Hong Kong Founder Institute – Spring Program
I knew Founder Institute 2 years, ago when i was in final year in prasetiya mulya business school. i interested to join a start-up community, but fortunately my company assigning me to Hong Kong, to learn Mandarin and Accounting.and last winter, i attended introduction session, and decided to join to make my time in Hong Kong “more” fruitful; out of previously I already plan to help one of my mentor, create a business plan about coffee. and what a godsend, i accepted to join the program.
It was amazing experience since i expended my time to learn about create a business idea to be implemented. unfortunately i dropped out a month ago, I only attended 10 meeting out of 14. during this program, my idea was coloni. a marketplace to provide directly sourced Indonesia coffee. I dropped out because there’s a requirement to establish a company in Hong Kong. where i found it will derail me from my purpose of being in Hong Kong. but I think, being part of it is truly the best experience by far.
what I admired for long time is working collaboratively with friend from different country. i know that my company, is a multinational company with Asia focus. but i have desire to work people from diverse countries, education background, and language. and FI Hong Kong is the best place to learn.
during the learning, i also met passionate and insightful directors, which helps me a lot during my learning process, such as Leo Ku, Andrea, and Jeff broer, and inspiring mentor such as Derek Kwik a venture capitalist, who gave me plenty and detailed feedback, from presentation, idea communication, even deck; even he is so busy, he still have time for early morning meeting, to adjust towards my schedule since i need to work at the airport. Devin Ehrig, a venture capitalist, who give a lot of feedback about my coffee business, since he used to be doing his business about trading blue mountain coffee when he was in Hawai, also suggest me to create a legal entity in country where my business should be located, Indonesia. Amit Chattergie who gave me insight of how to make cafe experience into my website.
during the learning process, we also need to change group, i have different group each months.
My first Group
during the first month, what i learned mostly about Idea generation and customer development. where i did research about customer needs and want. but one thing most important also team dynamic, since we never know each other, but must working together and have regular meeting. we usually meet at coffee academics as confluence point.
our Idea ranging from translation service, health care, web development,calendar, and coffee (which is mine)
my second group
During this session, me and marco drop out, since both of us not finish to create a company. in this session, i did many first time experience: create my first website on my self. our idea ranging from Neighborhood, calendar, integrated insurance, and parking apps. we usually choose Holly Brown as confluence point. majority of us come from financial service. one thing I really missed about this group is they really give me plenty of constructive feedback and support.
finally, on Monday 18, only 7 graduated from 25 participant. its totally true that only those who persevere able to finish. its really enchanting moment to see my friend graduated. I hope i also can finish what i start like they did. i hope i wont lost thrust to keep on learn and implement my ideas.
lesson learned by FI program:
- Focus on customer needs. i really need to met customer, doing interview, and mentoring, something that i usually only doing on internet. this new behavior, hopefully will give me a new capability to reach anyone anytime. it also one of my handicap since the gap between indonesia and hong kong is too far on customer behavior. in here people using nescafe Pod dolce gusto in their home, and easy to find out freshly roasted coffee, also i unable to bring my product to make customer experience it. (so now i understand customer experience and feedback loop is imperative)
- Be passionate and Authentic; something that you really wanted to build from scratch and you will persevere to do for minimum 10 years. (i still not know my passion, this is also the reason i read plenty self development books). this things still being my problem, but during the FI process, i met various mentors who gave me some insight on what should i do, search, and develop.
- Be Fast, where it also shown by creating MVP, or minimum viable product. what i learned from theory, and work experience is we must be perfect in front of customer, but in here, perfection slow things down. and it influenced the way i worked, i put a new thing in my mindset that perfection slow me down, let makes imperfection as a way for us to gain a feedback loop.
- Team Dynamics: be on time, speak up, be present, and respect to others opinion. i learned it a lot during my study at PMBS, FIFgroup, and in here what different is working together and maintain good communication with multi countries friend. where i thing it is the most luxurious thing i got by far.
- Think BIG, International – i used to think only about Indonesia. but in Hong Kong, it designed to rule the world, or at least Asia. where i doing deep research about world coffee industry, players, and recent changes. where i found really helps me see through US and china market.
- Persevere; most of graduates, are very inspiring, they have energy sparked from their eyes, i think those are the eye of founders. they also have high degree of confidence.
- Be prepared, Practice, Practice, Practice: during my early learning process, i though i don’t need to practice, but there’s a session called hot seat, a 60 second pitch to convey our ideas. also mentor idea review where most of prominent mentor evaluate our idea in 90 second. also never be late, since customer wont wait you, if you failed to deliver, you are done. so this is important that i must never miss any schedule.
- Hong Kong efficient legal process. to create a company in Jakarta, you will need two directors, and await for 30 days. in hong kong you only need 5 days maximum. (it also shown that we need to be better as Indonesian), and cost wise, in Hong Kong is cheaper.
- Start-up accelerator program – in here i learn about how the curriculum, and content of class being managed. i have curiosity to learn about start up, where i only read on book, but during this spring, i being part of it, even not graduated (but i wont be languished by that – its a fun experience).
overal my spring in Hong Kong, is exciting, strenuous, many serendipity, many people helps me out, both in Hong Kong and Jakarta. I really apologize for my futility, that i dropped out of the program merely for legal reason. but I believe my decision is well thought. congratulation for your new endeavor guys.
Royal Terrace. QB