Goxip Wins BreakthroughHK at RISE: The Victory Interview


One of the exciting things about RISE was Paddy Cosgrave’s impetus to include as much of Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem into the actual event as possible.

From getting me to be co-host, to giving us a stage to show off the 20 new and unfunded startups in Hong Kong that might not be able to afford a booth but needed exposure at this early stage. Something I feel very strongly about – giving a startup access at the beginning so that they know if they are going the right way or not.

So with that idea Jack Costigan, Gene Soo, Paddy and I set up the BreakthroughHK stage – and to include the HK community we asked Science Park, Cyberport, Blueprint and CoCoon to judge the entries and to pick the 5 best that would be featured. Around 60 startups applied and from that list these 20 were picked to showcase.

On Day 2 of RISE, each team had 4 minutes to pitch and 3 minutes of Q&A. The runner-up was StayAngel – a very cool service that we loved helping you to save money on hotel rates, but the points were added up and the SoftLayer prize went to Goxip – an app that helps you find fashion by using your smartphone camera. It was Paddy who asked for them to come on stage when we did our closing remarks that afternoon.

I was able to quickly sit down with founder Juliette Gimenez and ask her about winning the first ever BreakthroughHK:

How does it feel winning BreakthroughHK against 19 other HK Startups at the very first RISE conference?

It felt Un-Freaking-Believable! We were selected as an Alpha Program startup at the first ever RISE conference and Its truly a moment of validation and recognition for Goxip’s crew and myself that we have developed a product that people like. A milestone on Goxip’s Hall of Fame !

Where did the idea of Goxip come from?

Born out of a toilet moment! A moment where entertainment magazine on left hand and right hand with my phone, trying to text-search from Google what is the brown cowboy boot that Jessica Alba’s wearing and where can I get it. I thought to myself – When there’s something that google could not help you with, its time to BUILD!


What were some of the tough questions the judges threw at you and how did you feel you answered them?

All questions were tough haha. One tough question was about leveraging big data – since our product has a mass market appeal, it caught us off-guard to consolidate all our future vision and make it a relevant answer within a short period of time. However this is surely an area we’ll need to go back and revisit so we can plant the right immediate important matrix from day 1.

Is Goxip available now to download?

Yes. It is available at Google Play Store now. Stayed tune for a major update in 14 days.


What do you think about RISE and how do you think it will affect the HK startup scene?

RISE was one event which connects over 5000 smart brains together. I was super delighted to be engaged in a tech conference that was fully charged up with incredible passion, disruptive innovation and undying energy! Through this, we have met a great number of well respected VCs to advance our fund raising. I think the very fact RISE is being brought to HK to start with shows that more people from all over the world have their eyes on Asia. This may just be the key ingredient that will drive the next wave of game changing startups and unicorns from Asia and especially HK!

Do you think this kind of conference will encourage more HK people to try to do tech startups?

Definitely! I trust there’re a lot of undiscovered masterminds in HK where they were contemplating the idea of choosing a fat corporate job or try to pursue their dream and start their own. With the exposure of this type of conference where it attracts investors all over the world, I hope HK people could see that starting a tech startup is in fact really cool and able to realise they can be the next founder who can build a smart startup that can really explode!

Any tips to other startups that want to pitch at Rise 2016?

  1. Make a relatable demo – Show your demo in a way that the audience can personally really experience and feel. Don’t just talk Practice 100 times.
  2. No one is an awesome speaker/pitcher from the day they born, even Steve Jobs wasnt. It takes work, lots of work! Share your vision & passion.
  3. Imagine your product is successful and able to make a difference and a better world. Passion is contagious.

Photos by Ruby Law

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