Hong Kong vs. Silicon Valley Startup Salaries: How Much Do Startups Pay Programmers and Designers?


While finding quality engineers in Hong Kong is a common complaint, the war for talent in established ecosystems like Silicon Valley is just as present. In fact, some tech companies like Facebook and Airbnb have been recruiting interns straight out of high school.

Earlier this year, the founder of a successful enterprise tech startup shared the ludicrous but true story of their efforts to lure a programmer from Google with US $500,000 annual salary as bait. Turns out, the engineer turned down the generous offer because he was already making $3 million in cash and restricted stock units (what are RSU’s?).

While most startups wouldn’t be able to front half a million dollars to entice top programmers –it sparks the thought: how do startup salaries in Hong Kong stack up when compared with Silicon Valley?

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Phonejoy Founder Martin Kessler Shares ’10 Things I Learned about Hardware Development’

martin1 Note from the guest author Martin Kessler: After reading Cedric Delzenne’s guest post on the lessons he learnt as a first time founder, I felt inspired to write something about my own learnings. Over two years at Phonejoy had left me with plenty of hardware development and manufacturing lessons to draw from. I hope that with my post I can help other hardware-focused entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and around to learn from my experience.

With Phonejoy, I went for the first time through the whole cycle of developing a concept, building prototypes, setting up a production line to delivering our Phonejoy game controllers to consumers. It was an agonising and long process for us that had been filled with long delays. When mentoring at the Founder Institute, an aspiring entrepreneur asked me how we were able to go on after experiencing so many setbacks. It took us a lot of persistence and looking back at our experience it could have been much much easier.

1. It Takes Planning & Expertise

Hardware is hard, and slow, and complicated. It requires lining up lots of moving pieces, and unlike with software it cannot be all done by two guys with MacBooks. Ironically this is almost how we first started Phonejoy. Our founder team, at first did not expect all the challenges a hardware startup faces.

In fact, in the beginning we just started building. We hired contractors where we could not excel with our own skillset. Along the way we learnt most of the development and manufacturing processes. It is needless to say that this procedure created a number of schedule and cost issues for us.

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10 Tips from NEST on Perfecting Your Pitch to Angel Investors


It’s your moment in the limelight. You’re facing a panel of angel investors and you have just 10 minutes to convince them that your startup is worth backing. If you succeed, you’ll be given HK $500,000 along with mentorship, marketing, legal and accounting support – everything you need to jump start your business. How well prepared are you?

NEST Pitch Day is coming up on 6 September for disruptive and scalable early-stage startups in Asia. In light of that, we’re sharing 10 tips on creating the best pitch possible, straight from the NEST’s mouth. This will be helpful even if you have seen every episode of Shark Tank.
See our story on the investment incubator here.

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