Eye of the Distro Tigers: 500 Startups Growth Lessons Learned in Hong Kong

distro_tiger_500_Startupshk

I just got back to the Valley from a Distro Tour of Asia with a group of mentors from 500 Startups.

It sounds glamorous… AND IT WAS.

Aside from doing lots of eating, we also helped 60+ companies in Taiwan and Hong Kong (from a pre-selected applicant pool) tackle their biggest questions in growth marketing, b2b sales, fundraising / pitching, and team leadership with workshops and lots of hands-on office hours.

We learned a LOT about the realities of growing and funding a startup in Taipei and Hong Kong. These are two talent-filled ecosystems in the “Asian Tiger” constellation of developed economies, and they have a lot going for them.

In Hong Kong the companies we met had a solid grasp on their initial customer needs and how to find those first customers.

But, startups and their founders in these regions also face some big, non-obvious realities that pose unique challenges.

From our perspective focused on startup growth and distribution, here are the challenges that stood out to us the most.

[Read more…]

Startup Saturday Video Recap: ‘Wake Up With Dave McClure,’ With 500 Startups’ Alum 9GAG and Shopline

SUST
2015 is off to a speedy start as we featured Dave McClure, founding partner of 500 Startups, at our very first Startup Saturday of the year. The last time McClure was in town was back in May 2013, so we were glad to have him back. If you missed the event and are more visually inclined, we’ve got you covered with a full video.

After Dave’s candid talk on startup ecosystems from around the world (where he said Beijing was second to Silicon Valley in terms of global tech hubs), we also heard from his Beijing-based colleague Rui Ma who gave a talk on the Chinese startup system. Although data from her presentation was only a few months old, Ma said some of the figures were already outdated because of how quickly China’s startup scene has evolved.

[Read more…]

Startup Saturday Overview: Featuring Dave McClure, Rui Ma of 500 Startups and Hong Kong Alum 9GAG and Shopline

1
We kicked off the first event of 2015 with Dave McClure and Rui Ma of 500 Startups, and the accelerator’s Hong Kong alumni: Ray Chan of 9GAG, Fiona Lau and Tony Wong of Shopline. If you missed the event, here’s an overview.

McClure covered some ground in his talk – besides giving a snapshot of how 500 has been doing, he also shared his view on startup scenes around the world, accelerator programs, crowdfunding, growth hacking, 2015 tech trends and tips on pitching to investors.

McClure believes that the most competitive startup market outside Silicon Valley is Beijing. He sees talent and innovation in China and he thinks Beijing has a robust startup ecosystem, but worries about startup valuations in the short term. His view on the China startup scene, “long term: bullish, short term: cautious.”

[Read more…]