at work. Deep Glint, Horizon Robotics and VIPKid. 31




E WANT TO HAVE it all but hey, reality check – we only have 24 hours a day. If you think multitasking is suffocating and daunting just to think about, meet Dr Elaine Kim. A lot of people would consider her the queen of multitasking because she is a serial entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a doctor specializing in palliative care, a journalist and a mother of three.

When it comes to motherhood and entrepreneurship, the two always seem to be colliding. But Dr Kim thinks otherwise. In seeking the answer and solution to this conundrum, she cofounded Trehaus, a co-working space in Singapore where you can bring children to work. She is also the CEO of CRIB, a non-profit social enterprise that empowers women and provides a platform for female entrepreneurs to get the support they need.

Co-founding Trehaus and CRIB

To Dr Kim, what’s needed is a way to provide an option so that women can choose freely the kind of life they want to lead. “I really do feel that mothers often end up having to choose between pursuing a successful career in a corporate world versus being an involved and full-time stay home mother,” she says. The truth is, a lot of new generation parents do not want to be only staying at home, or having a 9-to5 job while bearing the guilt of not spending enough time with the children. Having realized this as a mother and seeing a niche in the market, Dr Kim co-founded Trehaus – the first family-friendly co-working space with childcare and learning facilities in Singapore. Trehaus is her brainchild and the intention is to eradicate the motherhood penalty by demonstrating how women can also be productive and successful given the flexibility and options of managing their time. “Trehaus is all about creating the awareness and mindset that it is actually possible to be an involved parent and a successful entrepreneur at the same time,” she says.


Providing Flexibility

It worries Dr Kim to see a lot of driven mothers not have the flexibility to choose how to measure life. Traditional workplace culture seldom recognizes the fact that women could even be more productive at work if they were given flexibility with their time. Society fails to provide a platform for women to shatter the long-standing struggle between their passion, career, businesses, and family. Seeing this much-needed need in the community, she wants Trehaus to be a “workplace of the future”, as she describes it, and a trailblazer in advocating a healthy mindset whereby women can feel empowered, driven and dedicated to career while being able to make family their priority.

Priority Planning

Time management is an art and there is no secret sauce to it. In Dr Kim’s case, it is a process of trial and error. She tried being a full-time stay home mother, but that did not work out. Same with a 9-to-5 stable job. Ultimately, she realized that entrepreneurship was what she needed most in order to fulfill her strong desire to be a loving mother and aspiring entrepreneur at the same time. “Entrepreneurship is great because it allows me to pursue my career while having control and flexibility over my time,” says Dr Kim, a mother of three. Family is always on top of her priority list, and she says it is very important to plan the day based upon priorities. “You need to plan every aspect and be very conscious about your priorities. I want to make sure I spend quality time with my children and husband, as well as spend time on my businesses productively, so I am very mindful and protective over my time,” she says.

Support Network

In addition to scrutinizing her time, she is also fortunate enough to have a good support network and business partners, whom she counts on heavily while splitting her time between family and business. “Entrepreneurship is a hard journey and I have to keep reminding myself to be perseverant. That’s also the importance of the support network as they are the driving force for you to move forward. There are seasons in our lives. The way I’ve been able to do it is to recognize the seasons of your life and focus on things during different seasons,” Dr Kim says. Juggling multiple roles is not easy, but also not impossible. Dr Kim calls for aspiring mothers to pursue their careers and don’t be afraid to take the steps necessary to succeed at both.

ABOUT ELAINE KIM Dr Elaine Kim is a palliative care doctor, an entrepreneur and a mother. She is the co-founder and CEO of CRIB, a non-profit social enterprise that empowers women to become successful entrepreneurs. She also founded Trehaus, Asia’s first family-friendly co-working space that combines a fully equipped co-working office with a kids atelier that has full child-minding services and a nursery program, so that working parents are able to pursue a successful career while prioritising time with family.






OMPANIES WITH FEMALE CEOs perform three times better than those run predominantly by men. Gender diversity in leadership drives higher business returns and profitability, performs better, and is critical for innovation. The tech and startup industries disrupt the status quo and are ready to adopt new practices to drive growth and innovation. This is perceived to be the norm. The irony lies in how male-dominated they are, and how unfriendly they are for women to exist in. The statistics speak for themselves as well – out of 10 employees in tech companies from the likes of Google and Facebook, only three are women. When it comes to tech startups owned by women, it’s just 5%. As a technology entrepreneur, and a woman, I have experienced firsthand the impact such subconscious gender biases in the tech and startup industry and the consequences they have on the progression of professional women. As co-workers or even investors, women are treated differently, they face sexism and harassment day in and day out, and 63% of the time women receive lower salary offers than men for the same job at the same company because only 30% of women bother to negotiate their compensation package.

Two-pronged Issue

There are men out there who assist in perpetuating the biases that the biological differences between women and men make women less suitable for jobs in the tech industry (cue James Damore’s anti-diversity Google memo), making the industry male-dominated and ensuring it stays that way.



HEN MY SOCIAL job-recruiting platform Wantedly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO 3991) this year, I was hailed as the youngest female CEO to take a company public in Japan. I get asked a lot how I feel about being the youngest female CEO to take a company public in Japan, but personally I feel like the biggest issue is that female entrepreneurs or business women are too self-conscious about the fact they are female. Trapped in a way, because these women are too busy advocating the issue and therefore not being able to build impactful businesses in general. There are many self-proclaimed “female entrepreneurs” in Japan, as well as various events and media that revolve around that community. But I’ve never seen any impactful services or products generated from there. By impactful, I mean things that can possibly have millions of recurring users/customers or scalable profits. Typical businesses from that community are always associated with “the gender issues”, such as entrepreneurial schools for women etc, which are not really scalable. Every time those people in the community appear on the 34 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

Source: 2016 LeanIn.Org and McKinsey Women in the Work Place study

By Akiko Naka from Japan media, the selling points are only the fact that they are women, and the fundamentals of their businesses are empty. Of course many of our predecessors fought hard for the minorities to claim human rights and equality, so everyone living in today’s society should acknowledge that we are greatly benefiting from it. I think we all should contribute to the next generation to make this world more equal, but at the same time, I think minorities are too conscious about the fact they are minorities. All of mankind gets brain-washed in the process of growing up, because unlike other animals, people are very “social” specie. So when we grow up, our behaviour is restrained by “common-sense”. Albert Einstein said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18” and I totally agree with him. People don’t realise that most of the notions that define today’s world are very artificial. For example, things like currencies, or nations, races are all just notions created by human beings no smarter than you. But those notions start to rule how we see the world, as well as how we see ourselves. From the perspective of aliens, men, women, elderly or

How To Change Gender Bias & Sexism

While it is good to gain awareness of these biases at work, the real impact comes when we – women and men – step up and break through these barriers the next time we encounter a situation in which we can push back against gender bias and sexism. Here are some ways we can do this:

Ask The Other Party To Elaborate When you encounter gender-insensitive comments, ask ‘What do you mean by that?’ Let the other party convince you of their case, or let them have it fall apart while trying. This is a simple part to play in driving bringing awareness to such situations.

Believe Your Views Matter You contribute a unique set of skills, ideas, and experiences that can make a real impact to your company’s strategy and bottom line. When faced with the choice to speak up or stay silent, choose to speak up.

young, or white or yellow all look pretty much the same. We are the ones creating the borders and categories for the sake of better understanding this complicated world. Categorization makes it easier for our brain to “comprehend” this world. Once you start to categorize yourself, you are starting to limit yourself too. So when I say “focus on what really matters”, I don’t only refer to gender issues, but also other minorities like races, nationalities etc. We all should unlearn the artificial categorizations and liberate ourselves. Spend more time and focus on what really matters, which is to build great products and services that really take human race to the next level. The key to liberation is relativity. Having a broad perspective lets you see things in more relative manner. When you are living in a small community and have never seen a world outside, or never spoken to people with different values, or never learned the past or the future of this world, you will be only be living “now’ and “here” which gives you a narrow, absolute view. When you learn about the things that are different from you, you will realize that all the notions that you thought were ruling this world are just artificial and man-made. So I recommend young people to expand their views by

Make A Personal Commitment Take your first step to overcome these self-imposed barriers. Think of one tangible action you will make to bring you closer to your professional goals. Imagine who, what, where and when it will happen and commit to it. With the recent spate of events exposing the inequalities and sexism in the tech scene, now is a great time to close the gender leadership gap. Conversations driving awareness of biases and stereotypes are happening more than ever before, and women are rapidly building communities to give support and advice on how to deal with these non-unique problems. We can accomplish so much more just by getting involved and stepping up to play our respective roles in building a more inclusive tech and startup ecosystem.


However, we cannot ignore the fact that women often contribute greatly to this problem by holding ourselves back from advancement with self-imposed barriers. Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, while women apply only if they meet 100% of them – largely due to the fear of failure or facing rejection. I am drawn to LeanIn.Org, its founder Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and its mission to empower women to achieve their ambitions. I actively contribute to the Lean In Singapore and Women In Tech Chapters. We enable connections, provide resources such as free expert lectures and opportunities within a supportive environment of that consists of more than 1,000 women from the world of technology, and aim to provide a platform for women leaders to give back and to encourage other women to say “yes” to doing more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR An energetic and empathetic entrepreneur from Singapore, Joelle Pang has 10 years of experience in technology startups in the e-commerce, big data, mobile and on-demand space. She entered the tech scene in 2008 when fashion e-commerce was on the rise, through her venture Dressabelle, an online fashion platform for professional women. After her exit from the business in 2013, she went on to be the key driver for the Data Innovation Challenge platform in partnership with iDA, founded her second mobile tech startup GetKlarity, and spearheaded regional growth for Honestbee and Wantedly. She is now launching innovative solutions across Asia with SPH Digital beginning with FastJobs, a mobile-first recruitment platform.

travelling and reading – learn about the people living in other places, and learn about the past and the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Akiko Naka is founder and chief executive officer of Wantedly, a socialnetworking service for professionals. Following its launch in February 2012, Wantedly grew to 1.5m monthly active users and 24,000 corporates, and has become the leading professional social-networking service in Japan. Prior to founding Wantedly, Akiko was a growth coordinator at Facebook Japan, where she contributed to marketing and product development. Before joining Facebook, she worked at Goldman Sachs in equity sales. She graduated from Kyoto University in 2008 with a BA in economics.






S A BUSINESS that focuses on female entrepreneurs, at Next Chapter in Hong Kong we are often asked why ‘female’ entrepreneurs not just ‘entrepreneurs’? Surprisingly, this question is asked more often by women than men. It’s a great question. Why does the distinction need to be made in the first place and is the term ‘entrepreneur’ what we are aspiring to achieve? Can we or should we aspire to drop that distinction? Having transitioned from a corporate environment that was heavily skewed male, both in terms of my employer and clients, I always found myself in a room full of men. However, it wasn’t this fact that drove me to focus on female entrepreneurs. The reality is that I worked with some amazing men and women in my corporate career and am thankful for the experiences and opportunities that it provided.

Lots Of Motivation

The transition to motherhood motivated me. I was motivated by the fact that coming from a 15 year, highflying, internationally based consulting role, to becoming a mother and not working, seemed to mean that suddenly, “I had nothing to say”. There seemed to be an embarrassment to asking a question outside of what I was doing with the kids. For some mothers this situation may not have occurred, but by nature I am a talker, a listener, and an explorer and these reactions were completely unexpected. 36 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

This was followed by the experience of being told that if I didn’t return to the workforce within three years after motherhood, then my 15 years of corporate experience may no longer be relevant.

Untapped Talent

This was a difficult consideration for me. I then realized while looking around at this untapped environment of other educated and experienced mothers (ex-lawyers, researchers, consultants,

Male-oriented Startup Ecosystem

Unfortunately, the reality is that many startups fail. Those that succeed, continue to function and grow in a male-dominated space. For example, VC statistics show that about 10% of VC funding goes to female founded businesses. In addition, female founders typically start with less capital which hinders their ability to grow. When Joy Anderson from the Criterion Institute came to talk on Gender Financials in Hong Kong, she explained that studies show women establish one revenue line and consolidate that position before growing the next business line, whereas men typically take a more multiple businessline approach and therefore this impacts the way we seek funding and debt. These facts not only show that women face more barriers in a male

dominated ecosystem, but also that their methods for growth are very different. Are we expecting female-led businesses to fit into this system? Or, should we be creating structures and services to meet their unique needs? One fact we often share with our community, it was only in 1998 that the US Congress passed the Women’s Business Ownership Act that eliminated state laws requiring women to obtain the signature of a husband or other man as a prerequisite for a business loan. That was only 30 years ago! Perhaps what we don’t realize, or sometimes gloss over, is that women don’t have the cumulative entrepreneurial knowledge, mentors or peers built up yet nor are they institutionalized into our networking culture. Although amazing networks such as The Women Entrepreneur Network (WEN), whose board I joined recently, are using great events such as mastermind groups to share and embed this knowledge, there is more work to be done.

Questions I Want To Answer

How do we change the investor language and landscape? “Let’s hit the ball out of the park”, “this is a great second inning”, “let’s agree how to get everyone onto the field.” Can we stop with the sporting analogies to explain our business goals? How often can we actually commit to full weekend hackathons? This structure cannot and does not suit everyone. Can there not be other options? We must also remember that women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing,

through a combination of their buying power and influence. This means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something, she is often the influence or veto vote behind someone else’s purchase. However, imagine if more women were not only starting business but successfully growing them to provide the solutions to these needs. So back to our original question – why do we focus on ‘female’ entrepreneurs? Because we are continuing to learn and understand the subtle context that defines where we all are as a startup culture today. Our goal at Next Chapter not only is to work with women and men to assist female entrepreneurs to not only launch, but also grow and scale their business, then get them funded. We help startups work towards becoming investable in what is historically a very maledominated world. We do this through crowdfunding, training, mentorship and community support. We intend to be part of the rising tide to bring more female founders into the startup world and keep them there.


marketers, etc.) that many women were going through the same experience. That meant there is this huge untapped wealth of experience, knowledge and talent waiting to be unleashed through female entrepreneurship. This is in addition to upcoming female millennials questioning the traditional corporate roles and asking “what is right for me?”. As I discussed recently at the JESSICA Magazine Leaders Forum, the world is changing and the challenge is “how do we breathe air into the current startup system if we want to engage with the talent of women and bring their amazing contributions into entrepreneurial society?” #whatsyournextchapter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nicole Denholder is the founder and CEO of Next Chapter, which launched in early 2016 as a funding portal especially for female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses in Asia, to improve their access to funding. It’s first service is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform that supports entrepreneurs wanting to raise funds, create market buzz and validate their business ideas. Nicole previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London and Hong Kong in PwC’s US IPO and Advisory practices working on large scale projects across Europe and Asia. She can be reached at






INCE LAUNCHING Startup Asia Women late last year, I made it my mission to be a role model for corporate women to startup or be a champion for startups. I am bent on doing this because I find myself being in the best of both worlds – lending the lens of corporate to startups and looking at daily problems and world issues with a startup attitude. I would like to encourage more women to join me in a journey that has fascinated me for the last nine months. It’s like I had never been at corporate despite leaving behind a rather eventful corporate career which involved transitioning from mainframes to minis, PCs to laptops, analog to broadband, dotcom to smart mobile, and working in Europe and Asia.


The Language Of Startups

I have always found the best way to understand paradigm shifts is through the language used. It very much sets the tone for individual mindsets, how people relate to each other and how it impacts the development of the industry. After all, it is no surprise that corporates are desperately finding ways to understand and leverage startups to help them with their own innovation push. Learning the language and mindset of startups was initially bumpy for me despite my record experience with technological breakthroughs. My first embarrassing startup moment was when I went around asking startup founders if they were “profitable”. I received blank stares back and realized quickly I was asking the wrong question. When I decided to move back to Singapore from Hong Kong, I wanted to do something purposeful but was starting from ground zero, having been away from my home country for so long. In September 2016, I stumbled upon the first Slush event in Singapore. It simply bowled me over, and inspired me to give startups a real shot. When I realized that many entrepreneurs had little prior business or corporate experience, I knew there was value in the corporate insights I had to share. And it was through conversations that I learned the fastest about the language used. I pushed myself to put myself out there so that I could figure out what I felt was a startup maze. It can be daunting, and I could have thrown my hands up and said “this is not for me”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Christina Teo is founder of the Startup Asia Women community aimed at supporting women running and/or working at startups, or aspiring to do so. She has more than 25 years of P/L management and regional market experience in technology and mobile, was the first general manager of Yahoo! Singapore and launched the first windows smartphone branded O2 across Asia Pacific. She has worked for tech companies such as Acer, IBM, DEC, and 3Com in Europe and Asia. Her last corporate stint after pursuing her masters in psychology in New York was as CMO of HK CSL. She will launch her startup by the end of this year.

Because I didn’t want the stimulating conversations with the founders to stop, I decided to create a platform – or better still, a destination – where people knew they could go to continue the dialogue. I took a quick scan of the environment and realized there was a lack of women-centricity around startups, hence the birth of Startup Asia Women. Starting from a selfish need of wanting to be in the know (one of the five mottos our community is built upon), I created events around acquiring knowledge in vertical themes (crowdfunding, social impact, subscriptions business models, etc). When I realized they could benefit the men as well, I decided to open the events to them. However, the ultimate beneficiary of support would primarily be women. It is clear that women need more support in starting up – we are fewer in numbers, fewer in tech and perhaps lack the “bro code” mentality of collaborating. I am a strong proponent that women in advanced cities, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, are more privileged and get support from both the male and female sides of the camp. Female founders who have created a following or have garnered some achievements – and this includes women VCs – would want to do the right thing to show support to other women. Male founders are barking up the trend of diversity and gender equality. With so much rallying around personal branding in the startup arena, male founders and investors who are vocal about supporting female initiatives do set themselves apart.


Platform For Dialogue

Helping And Sharing

It has been a pretty steep learning curve these past months, with many hours spent in networking and being active in working with other communities, meeting both male and female founders and VCs one-on-one. In other words, working with the ecosystem. The engine that makes startups so exhilarating is that you help others as others have helped you. There is an openness of sharing – unlike corporates where information is to be treated with strict confidence, privy only to the top. Another mindset change that helped me grow was that the more you share, the more you will be receiving; therefore the more you are saving yourself time and effort. Learn from others and allow them to help you. While it may be true that not everyone is cut-out to be a startup founder, joining a startup or building a career in startups could bring such agility that can’t be learnt at large corporates, or from textbooks. 39





By Daisy Qiu

N 2015, I WAS admitted to the University of Southern California Marshall School of business for the global EMBA program. During the process of learning, I was inspired by professors and classmates from different countries. I started my second business at the end of 2015. At that time, my daughter was only 1 year old. My first venture was in 2011, an executive search firm called Talent Lead. Every day, people asked me questions regarding a certain industry, a certain function, a certain company or a certain person – some I could answer, some I could not. In the beginning, my second business was a one-to-one mentorship platform. After six months of operation, we found this kind of service was nice to have, but not a must-have, and it was not a high-frequency business. What’s worse, we had no profit because the entire consulting fee was paid to mentors. So we changed our platform to She Power (睿问), a professional women empowerment platform. We

still design online and offline courses for professional women and female entrepreneurs, but it is not one-to-one anymore. We target female professionals mainly for three reasons: The market is huge. With 68% of working-age women currently employed, China has the #1 female employment rate in the world. There are about 300 million working women in China, but we are without a platform that provides learning courses only for women. Chinese professional women are the most ambitious in the world – 76% of them want to step up to executive positions, while it’s only 52% in the United States. But the reality is that a mere 25% of senior positions in China are held by women. This gap will create desire for learning. We believe how women learn and what they learn is different from men. But there is no company specializing in this yet and using creative ways to deliver creative learning services for women in China.



HREE YEARS AGO, I founded Lean In Guangzhou (GZ) with some of my friends who knew each other from the youth-led organization AIESEC. We are all female and seeking some communities or organization to help us to share and grow, but we never found it until we discovered Lean In Organization and asked for the license to build our female community and organization.

After She Power was up and running as a company to design, deliver online and offline learning courses for female

Though the brand was not created by us, we saw it as our own child and startup to grow. We started with only seven people; now it has grown to 10,000 people, with 1,000 core members actively sharing their opinions and insights daily. Besides being the co-founder of Lean In GZ, my responsibility is to help grow the brand locally and building the cooperation with other organizations and corporates. We have held more than 50 events and also built our own conference Lean In Talk and cooperated with 30+ different brands and organizations. Running a social enterprise is not easy, insofar as it’s a not-for-profit organization. We need to have more value offer to the operation volunteers and the team. There are three things I learned from the years running Lean In GZ. If you are a social entrepreneur, I think we can learn from each other.

Value Is The Core

While profit is not the main goal for a social enterprise, the value, the things you believe are core to gather all the likeminded people and the team. It’s the creed and principle everyone in the organization believes and is working towards. The great value would encourage us to act high and motivate 40 | JUMPSTART NOV/DEC 2017

I struggled a lot. I learned a lot, and became a new version of myself. At first, you are thrilled to start, and then you feel frustrated, and then desperate and then you choose not to give up and make it. I believe many female entrepreneurs have been through such a journey and feel lonely from time to time. So being with the powerful She Power community, we won’t let any independent women feel lonely.


entrepreneurs and professional women, together with my friends – Nikki Gao, Sherry Zhu, Michelle Li, Gabrielle Yang,

Pocket Sun and Elly Wang – we founded She Power Organization (SPO) in August last year. The organization is geared towards the world’s most successful female entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. Our first group of 400 members collectively generates more than US$30 billion USD in annual revenues. Our mission is to provide opportunities for women in business to enhance their personal branding, network, and develop necessary leadership skills by sharing an experience and learning with other female professionals in a supportive environment. Together, SPO will influence and motivate generations of women to become better leaders while helping each other to grow. Over the past year, we have held four big She Power forums with about 8001,000 offline attendees each time and featuring female leaders’ smartness and beauty. We have influenced about 100 million professionals in China. We aim to expand to 10 cities in China and target 3,000 C-level worldwide members in SPO next year. During my second entrepreneurial journey, I pushed myself to limit: baby, family, two companies to watch and my God, the intensive EMBA program, all at one time. So what I have been through is quite typical for ambitious women in China.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Daisy Qiu is the Founder and CEO of She Power.

us to keep doing what we believe and help more people.

Members At The Center

We pay a lot of attention to the members. That’s why after three years our community is still active and the relationship among us is never down. This is also the lesson we learned from other organizations and communities and I think startups or companies could also learn from it. People or users are the centers, we need to always listen to their needs and voices. Lean In GZ always holds workshops and events based on members’ needs and what solutions they are seeking. The community is our core stakeholder.

Profit Is The Mean, Not The Goal

Though we are a not-for-profit organization, financial support is still important for us and other social entrepreneurs. It helps us grow sustainably and it’s also the guarantee to keep building our team. Profit is only the means to help us do things better and it’s still not the goal. Our goal is to impact more local females who want to learn about their strengths and gain the confidence to try more things and explore the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rinchy Deng is a female entrepreneur who has run a startup community and a female organization for more than 3 years. She is actively connecting people and helping them to achieve goals and now she’s the Business Development Director in Tech Media PINGWEST.



CLOCKENFLAP November 17-19 Central Harborfront, Hong Kong


Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Clockenflap is Asia’s premier outdoor music and arts festival and a major highlight of Hong Kong’s annual cultural calendar. The featured bands include Massive Attack, Feist, The Dandy Warhols, The Prodigy, Jungle, Temples, Skream and record-breaking Fab Four tribute act The Bootleg Beatles. Cultivating and celebrating creativity, the festival is a cultural mix of local and worldwide talent with a mission to inspire individuals through a journey of music and arts. With a dazzling and diverse selection of activities, Clockenflap encourages people to come together with openness and imagination.


GOLD COAST MOTOR FESTIVAL Nov 10-12 After a number of successful events in China since 2013, TechCrunch and TechNode (publisher of TechCrunch in Chinese) are teaming up again this year to produce TechCrunch Shanghai at the Westbund Arts Center in Xuhui district. On Nov 25-26, the Hackathon will see hundreds of developers, engineers and UX designers competing. On Nov 27-28, the conference will have tech luminaries from China and around the world discussing the latest industry news.


Hong Kong Gold Coast

Hong Kong’s premier motor celebration returns for its second year at Sino Group’s picturesque Hong Kong Gold Coast with a showcase of more than 80 prized classic and collector cars as well as hybrids, super and hypercars. This includes the iconic Ferrari 250 GT/E, first introduced at the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1960; a Toyota 2000GT, famed as the first ‘supercar’ out of Japan; and a 1926 Bentley 3 litre, one of the oldest registered cars in Hong Kong. Other highlights are the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo, a one-off special edition; a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, one of only 20 produced; a McLaren P1GTR and the iconic McLaren F1. The Bugatti Chiron will also make its Hong Kong public debut. There will be a Concours d’Elegance, family fun zone and virtual racing for prizes against local driver Darryl O’Young on the new Xbox Forza Motorsport 7 game.



Thank you all for coming to our party on September 8! We’re honored to have Andy Ann, Founder and CEO of NDN Group, and Ryanne Lai, Co-founder of Dragon Law, there to share about privileges and obstacles of starting and running businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore and China and Claude Ducharme, CTO and Co-founder of GoBee .Bike, to tell us how they raised US$9M in less than five months! Last but not least, a big thanks to Mustard Seed, Juice by Melissa and RedMountain Asia for making our party such a success!



GLOBAL SOURCES STARTUP LAUNCHPAD October 11-14 & 18-21 AsiaWorld Expo, Hong Kong Asia’s largest hardware startup trade show, Global Sources Startup Launchpad enables global distribution for startups seeking online and offline sales channels. Held twice a year in Hong Kong, this event is where hardware startups exhibit their products and technologies to more than 60,000 distributors and retailers. Startup Launchpad organizes one-on-one sourcing interviews, tech conferences, product demo and buyer corner, as well as provides access to media and investment opportunities. Startup exhibitors this year included Singapore’s Pebby, the ultimate smart companion system for pets that is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the pets category; Xiamen Roopto Technology’s Smart Dental Detector that scans teeth for cavities and plaque; Beijing’s RoboSea consumer underwater robot with camera called Biki; Shenzhen’s AtomBit Technology’s portable water quality detector; and also from Zhenzhen the Snore Circle anti-snoring device. Hong Kong exhibitors included Cyberport incubatees such as Origami Labs.





October 8-12 Dubai World Trade Center, UAE For 37 years, visionaries and tech pioneers have been descending on Dubai to witness first-hand the technology that has inspired generations and innovations that are set to change the world. This year’s event attracted 150,000 visitors and 4,500 exhibitors from 97 countries. There were also 750+ tech entrepreneurs, 25 international headliner keynotes, US$7 billion worth of meetings between investors and startups, five days of celebrating innovation from around the world, and one big tent featuring international music headliners, comedy acts and social influencers. The tech sourcing and networking event also included GITEaX Future Stars, the region’s largest startup confluence of global tech entrepreneurs, international investors and influential corporate buyers. It is the biggest commercial sales platform for startups alongside GITEX Technology Week. Next year, GITEX takes place Oct 14-18.




HONG KONG ELECTRONICS FAIR (AUTUMN EDITION) October 13-16 Convention and Exhibition Center, Wan Chai, HK Hall of Fame dedicated to showcasing top brand names and stylish products, electronics seminars with key industry experts sharing views on market trends, business opportunities and the challenges of electronic industry. The Tech Hall featured important tech elements including 3D printing, robotics and unmanned tech, smart tech, startups and virtual reality.


DISRUPT SF 2017 September 18-20 Pier 48, San Francisco This year, InvestHK and several Hong Kong startups travelled to San Francisco for Disrupt, TechCrunch’s flagship event. The three-day startup and technology conference featured the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties. Pi and Onēva beat 20 other startups to win the champion and runner-up of Startup Battlefield, Disrupt’s star event. Pi is a wireless, contactless charging platform for multiple gadgets that can charge them at any angle, while Onēva is a platform that offers elder, infant, child care and other in-home services to allow women to stay in their professions after they’ve started a family.


September 18-20 Sands Expo & Convention Center, Singapore SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology) is a leading “plug and play” platform in Asia that showcases the best ideas, technology and innovation from around the world. This year, with the theme ‘Founding a New World’, the show stressed the importance on technology in creating a better world for humanity and featured announcements that promise to boost start-up and innovation growth in Singapore. SWITCH believes interactions are the catalyst for change so it brings together partners from around the world in the technology, innovation and enterprise ecosystem, featuring exhibitions, conferences, workshops and activities revolving around topics such as open innovation, technology transfer, tech entrepreneurship, venture funding and talent development.



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