November 19, 2018 – April 12, 2019
UBS Office, Hong Kong
Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is a competition celebrating university students who have built valuable businesses. Through mentorship and other empowerment initiatives, the program emphasizes the importance of community in paving the way for the next generation.
The awards are organized in collaboration with Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a network connecting founders with peers, experts, and other resources to grow their startup. With 185 chapters in 58 countries, EO is the world’s largest organization of its kind. The Hong Kong chapter event was sponsored by UBS.
Winners are selected based on how well they epitomize EO’s five core values, namely their ability to take smart risks, proactively seek knowledge, plan for the future, build trust and respect, and showcase their unique identity.
The 2018 Hong Kong Regional Finals winner is Aaron So Chak Hei, who founded Marketemy–a company that develops digital marketing learning tools for higher education institutions on a subscription basis.
When tested, students using Marketemy’s course materials displayed higher retention rates. The company also provides training services for digital marketing roles, software development, and general marketing consultancy.
So’s objective is to transform marketing education into a more interactive experience through gamification.
“These types of practical skills are so hard to manipulate without real-world interactions. That’s why we provide students with hands-on learning that’s fun at the same time,” says So.
Marketemy is currently used by Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the team hopes to expand to more institutions throughout Hong Kong and Taiwan.
So will go on to compete in the GSEA Global Finals, which will take place in Macau from April 10 to 12, 2019.
First Runner Up: PlaySmart
“It’s key for us to draw on market data and make it into something useful from the service provider’s perspective.”
— Founder Hilda Tsang Kit Ying
PlaySmartis a one-stop shop for tech-savvy Hong Kongers to search, book, and, pay for entertainment venues. Its key differentiator is giving small-to-medium-sized service providers access to big-data solutions. Vendors are able to make better operational, financial, and marketing decisions from the data, and track transactions, revenue, and profit–all on the platform.
Second Runner Up: Reubird
“In the long term, we aspire to make all entertainment experiences available online, where users can browse and book on-the-go. ” — Founder Brian Chui Wai Ho
With the goal of becoming the marketplace for party venues and catering, Reubird offers a curated selection of entertainment activities from vendors throughout Hong Kong, which are easily bookable through the platform. Activities range from virtual reality experiences to escape rooms and yoga, and the platform boasts more than 170 party rooms available for booking.
Third Runner Up: 80/20 Media
“Offline advertising will never die because advertisers need both offline and online media to achieve the best marketing performance.” — Founder Leo Ho Tsz Ho
80/20 Media is an online-to-offline advertising platform connecting marketers to shops and restaurants in Hong Kong. The startup allows customers to reach a broader demographic through offline marketing by cultivating a local perspective and leveraging the exposure and higher precision offline advertising offers. 80/20 also provides advertising advisory and PR services.
MC and freelance writer Ema Farjana.