Since earlier this year, FundFluent has been one of the early stage startups selected to be part of the “Igniting Startups & FinTechs Program" offered by Google and Cyberport. Our Founder & CEO, Jenny Au, was invited as one of the panelists representing local high growth FinTechs at Google's press briefing for the launch of the Smarter Digital City Report- Advancing Hong Kong’s FinTech Ecosystem event on August 23, 2022.
The fireside chat was conducted along with the CEO & Co-Founder from Binery, Haywood Shum and CEO & Managing Partner from Quinlan & Associates Benjamin Quinlan, whilst Google Hong Kong’s General Manager Michael Yue was the moderator.
So, we’ve chosen a pretty difficult problem to focus on. Bringing together different sources of data, cleaning it, structuring it, making sense of it AND marrying it to actionable insights this is an incredibly complex challenge.
I think just like many small businesses out there, ourselves included, everyday we face tough decisions about which problem to solve first, what’s the biggest opportunity to capture given our lack of resources, time and funding to pursue everything that we would like to.
Even for someone like us, accessing funding is not always easy. Having a clear, single view of what your business looks like, where are the points of leverage, and how to never leave any money on the table is a challenge that we personally face. Now, the exciting thing is that we are developing the technology to solve this exact challenge, by solving it for small businesses, we are solving it for ourselves as well.
The most valuable support we get from people like Google and Cyberport is being able to access and work with partners in the ecosystem who are genuinely wanting to help fintechs and startups thrive in this region. Through the program, we’ve gained access to technological expertise, investor networks, training - which is particularly important in today’s fast-moving digital space, right through to having a direct line of communication with our Google Customer Engineer.
By collaborating with our Google Customer Engineer, they got to understand the underlying data unification problem that we are trying to solve and what our product vision was. They then helped us identify the cloud solutions and products that would make our product scalable by design. This is really important as we look to grow beyond Hong Kong. Whether it is funding, credits, relationships or expertise, as a bootstrapped startup, we’ve benefited a lot from a public private partnership like Google and Cyberport and I’m super excited to be part of this evolving program and to help it become even and more supportive to the fintechs and startups to come.
In my past life, I’ve had the opportunity to build startups in many different places around the world, Australia, US, China, South East Asia. And the things that I’ve felt are common in thriving startup communities is collectively there is a supportive attitude, an open mindset and collaborative spirit.
It’s not always about how big companies and government bodies should contribute to the topic, but as a startup founder, developer, engineer or people within the startup community, how can we bring the right mindset into it and be the best citizens that we can to facilitate a vibrant ecosystem.
On that, I think the key is to have strong and genuine relationships built in both formal and informal settings. I think, if we do that, we have a great chance of building a thriving startup scene in Hong Kong.