# Sunday, 11 August 2013

We have just completed the final week of AccleratorHK, the hardest week of them all. Last week was the week where the teams had to run their businesses, review and sign all of the investment paperwork from Telerik, and prep for Demo Day!

For prepping, we have two mentors come in this week and work with the teams. In addition we had three members of the past cohort come in and work on the presentations. Finally we had our last Friday check-in where I got to weigh in for probably the last time on the presentations. All in all, that was at least six practice runs with structured feedback. The teams are ready for Tuesday.

IMG_20130806_162528IMG_20130807_142621

Later in the week we had the Demo Day film team arrive and Gerard filmed each team’s interview. These interviews will be used by each team as they leave AcceleratorHK and take their businesses to the next level.

IMG_20130808_140520

Lastly, we had Charlie Sheng from TechNode some in and interview all six teams for two stories, one that will be a write-up for startupshk and one for a story about Demo Day, AcceleratorHK, and the startup ecosystem for TechNode. Stay tuned…

IMG_20130809_103946

posted on Sunday, 11 August 2013 04:53:20 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 03 August 2013

This was the last “normal” week at AcceleratorHK, normal being that we have our scheduled program 1:1 meetings, mentor visits, Friday check-in, and other activities. The following week will be the final week to prep for Demo Day, which is on August 13th.

One more team released an MVP! Icevault, Offline storage for Online currencies. You can easily sign up: a bitcoin address will be generated for you right away - and the private key securely saved offline and encrypted for you.

We had a great mentor come in and visit us. Michele Leroux Bustamante came in and spent about an hour and half with each team over two days, plus sat in on the Friday check-in and provided valuable feedback to the teams on their presentations.

 IMG_20130801_110543IMG_20130801_125545

Michele had her original flights rescheduled due to a foul up in San Francisco so she extended her trip until Saturday and we all got to spend a little more time with her. That means she got to get down as the teams blew off some steam in LFK on Friday night. Smile

IMG_20130803_012009

This coming week is the last week of the program! We will have five different people come in to spend time with the teams practicing their Demo Day presentations, all while trying to continue to build their products! It is crunch time to say the least.

See you all at Demo Day on August 13th!

posted on Saturday, 03 August 2013 23:33:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 27 July 2013

As the program is driving to the Demo Day finish line, we had an action packed week at AcceleratorHK! All six teams have an MVP that is up and running. You can check out three of them here:

We also had Hristo Neychev come in and spend a few days mentoring with the teams. Hristo works at Telerik as the PM for Icenium and has a lot of mentoring experience with startups at Launchub, an accelerator in Bulgaria. He spend an hour or two with each team as well as extra time doing customer development of his own with the teams and other companies in Hong Kong using Icenium. Hristo also mentors teams on startup presentations, so he worked with each team on their presentations for 30 on Friday before Prototype Day.

IMG_20130725_103510

On Friday we had our second (and last) “Prototype Day” when the teams make their Demo Day presentations to a group of mentors and have live Q&A on their business model. This is different from each of the Friday check-ins that we do when the teams may present on what they have done the prior week or practice their investor or potential customer pitch that they may be doing that week. We had five awesome mentors come on in to listen to the presentations and provide feedback:

IMG_20130726_151016

The teams made pretty solid presentations and got a lot of feedback. Demo Day is only 2 weeks away and the teams should all be ready! Unfortunately Friday was Paul’s last day at AcceleratorHK. Sad smile After Prototype Day we went out for a few drinks to wish Paul well in his new life in LA.

mmexport1374847436766

Demo Day is August 13th, register here! See you all there…

posted on Saturday, 27 July 2013 21:58:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 20 July 2013

We had another action-packed week at AcceleratorHK this week. Early in the week one team released their PhoneGap based cross-platform MVP and they win the award for being the first team to have an app on my phone.

Screenshot_2013-07-15-18-28-56

Another team had their MVP launched this week as well, we are starting to really move along now.

Next we had mentor and angel investor James Giancotti come in and spend a lot of time with the teams. James has a large amount of experience advising early stage startups and was very helpful with the teams who are looking for funding (just about all of them Smile.)

IMG_20130718_164030

The Portuguese teams re-emerged from their near two week long code-fest to come by the Good Lab and, well, code.

IMG_20130718_164121

Paul did a going away farewell address to the entire Hong Kong Startup community. It was a complete sellout (standing room only!) and a great time.

 IMG_20130718_203459

Members of cohort #1 and several mentors showed up and also got their tee-shirts. Smile

IMG_20130718_202458

Paul also got several Hong Kong startups to commit to launch date, revenue, and other key deliverables in front of the entire community. Nothing like peer pressure!

IMG_20130718_212227

Lastly, we had a rooftop party at IFC for Paul’s sendoff. I used DooD!’s MVP to have some fun:

aviary_1374326629625

This week we have a week long mentor visit, two more MVPs to play with, and Prototype Day #2! Stay tuned….

posted on Saturday, 20 July 2013 20:06:36 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 14 July 2013

AcceleratorHK is moving right along. We are just over 4 week away from Demo Day! The teams are hard at work with their MVP, prototypes, and betas.

This week we had William Liang: co-founder at Grabbit and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Poly U, come in and spend 30 minutes with each team mentoring. William always has great insights and this visit was no different than his visits to the past cohort and bootcamps.

 mmexport1373449909420

It was also a great week insofar as our long awaited tee-shirts have arrived! We had some AcceleratorHK branded “I go both ways” tee shirts as well as the Icenium logo shirt.

mmexport1373449702161

I ordered 100 of each shirt, so of course we have extra for our mentors, as well as for our past graduates, as shown here.

mmexport1373449706693

We are sure to have some left over at Demo Day if you come early. Smile

This week is a busy week with mentor visits and session by Paul about the Hong Kong startup ecosystem. We will also announce the logistical details for Demo Day later this week. Stay tuned!

posted on Sunday, 14 July 2013 04:29:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 08 July 2013

Last Friday a team representing the startup community of Hong Kong went to the appWorks Demo Day in Taipei, Taiwan.

IMG_20130705_125748

appWorks is a venture firm that also has an incubator program of six months where 24 teams start out and get free co-work space and mentors. At the end of the six month period, there is a demo day. For this batch (Batch #6), twenty teams each did a five minute pitch in front of almost 700 people.

IMG_20130705_133823

The teams had a range from offline retail of organic dog food, urban street tee-shirts, women's health, politics, bio hacking, customized baseball gloves, and much more. The first team to go (urban street tee-shirts) started with a break dance. What a way to start a Demo Day!

IMG_20130705_140110IMG_20130705_133210

As opposed to traditional accelerator demo days, which tend to have more early stage companies, this demo day had quite a few teams with a lot of traction. In addition, the investment climate in Taiwan is only strong for hardware, so the teams tend to go for things that have revenue as soon as possible. You can see the investment climate’s effect on the startup ecosystem, very few taxi and other “instagram” mass consumer style apps, but rather more practical, more local, and less “big swing” companies.  It was a great event to watch.

After the Demo Day, the HK team went to Taipei 101, the second tallest (for now!) building in the world and got some dinner.

IMG_20130705_174825

We met up with the Cubieboard guys (similar to raspberry pi) and I became the first paying customer of their second generation board. I realized they were not kidding when they took photos of my money and sent it to their investor. This is a great device, duel core computer the size of an old PCIMCA card complete with an SD card, USB ports, Ethernet jack, infrared sensor, all for <$60 USD.

IMG_20130705_183218IMG_20130705_182952

Then we headed over to appWorks offices where the HK teams pitched the Taiwan teams and some other Taiwan teams that did not participate in Demo Day did the same. It was all done over beer and pizza, the fuel of startups.

IMG_20130705_195431IMG_20130705_201129

The co-working space is open only to the incubator startups and there is an additional floor where the graduates can rent out at below market rates.

IMG_20130705_195814

It was a great trip and we hope that by mixing the Taiwan and Hong Kong startup ecosystems we’ll open new markets for each other.

posted on Monday, 08 July 2013 06:51:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 07 July 2013

Last week was our mid-program week of no program activities, just “get the hack out of the building” and do customer development. One team took that literally and traveled to India to test their app with their target customer base. They also had time to take in the Taj this weekend. Smile

nishantblogmmexport1373189661857

Another team is working on some pretty bleeding edge stuff so they decided to take over the inactive local meetup dedicated to the topic and hold an event. There was a great turnout with lively debate and lots of customer development.

MeetupRedBar027ce8

Lastly, while we had no mentors and meetings planned this week, we did have one optional mentor visit Saturday with Paul Harris, an American based in Manila, who has been working and developing deep relationships with a large number of Philippine based startups from idea to mentorship and funding. Since it was a low key week, Paul held court at one of our local bars and the teams came in and bought him beer and spend 30 or so minutes with him each. Then the rugby came on TV and that was the end of any business talk (it is a British bar…)

2013-07-06 17.32.18

All the other teams were hard at work, but Friday we had a BBQ to Celebrate the 4th of July. (Yes we celebrated it on the 5th, kicked off the weekend!)

Unfortunately I missed the BBQ as I was speaking at the Scrum Gathering Shanghai on Friday.

IMG_20130703_093304

Back to the normal program this week!

posted on Sunday, 07 July 2013 06:02:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 30 June 2013

Can’t believe that we are halfway done! That means we are halfway to Demo Day! We are ready to announce that Demo Day is scheduled for August 13th at 6:30pm at The Good Lab’s main theatre. Mark your calendar.

Everyone recovered from our field trip on Saturday to Shenzhen, and had a great week at AcceleratorHK. We started off the week strong with a mentor visit from Jochen Kleef on Monday. Jochen has extensive experience in China and of course customer development and has always been a great supporter of the entrepreneurship ecosystem here in Hong Kong. Jochen held a round table discussion where he talked with the teams about his experience as well as had a Q&A. Then he met with the teams individually.

IMG_20130624_154925

We also had our last round of Pecha Kuchas on Tuesday. We had some great talks about life growing up in Indonesia, Malaysia, Indian mythology, and many  more. I did a pecha kucha on trekking to Everest Base Camp.

IMG_20130625_151706

One of the teams released a public MVP and some others are pretty close. Other teams were out speaking to potential customers and partners. Very good discipline in going out and doing customer development.

We changed up our Friday check-in a little bit. First the elevator pitches were only given 20 seconds, instead of the usual 1 minute limit. For the 5 minute presentation, we made a big deal on changing the presentations up so we had the teams submit the slides early. But we fooled them and had them do this week’s presentation with a white board, no slides, no projector. The results were pretty awesome.

IMG_20130627_160018

This week is “customer validation” week where we have no scheduled check-ins, 1:1s, or mentor meetings. Just the teams working hard on “getting out of the building” to talk with customers.

posted on Sunday, 30 June 2013 22:00:06 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback