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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Founder to Founder: Shopline Shares Startup Story with Asia Venture Club [AUDIO]

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Introducing Dennis Grady, founder of Asia Venture Club – a new member to the StartupsHK community. Dennis publishes a podcast on startups and entrepreneurship and we are happy to have him as one of our new ongoing columnists. His first piece delves into his interview with Raymond Yip of Shopline.

Raymond Yip got a $50HK gift from his boss on his 10 year anniversary at Citibank. His entire team had been fired and he was unfulfilled with the work he was responsible for doing. It was time for him to jump ship. He had been working on his own side development projects which helped to create a bridge for him to transition out and a way to assess market needs and thats how Shopline was born.

Shopline is a DIY e-commerce platform built specifically for Asian markets.  They have a top tier team and have built a big presence in a short time with over 16000 customers already on the platform (thats just in HK and Taiwan).  They are a mobile ready platform that allows small and mid-sized businesses to manage their own online stores on the go.

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Lessons I Learned While Raising Funding: A Look into Shopline’s New US$1.2 Million Seed Round by Co-Founder Raymond Yip

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Today Shopline announced closing it’s seed round of US$1.2 million! Congrats Team Shopline – Raymond, Tony and Fiona! Some more details include:

  • Completed the 500 Startups Accelerator program in San Franciscoseveral months ago (Batch 10).
  • funding will allow Shopline to positionitself as the go-to online shop builder in Asia, beginning with Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • looking to expandinto select markets in SEA later this year.
  • Investors include 500 Startups, Ardent Capital – founding investor of aCommerce, SXE Ventures –an early stage fund by Danny Yeung, co-founder of Groupon HK, East Ventures and COENT Venture Partners.

We asked Raymond Yip, co-founder and CEO to expand on what he learned raising this money to share with Hong Kong startups.

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