3 Hong Kong Founders to Watch: Meet Julian Lee of Ambi Climate, Steven Lam of GoGoVan and James Giancotti of Bigcolors


There are lots of cool startups listed on our startup directory. In support of the startup community and all of its brilliant and industrious founders – we wanted to give them an editorial shout out.

In the first of a series of “3 Founders to Watch” posts, we’re introducing three Hong Kong entrepreneurs that are doing cool things in the hardware, mobile/logistics and platform space.

First up is Julian Lee. One of the pioneering members of Hong Kong hackerspace Dim Sum Labs, Julian is also the founder and CEO of Ambi Labs – a startup that gets consumers to rethink the way they interface with common household appliances, starting with your air conditioner.


Their first product Ambi Climate injects intelligence into your AC unit using high-precision sensors, infra-red and local weather data so you can monitor and control your home temperature remotely – saving you both money and energy.

Before starting Ambi Labs, Julian was in the strategy consulting space in Singapore and backed everything from the eccentric inventor to a 200-person company. Continuing his interest in startups, Julian then worked within the private equity space and invested in small to mid-sized companies until he realized he wanted to build a product of his own – thus, Ambi Climate was born.

Next up is Steven Lam, co-founder of GoGoVan – a mobile app that serves as the great connector between freelance drivers with the people who need them.


Via GoGoVan, individuals and businesses alike can bypass the call centre and hire a driver with a vehicle ranging from a light-goods vehicle to a 16-tonne truck. Since their launch in July 2013, GoGoVan has seen tremendous success with 12,000+ drivers downloading the app and 100,000 user downloads.

Before GoGoVan, Steven and his co-founders Nick Tang and Reeve Kwan had already tried their hand at launching a small business. After raising a seed round of HK $50,000 – they ran an independent advertising business in conjunction with a restaurant food delivery service.


Rounding out the super trio is James Giancotti: lawyer, management consultant, investment banker in a past life, now angel investor and co-founder. As an early investor in Makible, James has also backed Hong Kong mobile app Taxiwise.

As an avid supporter of startups, James wanted to add more liquidity in the marketplace while creating a win-win situation for both investors and startups, so he built Bigcolors – a crowdfunding platform where investors can trade startups before they start.

Since the crowdfunding for capital site launched in December of 2013, 900+ investors have registered and two startups have already been successfully funded – dating app KissHugs and global co-work space Verxigo. Both startups received US $25,000 from a group of investors in exchange for 5% equity.

The new exchange is showing no signs of slowing down, in fact Bigcolors has just expanded to Malaysia and plan on reaching emerging markets outside of Asia in the near future.

Do you know a Hong Kong founder that’s doing really cool things? Send in a nomination to [email protected]

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