EYE Program: Trip to Taiwan | Center for Entrepreneurship

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EYE Program: Trip to Taiwan


Co-organized by CUHK Center for Entrepreneurship and Google, EYE Program has been launched to support mobile startups with the theme “Living in the Mobile-First World” this year. After several rounds of competitions and entrepreneurial trainings, 10 mobile tech startups were selected to visit Taiwan with their mentors and meet with key players in startup community in Taiwan, namely Dr. Lee-Feng Chien, Managing Director of Google Taiwan, representatives from KPMG Hong Kong and Taiwan, ROC National Development Council, Taiwan Startup Stadium, HWTrek, Appworks, etc.



Dr. Chien Lee-feng, Managing Director, Google Taiwan



During the trip, startups from Hong Kong and Taiwan were invited to give pitch in front of investors and elites from mobile-tech industries. Facing the competition from Mainland China, startups from Hong Kong and Taiwan are both struggling during market expansion. Dr. Chien, the Managing Director of Google Taiwan, encouraged tech startups to focus on the potential market in Southeast Asia.


“Though the potential market in China is large, the competition is also tight indeed”, said Chien. “It would be challenging for tech startups to grow in China for tech-corporates like Alibaba, Tencent, etc. are already mature.” He also reminded the teams not to ignore the emerging markets in Southeast Asia, where over 50 million Chinese are living in.


“The new opportunities are in Southeast Asia, especially for mobile-tech. ”He mentioned that more investors are targeting Southeast Asia so the teams should focus more on the whole region, rather than a single country. He encouraged startups communities in Hong Kong and Taiwan should work together to be the first mover in the region.


Dr. Dominic Chan, Project Director at Center for Entrepreneurship



Having years of business consulting experience, Dr. Dominic Chan represented CUHK Center for Entrepreneurship to join the trip, providing valuable advice to the EYE Program teams.


“The teams are improving everyday”, said Dominic. “After pitchings and meetings every morning, the teams have refined their business models and improved their presentation skills from day to day!” Dominic met with the teams every morning during the trip, helping them to identify their competitive advantages, expand the markets, and even fine-tune their business models.



Dominic also expressed his gratitudes to the mentors for their continuous support to the teams, “I really appreciated the mentors for their participation in the whole trip. Their guidance has improved the teams a lot.”  


EYE Program 10 Best Performing Teams at a glance




Sam the Local

A Familiar Friend In An Unknown Place


When traveling to a new place in the age of the Internet, it’s easy to find listings of the bars, restaurants and top sights. But Maggie and Anita realized that there were few options that had the deeper insights and personal touch. Sam the Local is therefore launched as a web-based and mobile-friendly platform for Locals and explorers to share experience.


A Trusted Community For Shoppers


Find it hard to tell if a blogger is being paid to push a product? Clozetto is your solution! Created for women, Clozetto offers a mobile platform where women can share and find more info on their favorite products, get honest reviews, hang out with friends, find out how much products really cost and show off their shopping adventures with like-minded aficionados.


“Make traditional music education interactive and inspirational”


Patrick and Jessica launch TapTab.io, which redefines music learning with a highly-interactive app that empowers users to ‘teach, learn and practice’ anytime, anywhere and on any device. It integrates sheet music, lessons and feedback into one interactive platform, offering music lovers a new channel to teach and learn.


Hong Kong’s First Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Platform


Carshare.hk can be summed up with one simple concept: When you need a car, borrow from your neighbors! Through an easy-to-use app, Carshare.hk lets people rent or let their vehicle anytime, anywhere in Hong Kong!

Carshare.hk is also cooperating with electric vehicle company to provide EV hiring.


Great Stories Need To Be Heard By The World


Tailored for startups, reporters and even public relations firms, HelloReporter.io connects journalists with startups, SMEs and domain experts. Startups around the world can engage media, reporters can reach the right spokespeople for interviews and PR firms can get extra exposure for their clients.


An interactive language learning community


Despite the growing demand for learning online, Sesame realizes that none of the language apps gave learners a personalized and interactive language experience. Sesame can help. With Sesame, you can even learn slangs and hot topics of a place you like.


Redefine the Luxury Watch Industry


EONIQ offers personalized watches with uniqueness which tells its own story. Harnessing the power of mobile and the Internet, EONIQ brings mass customization of quality watches to life.


Create Online Store in minutes


Boutir lets users build an online store on its dedicated platform in under a minute without the knowledge of coding. Online transaction portal by PayPal will also secure the payment process. Boutir now has more than 500 active vendors, including Weekend Wardrobe, and looks to expand with the growing trend of mobile first in the Asia-Pacific Region.



Say NO to Loss


After experiencing the stress that comes with losing precious items, Eric Lau & Eric Kwok vowed to fight ‘loss’ through R-Guardian. Combining Bluetooth technology and mobile-app platform, R-Guardian was created to protect the things that matter to you most, from a simple USB drive to your wallet to your keys and even a child.

R-Guardian is developing B2B business to produce anti-counterfeit chips.

HOMEY by Studio-R

A New Era of Home Decorating


Create your dream home anytime, anywhere, simply by dragging, dropping, and tapping a button! HOMEY by Studio-R lets users pick and choose products from a dedicated in-app marketplace, where an instant 3D projection of their ideal home will be demonstrated.


EYE Program Startup Mentorship



Mentorship is one of the key elements of EYE Program. The 10 best performing teams are getting 1-to-1 intensive mentorship support from the EYE Program Coaching Mentors from July to November, aiming at pushing the startups to a higher stage. Hosted by Dr. Dominic Chan, several mentoring trainings and Mentor-Mentee meetups were held to facilitate the mentoring.


The mentors are invited to join the trip with the teams, closely monitoring them to prepare their pitching and sharing their experience with startup communities in Taiwan.  



“Since joining the EYE program as judge and mentor, I have enjoyed it very much”, Jonathan Wong, the mentor of EONIQ, mentioned. “The teams are great! They are very creative and they work very hard. I am also glad that I can use my network and knowledge to support them throughout the process. Looking forward to EYE Program in 2016 and be part of the team again!”

“I love the program that we can mutually discover and enable each others”, said Wally Wong, the mentor of HelloReporter. “There are a lot of great people and programs for both Mentors and Mentees and it provides chances for us to connect and exchange idea each other!”



HWTrek, Taiwan Startup Stadium, Appworks


During the 5-day trip, the EYE Program teams met with representatives and startups from several startup communities in Taiwan, namely HWTrek, National Development Council (ROC), Taiwan Startup Stadium, and Appworks. HWTrek is a Taipei-based platform connecting hardware startups with manufacturers and other resources, exploiting the traditional advantages of Taiwan’s rich manufacturing resources; while TSS is supported by the National Development Council (ROC) , helping Taiwan startups go global; and Appworks is one of the largest accelerators in Asia.


EYE Program teams and teams from Taiwan were given opportunities to give pitch in front of representatives from both communities and share their entrepreneurial experience.


Media Coverage:


Date Title Media Name
11 Nov 2015 創業跳出香港 秘訣公開 PCM 電腦廣場
22 Oct 2015 〈好Tech〉Google帶香港創業公司 訪台取經 PCM 電腦廣場
20 Oct 2015 Google教路:科創者宜放眼東南亞 Sky Post 晴報
19 Oct 2015 【直擊】初創搶攻東南亞 Google:增成功機會 Hong Kong Economic Times 香港經濟日報
18 Oct 2015 Watch Out, China: Google 'Ignites' Hong Kong, Taiwan Start-Ups Forbes
18 Oct 2015 Hong Kong and Taiwan take different start-up routes South China Morning Post
15 Oct 2015 Google牽線 挺年輕創業家 攜手香港中文大學 經濟日報 (臺灣)
15 Oct 2015 【台北直擊】Google 台灣簡立峰:創業團隊別一窩蜂擠進中國市場 Unwire
15 Oct 2015 Google 牽線,台、港共創軟硬整合新潮流 INSIDE
14 Oct 2015 台港新創團隊交流 創業圓夢無國界 中時電子報
14 Oct 2015 Watch out, Shenzhen! Taiwan is upgrading to grab manufacturing orders from China’s not-so-cheap boomtown South China Morning Post
13 Oct 2015 Think outside the city: Start-ups in Hong Kong should look to Taiwan to become regional players, says Google executive South China Morning Post
06 Oct 2015 CUHK Teams up with Google to Help Hong Kong’s Budding Entrepreneurs Connects



Dr. Dominic Chan (right), Project Director of Center for Entrepreneurship shared with Anita Huang (left), Captain of Taiwan Startup Stadium about entrepreneurial atmosphere in Hong Kong and Taiwan


Dr. Lee-feng Chien (middle), Managing Director of Google Taiwan, with YK Chu (left) and Peter Liu (right) from WI Harper Group


Fang-kuan Chan, head of the National Development Council's Industrial Development Department, shared how Taiwan startups go international


Teams from Taiwan Startup Stadium displayed their products


Dr. Lee-feng Chien (middle), Managing Director of Google Taiwan and Irene Chu (right) from KPMG, Partner of KPMG China


Four EYE Program Mentors are sharing: Alex Cheng, Alvin Hung, Wally Wong, Alvin Lam (from left to right)


HWTrek representatives and teams


HWTrek teams sharing


Cocktail Reception, sponsored by KPMG


EYE Program work team (right) and KPMG (left)


Demo showing by EYE Program Team at Appworks


EYE Program and Appwork Teams


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10 startups and their mentors visited Taiwan in mid-October. This is a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and learn...

Posted by EYE Program on Thursday, October 29, 2015


Special thanks to EYE Program 2015 Key Partners KPMG and Cyberport