The 500 Startups Accelerator Experience

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With so much attention being paid to startup accelerators over the last several years, entrepreneurs are clamouring to earn a spot in top tier programs as a first step for their startup. Our base city of Hong Kong has also seen an uptick of local accelerators, many of which are dedicated to specific focuses such as B2B, hardware or fintech.

Ever since Shopline returned from the 500 Startups accelerator last summer, I frequently get asked several general questions regarding our experience. I will devote this post to answering a few of them.

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Subject Lines and Twitter Intros: How Startups Can Build Relationships with the Media

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I was asked to moderate a panel at Blueprint’s 500 Startups Day event on how startups can engage the media to cover news about their startups – and there were some interesting discoveries made that I want to share here:

Build relationships BEFORE you want coverage

Raymond Yip of Shopline was on the panel and even though he has very newsworthy news about Shopline’s funding he still started relationships with the key media he wanted to target far before he started any press release writing. He also mentioned being available by email and phone 24/7 for any follow-up questions taking into account a reporters tight deadlines.

Use Twitter

In the immortal words of TechInAsia journalist Paul Bischoff “F*ck LinkedIn!”

Twitter is the way to go when approaching journalists. I personally love Twitter – even in Hong Kong where usage is low – but the world uses this to engage strangers, if you’re a startup in Hong Kong and not on Twitter get on it now and tweet me (@casey_lau) and I will follow you back immediately – and then go follow the journalists on my panel and introduce yourself:

  • Paul Bischoff (@pabischoff) from @TechInAsia
  • Iris Leung (@irismtleung) from @e27co
  • James Griffiths (@jgriffiths) from @SCMP
  • and if you’re reading this and not following @StartupsHK – then, you’re welcome!

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