Appedu reveals how it fights the war for talents

Appedu team photo

Appedu aims to make learning easier than ever. By providing a crowdsourcing mobile app that allows students to ask any question in one click, Appedu is creating an accessible and high quality learning environment to encourage curiosity and nurture a questioning mind.

As a young start-up, most expect our major challenges to be funding-related, and are often surprised when we reveal that our biggest obstacles lie in attracting top talents. Idea matters, money matters, and execution matters, but behind it all, it is people who drive progress. In our first two years of operation, we have observed a common but worrying recruitment trend: the war for talents is raging in ever greater intensity between well-established, multi-national firms and local start-ups. Hiring the right people to join a start-up has always been as challenging – if not more – as raising funds. Compared to those big guys, we are nobody. Candidates and their family are often sceptical of our business, while some may even question our legitimacy.

Despite the bumpy ride,over the years, we have managed to hire bright young individuals with the support of Cyberport. Their internship programmes, such as the e+startup Internship Programme, give students an opportunity to work as an intern with start-up founders and along the way, address a lot of doubts and concerns potential candidates might have towards start-ups. Selected candidates have the unique opportunity to work alongside start-up founders and contribute meaningfully to their projects, something that big corporations are often unable to offer. Young newcomers who joined us from these internship programmes are not only interested in forming or working for a start-up, but also share our passion to empower e-learning through technology (we also have lots of fun along the way!).

Identifying the right candidates proved to be fruitful to our business. Appedu can now be found in Taiwan and Shanghai, in additional to Hong Kong, all thanks to our interns and new team members. One of our interns became our shareholder at the end of his internship in 2014, and brought us to Taiwan, while two students took a gap year to lead our business development in Shanghai.

Other than leveraging on available external assistance, in the long run, it is of utmost importance that students are exposed to entrepreneurship as early as possible. In my experience with recent graduates, many tend to focus on large firms when searching for jobs and internships due to the lack of understanding in the local start-up scene. While promoting e-learning to secondary schools, we therefore use the opportunity to instil the entrepreneurial spirit in younger generations, and put us on their mind at an early stage.

Moreover, we never hesitate to share the entrepreneurial mind-set and professional knowledge with our young newcomers, enabling them to develop skills beyond what is offered by traditional learning experiences in classrooms. In fact, our interns have pointed out that direct interaction with management-level employees during our partnership has been most valuable and beneficial. In return, our new hires offer new ideas, different perspectives, and a can-do attitude that is crucial in the success of any company. Personally, it has been a refreshing and inspiring experience working with young graduates and winning them over to pursue a career in start-ups instead of traditional corporations.

When we look ahead in 2015, our plan is to further expand our business in Greater China and become a leading e-learning app in the region. Recruiting more talents to support our business plan has been our key strategy from the very beginning, and will continue to remain so.As we continue to look for dedicated and passionate team players to support our long-term development,we are grateful for the support we have received in connecting us with young talents – and even inspiring them to become future entrepreneurs.

Interested in joining our exciting entrepreneurial journey? Visit us at Cyberport Career Fair 2015 this Saturday. See you there!

Cyberport will connect Hong Kong talents with over 40 IT companies to offer more than 200 exciting job opportunities in Hong Kong and Mainland China at the “Cyberport Career Fair 2015” on 14 March at Cyberport.

 For details: visit

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