Swapit for Social Good at So In So Good Impact 2 World Award

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-5-42-27-pmTwo weeks ago, I really sucked at pitching. Last week, I was invited to the So In So Good Impact 2 World Award pitch event.

This event was a bit different from the usual pitch events I go to. For once, I was able to pitch Swapit not just from the commercial angle, but from the social angle.

Social Innovation for Social Good.

Our initial idea of Swapit evolved around the aim of making it easier for people in densely populated places to buy pre-loved items. By making it easier for people to purchase pre-loved items and for sellers to sell (or give away) their used stuff, we always also wanted to contribute to the society in a whole. The whole process of re-cycling, up-cycling, re-using and re-purposing of existing things, has always fascinated me. If Swapit can just make a tiny difference to how people consume products and they re-use existing ones, just one more time, then we already made a positive impact on the world. Yes, it will be a tiny one, but it is a start. If there then is another person and another one and another one, then we might start to make actually a real impact in the long run.

Let’s be honest, waste production is a problem – worldwide. Especially in Hong Kong, where space is scarce, landfills are full and citizens are against incinerators,  we need to reduce the amount of waste we product.

Hong Kong produces 15,000 tons of waste every day. That equals the weight of 6,500 Mercedes S Class Cars.

So yes, if Swapit can provide a platform where people can trade their used stuff with others nearby and it removes the need for them to throw those things away, Swapit has a positive impact on our environment. In part, that was also one argument for having green as Swapit’s leading color scheme.

THE PITCH

This time, my pitch was different. Generally, though, it was definitely better than the week before at Cyberport. Perhaps because there weren’t many investors in the audience? Or perhaps it went better, because the great wine sponsor of the event (check out Luibao Wine Subscription) convinced me to try one of their Italian reds right as the first thing that night without having had dinner.

The audience was great and while speaking, I even heard someone launching Swapit for the first time. We’ve got this beautiful “Swapit la!” voice that plays the first time you launch the app, and that’s exactly what happened during the Q&A session afterwards.

It was a good crowd, we could get some new users obviously and we’ve made it very clear that Swapit has a positive impact on the world. There were 10 other great teams and some of their projects where absolutely inspiring. Many had a purely social cause and an NGO / community / donation approach, which was a bit hard to compete to. From a social angle, there are a lot of problems that are being tackled and I am happy that So In So Good, which is actually supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is covering the social innovation field in Hong Kong.

Thanks a lot to our friends at EasyCare, we also have a photo of me speaking:

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Have you tried Swapit yet? It’s free. Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now

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When you suck, you suck.

On some days, you just have to admit that you sucked big time. I had that day about a week ago at the “Opening Ceremony of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 China – Hong Kong with Pitching Competition”.

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As a result of our training session earlier this month, most other startups also participated in the pitching event that was held on November 15th at Cyberport. It was a great event with a huge panel of judges (9 in total!) and a rather gracious pitch time of 5 full minutes. For the first time, I publicly pitched our re-worked / re-organized pitch deck to an audience. Though, many parts remain largely the same since all the previous pitches, I did; the overall structure is more clear now. At the same time, I present our global vision for Swapit and how it can impact billions of people across the globe. That was the idea.

Yet, my execution during the actual pitch was not satisfying. I was too nervous and it got in the way of forming clear thoughts. In the end, that resulted in me leaving out some crucial key points, which I definitely wanted to communicate. During the following 3 minute Q&A session, I forgot to present some of the key data, which I had prepared as separate backup slides (e.g. demographics, popular trading categories, etc).

I sucked at pitching and I admit it.

Overall, my immediate feeling was that, it was a waste of my time and the time of the judges. After the pitching was over, I reached out to I think 5 or 6 of the judges and asked for feedback on my performance and Swapit in general. To my surprise, most of them actually thought that my pitch wasn’t as bad as I experienced it myself. Perhaps they were just being nice and trying to motivate me. However, they also had some great feedback in terms of Swapit’s business direction and how far we can take this. It appears, that many people are finally starting to understand the power of our technology, what our key advantage is over our competitors, and – most importantly – that it actually is an advantage over them.

Besides the fact, that my pitch performance wasn’t as good as it should have been, it was a great event and I was able to gather a lot of feedback about Swapit and our current stage.

I promised, I will be better next time. Soon there’s gonna be a new tale of startup pitching. Stay tuned!

Have you tried Swapit yet? It definitely does not suck! 🙂 Go to: http://get.swapit.la/now

Swapit will Pitch at RISE BREAKTHROUGH

swapit-blog_riseBREAKTHROUGH is the stage for HK startups to show the world what we are capable of, here in Hong Kong. Swapit made it through the BREAKTHROUGH semi-finals and will now pitch at the FINALS today! Watch us here:

  • Time: 10:00 am and 12:15 pm
  • Date: Today, Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
  • Location: BREAKTHROUGH stage at RISE

You can view a map of the venue here: RISE Venue Map

This time, I’ve only got 3 minutes to pitch, so I will be talking fast — lightning fast. Make sure you got your daily dose coffee to keep up! Better a double-dose, though.

Swapit will Pitch today 2-3pm at RISE PITCH

swapit-blog_riseFrom 200 startups, 60 were selected to pitch at the PITCH competition at RISE and Swapit is one of them. Watch us at:

  • Time: 2pm – 3pm
  • Date: Today, Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
  • Location: PITCH stage at RISE

You can view a map of the venue here: RISE Venue Map

Come by and watch our latest pitch. It’s been a bit refreshed and has a bit of new angle. I’ve only got 4 minutes to pitch, so I will be talking fast. Make sure you got your daily dose coffee to keep up!

Swapit to Pitch on Main BREAKTHROUGH Stage at RISE

Yesterday, we pitched at the BREAKTHROUGH Semi-Finals and we also launched our Swapit iOS app, by the way. From 10 absolutely great Hong Kong startup pitches, we were 1 of 4 selected ones who qualified for the finals at the big BREAKTHROUGH stage at RISE.

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On the last day of RISE, June 2nd, 2016, we will be pitching at the BREAKTHROUGH Stage. In total, 20 startups from Hong Kong were selected to pitch at BREAKTHROUGH to showcase Hong Kong’s homegrown startups. Check the schedule for June 2nd to find out the time: https://riseconf.com/schedule

Some more pictures from yesterday’s event at The Hive Studio in Kennedy Town. Beautiful place, by the way, with great staff there.

Did you try Swapit yet? You can go to http://get.swapit.la and hit download.

Swapit to Pitch at BREAKTHROUGH for RISE

swapit-blog_riseNext week the biggest startup conference in Asia RISE kicks off in Hong Kong. Amongst many other things that’s happening next week, there will also be a BREAKTHROUGH pitch competition for up and coming Hong Kong startups.

Swapit was selected to pitch at this week’s qualifier for BREAKTHROUGH, which will take place at:

The Hive Studios at 7:00pm on Friday May 27th, 2016.
8th Floor, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Sai Wan, Hong Kong

If you’d like to come and join, you can RSVP here.

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This is one of 5 locations across town where BREAKTHROUGH pitches will take place. Swapit will be the first one that night, so you better be on time! 🙂

If you’d like to check out the other teams, have a look at the official RISE blog post: https://riseconf.com/news/breakthrough-semi-finals

Swapit was selected for PITCH at RISE 2016

2015-07-31_rise-summit_600_croppedWe made the shortlist for PITCH at the upcoming RISE conference, which takes place May 31 – June 2, 2016. This is what the RISE folks said:

After a week of deliberating over 200 applications, our judges have chosen the shortlist of companies for PITCH, our startup pitching competition at RISE.

Source: Did you make the list? Announcing our PITCH Shortlist

We are happy and honored that we will be among those few startups who get a chance to pitch at Asia’s biggest startup conference. We’ve been at RISE last year and it was huge! Apparently, this year RISE will occupy at least twice the space for twice the number of attendees — that makes at least 10,000 startup folks all in Hong Kong!

Getting Ready to PITCH

Now it’s time for me to get my pitch straight. I will have a total of 7 minutes on stage: 4 minutes to pitch and 3 minutes Q&A. That’s a bit odd to me, because I usually have either 3 minute, 5 minute or 10 minute pitches. Those ones I can run through more or less smoothly now. However, this now is the best opportunity for me to revise my pitch or better said, bring it up to date.

In large parts, my pitch has been the same over the past year. Some members of the audiences I have pitched to, I have seen listening to me 5 times already. Presumably, it has gotten a bit boring for them to listen to me. While I won’t doing any major changes, I will definitely update some content and show some of the new angles we’re looking at, now. Some new traction numbers will be in the pitch as well as new accomplishments, milestones and projections.

Stay tuned and I hope you’ll be at RISE this year!

You still need tickets? Go to https://riseconf.com/tickets or get two tickets from us (20% off). We’ve got too many. (Tip: we’re giving away two US$50 discount codes for any new tickets.)

Did you try Swapit yet? Download it from: http://get.swapit.la