9 Founders Share their Favorite Moments of 2013 and What They Look Forward to in the Year of the Horse


As we enter the Year of the Horse, we hope you’ve been keeping busy being your creative, motivated and brilliant selves and are getting a head start on those New Year’s resolutions.

We’ve had quite the year here at StartupsHK, having launched our directory Startbase.HK, and we’re looking forward to sharing more inspiring, in depth and relevant news and stories from within our startup community.

To start the Lunar New Year off, we had a chat with some founders to reflect on the past year. The Year of the Snake seemed to be quite the pivotal year for most, whether in personal or startup life, and they wanted to share some of their favorite moments in 2013, and as a bonus: what they’re most looking forward to in the Year of the Horse.


Jeffrey Broer, founder of Surround App

“2013 was an amazing year, we graduated from AcceleratorHK, launched Surround App, were on the Airport Express for several weeks, had a booth at TechCrunch Shanghai, got our first paying customers and my wife and I had a little girl startup of our own launched during T8 Usagi. In 2014, we will work with the same energy on building stuff people want and we will continuously support and promote the HK startup community.”


Tiffany Wong, founder of 80/80 Space 

“My favorite moment was my new company’s launch – 80/80 Space. I used to model and DJ, so starting a company was very different from what I was doing before. My brother is a UX designer so that was the inspiration behind 80/80 Space. In the new year, I want to turn over a new page and start something new!”


Richard Codron, founder of Localiiz.com

“The highlight of the year was releasing our first time lapse video called ‘Hong Kong is Home.’ We reached 334,000 people on Facebook, had 1,247 likes and over 2,000 shares and within 5 days, this video was voted as a ‘Top Pick’ on Vimeo. In 2014, we want to uncover more incredible stories from talented people in Hong Kong.”

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Jennifer Cheng, founder of Glam-it

“Highlights were launching Glam-it.com, its flagship retail store and getting GlamPact and Glam-it! into 6 countries and 2 luxury retailers including Harvey Nichols and Luxola.com. Also, the acquisition of my former company BEECRAZY and its IPO along with iBuy on the Australian Stock Exchange. In the new year, I’m looking forward to expanding to more Asian countries, launching our additional SKUs and products, growing the brand and also our top secret project scheduled to unveil around May of this year!”


Michael Michelini, founder of Social Agent

“In the past year, I feel like startups in Asia and Hong Kong are finally taken seriously in the international limelight. Doing market research and focus groups to the Hong Kong community didn’t seem awkward – the general public seems to “get it” about startups and entrepreneurs! For my startup SocialAgent.me, I found the sweet spot of product and market fit and am ready for take off! In 2014, I’m looking forward to hosting more regular focus groups, optimizing our “product feedback loop” and growing out my mobile userbase.”


Larry Salibra, founder of Pay4Bugs

“2013 was a transitional year for us.  At the beginning of 2013 we were really happy with the organic traction our side project Pay4Bugs had gained and decided to wind down our consulting business and China operations to focus on it.  We look forward to launching a complete rewrite of Pay4Bugs early in 2014 integrating the customer feedback and experience from the past few years and significantly growing the business!”


Elaine Ann, founder of Kaizor Innovation

“My favorite moment was when the communities started to cross-pollinate: when the startups meets the angels meets the designers meets the programmers meets the government meets the corporates. In the new year, I’m most looking forward to having successful and innovative startups come to mind instead of banking and real estate when people think of Hong Kong.”


Kenneth Law, founder and CEO of FilmSkout

“Being an MC for the first time at the opening event at 80/80 Space’s opening was a very cool moment for me. The new year is an exciting time because I’m helping connect friends with people in the community and we’re also launching a new product – all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together!”


Jon Buford, founder of Makible 

“We’ve gone through a lot this year at Makible, but it is easy to sum up with that we are shipping product and have doubled in size. As a community, I think it was great to see what we started back in 2009 starting to grow on its own, with initiatives from the HK government (via InvestHK) starting to see some proof that we’ve started hitting critical mass. I think this year we are going to start seeing some big stories coming out from the community. For Makible, I think we are going to be making waves with the next stage of growth. I would expect to continue to see more support from the government, some local Series A investment rounds and overall growth in the community.”

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