Hong Kong Startups HotelQuickly and Bindo Stay Competitive with Mobile Payment Product Updates

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Mobile payments are on the rise with $235 billion transactions processed in 2013, up 44% from the previous year’s $163 billion (Gartner). Mainland China alone has reportedly reached a total of 1.67 billion transactions made in 2013 – worth an unfathomable US $1.6 trillion.

The growth in mobile payment tech not only amps up security and convenience for customers, but it’s also become quite the crowded space for entrepreneurs. Two of our startups, last-minute hotel booking app HotelQuickly and iPad point-of-sale system Bindo, have announced product updates this month in order to maintain a competitive edge.

Just last week, HotelQuickly announced a partnership with PayPal to offer their users a seamless mobile experience. This makes the last-minute hotel booking app the first travel merchant in Southeast Asia to integrate PayPal’s mobile SDK. HotelQuickly customers can now make speedy in-app hotel bookings in just a few clicks.

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Hong Kong Startup Salaries: How Much Do Startups Pay Programmers and Designers?

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[Updated September 1] 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?).

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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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