GoBuddy chosen into AppWorks Accelerator Program Batch 21

How Southeast Asia founders can take advantage of Taiwan right after the  pandemic - TechNode Global


In exciting news, GoBuddy has been accepted into the AppWorks Accelerator Programme! This is GoBuddy’s second time applying for the programme. In its first application last year, GoBuddy made it through to the interview round before being cut. This time, however, GoBuddy’s founders were able to showcase their progress over the past year and impress the AppWorks team with their dedication and attention to customer concerns, their business model and operation, and team competency.

AppWorks was created by prior startup founders who wanted to support other founders, and it has three different programmes to do so. The free Accelerator Programme was built to help seed-stage startups speed up their growth, and it strives to grow connections within its network of 376 active startups and 1,113 start founders. This network, in fact, the largest community of its kind in Asia. 

Every 6 months, the most talented startups from the previous application round are invited to join the program. Now that GoBuddy will be entering the program, its founders will have access to the AppWorks team, more than 60 mentors, and an alumni community all to help provide and support their product and business model. AppWorks prides itself on its culture of “paying it forward” and of encouraging founders to help each other.

Other exciting features they hope to take advantage of include Demo Day (where GoBuddy’s founders will have the chance to sell themselves and their startup to 1,200 investors and potential business), Mentor Day (where they will have the opportunity to connect with mentors), office hours, speaker series, alumni meet and greets, recruiting events. Specialist workshops will also help them learn fundamental skills like sourig talen, fundraising, and strengthening supplier and channel partner relationships. GoBuddy will also have access to up to $30,000 USD worth of free SaaS and cloud services and free use of AppWorks Accelerator coworking, meeting, and conference spaces.

“AppWorks has a great mission of turbocharging Greater Southeast Asia’s top startups. We are glad to be part of this community of most talented AI/IoT, blockchain and Southeast Asian startup founders across the region. We are looking forward to connecting, learning and partnering with each other in making a great impact on the region together. It wouldn’t be possible by working alone!” 

Kow, CEO & Co-Founder of GoBuddy

“Joining AppWorks Accelerator is not only an end of journey for us, but it is the beginning of our journey in achieving technology and technical breakthrough, by accelerating our growth in building up our AI technology to support our customers’ business in the region. ” 

CY Kwong, Engineering Lead & Co-Founder of GoBuddy

GoBuddy founders are excited to see what further process they will achieve with AppWork’s help over the next six months, and to, in turn, later provide assistance to others as alumni of the Accelerator programme.

About GoBuddy 

Founded in 2019, GoBuddy is a software company offering cloud solutions that enable anyone to start an online business and community with their own webstore and booking site at a minimal cost, starting from a free forever basic plan. We streamline operations and optimize the data in retail, events, ticketing, webinars and community building by putting them in one software. 

Our solution largely reduces setup, subscription and maintenance costs. Our innovation enables all these data no longer fragmented and segregated, but reunified to foster more business collaborations and build a positive business social harmony. 

GoBuddy chosen to be part of MaGIC GAP in Malaysia

8.13.20

MaGIC extends application deadline for Global Accelerator Programme (GAP)


It is with great honor and excitement that we share the news that not only has GoBuddy been accepted into the MaGIC Global Accelerator Programme (Cohort 4), but that it has been announced as one of the Top 40 startups entering the program! The MaGIC Accelerator programme has received a total of 3079 applicants but accepted and aided only 112, so earning a place in the programme is a proud accomplishment.

The Accelerator Program is aimed at accelerating startups across the globe (that are interested in expanding business in the ASEAN region) to be investment ready in just three months, and at building a strong ASEAN startup community by cultivating relationships among companies. Benefits of participation include a stipend, potential funding,a pre-recorded curriculum, expert mentoring, and connection with route-to-market partners for collaboration and increased market access.

In order to be accepted into the programme, GoBuddy had to demonstrate high scalability with a growth potential business model and showcase an already-launched product with traction. As GoBuddy makes its way through the programme, we will eagerly watch to see how it makes the most of this opportunity and chance to grow even more!

“Getting into the ASEAN market has always been our primary target. We have an ambitious mission in helping this region, particularly the individuals and SMBs for digital transformation not by offering them with a marketing platform, but with digital infrastructure that can equip themselves with self-sustainable business success. 

Getting into MaGIC GAP is definitely an important milestone for us to tap into this market. We are looking forward to partnering with local startups and organizations to foster digital transformation of SMBs in the region ” 

KOW, CEO & Co-Founder of GoBuddy

About GoBuddy 

Founded in 2019, GoBuddy is a software company offering cloud solutions that enable anyone to start an online business and community with their own webstore and booking site at a minimal cost, starting from a free forever basic plan. We streamline operations and optimize the data in retail, events, ticketing, webinars and community building by putting them in one software. 

Our solution largely reduces setup, subscription and maintenance costs. Our innovation enables all these data no longer fragmented and segregated, but reunified to foster more business collaborations and build a positive business social harmony. 

GoBuddy is Selected into Cyberport Incubation Programme (Intake Oct 2019)


GoBuddy is excited and proud to announce that having graduated early from the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (a program that provides $100,000 HKD for high-potential startup projects and business ideas), it has been accepted into the 2019 Cyberport Incubation Programme! The Cyberport Incubation Programme is designed to support entrepreneurs and digital-tech startups like GoBuddy with resources aimed at helping accelerate their growth.

Out of a large pool of applicants, GoBuddy was selected to join the program based on its merits in market viability, management team quality and competence, business scalability, prototype/product functionality and usefulness, and innovation.

Companies participating in the program can receive up to $500,000 HKD (equivalent to about $64,512.50 USD) to aid their development. We will initially be supplied with a working grant of $100,000 HKD, then up to a total of $200,000 HKD over a series of three progress reviews conducted every six months. We may earn the last $200,000 HKD after a two-tiered performance driven assessment assessing business performance, accumulated investment, industry recognition, expansion, talent development, and Cyberport engagement. In addition, the program also offers us the opportunity to meet with investors and fellow startup entrepreneurs, as well as other networking opportunities.

We look forward to seeing how we will grow with this wonderful opportunity and learning what the future holds in store for us!

4 Business Insights from Coronavirus Crisis

Coronavirus becomes a nightmare for everyone in 2020. Not only it causes over 3,000 death but sends a shiver to the global economic market. The growth of GDP among different countries seems to indicate that the financial market comes to the next recession cycle.

The projection of an economic decline in 2020 and lost demands from consumers make the hardest time for every business owner, especially startup & SME.  Most of the industries has been struggling to survive during this downtime.

But the pain will only stay temporarily, our future will be brighter. And as entrepreneurs, let’s focus on the insights we can learn from this crisis instead of being pessimistic about the future.

We will share FOUR insights that we can both reflect on and apply to our business.

1. Online Interaction is accelerating.

While in-person interaction is suggested to be minimized in order to prevent cross-infection. Online interaction becomes the norm and replaces most of live communication.
online class(Education), online meetings even online conferences are no longer rare terms.
People are adopting online communication earlier than we expected. Coronavirus crisis has accelerated the adoption of online interaction from early adapter to majority.

One of the e-communication tech giants, Zoom, has increased over 2 million active users in 2020 so far which already exceeds the number for 2019, 1.99 million. Even though we believe human to human interaction is invaluable and could not be replaced by virtual one, online communication could be an effective way to deliver your message and emotionally connected with people.

Key takeaway:
1. If your business is based on offline interaction, such as workshops & classes, consider adapting digitalise your workshops. It is not only considered to survive from coronavirus, but it could also be a long-term business model that caters to new segments of customers.

2. Allow online meetings if possible. Some meetings are necessary for in-person interaction and discussion while other regular meetings can be held online to save time and boost efficiency.

2. Stay Focus & Stay Flexible

Coronavirus crisis has disrupted our original plan and forced us to create & execute our plan B.
For example, allowing employees to work remotely, re-designed marketing strategy, cost management e.t.c.

We need to respond quickly are properly in order to minimize the risks and prepared for the rebound in the future. This can be difficult for companies that already establish a mature system, this is all about company culture though.

It is no doubt that stays focus on one or a few business values is the key to stands out from the crowd. It is equally important to embrace the flexible company structure. It does not mean to have any structure at all, but instead, clarify the main focus and structure but allowing employees to reach their targets with a certain level of flexibility.  A lot of works does not require “office” to complete.

Key Takeaways:
1. Nurture companies’ culture and adapt purpose.
2. Always have Back-up plan for no matter nature disaster or human changed.

3. Design Your Customer Relations Strategy

Developing loyal customers is as important (even more) as generating new customers. If your business is all about the live experience and online transformation is not easy or applicable to you, does it mean you can do nothing?

If the answer would be a resounding Yes, then you missed a great opportunity to convert your customer into loyal customers or someone who promotes your business (word of mouth).

Re-design how you communicate with your existing customers. For example, omnichannel is a great way to nurture and engage. The key is to let customers feel that you care about them & not just convince them to buy your product or service. You should design more about using which channel to deliver what message. Sales are not about convinced others that your services are the best, but your service is specifically designed for your customers – emotional connections.

Key Takeaway
1.  Don’t just send sales messages to your customers, send something that caters their emotional needs.
2. Try to segment your customers into different groups (base on their purchase types /frequency) and design different strategies to re-engage them.

4.  Human & Health should be your First Priority

Finally, the biggest lesson learned from this crisis is to take care of you and your teams’ health.
It is not just simply about providing masks or hand sanitiser to your employees, it is about how to let them stay healthy both mentally and physically so that they can stand at the top of their performance.

Human resources, especially your employees, are the most important asset to your business.
So take good care of them means takes good care of your business.

Other than health-related benefits, you can consider offering fitness/yoga classes to your employees. Be sensitive to their emotional / physical shift and provide support as much as possible.

Key Takeaway
1.
Make sure your employees stay close & healthy.

Reference
1. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/26/zoom-has-added-more-users-so-far-this-year-than-in-2019-bernstein.html

Stay calm and carry on. Managing risk in abnormal times

We are living in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Hong Kong in particular more so since summer 2019 than ever before. From a global trade war through to social unrest, along with a recession and now the Coronavirus, Hong Kong businesses are now adapting faster than ever before to a series of fast changing events that affect our businesses.  What should Hong Kong SMEs be doing today to protect our businesses and ensure our long-term survival?

There are a few simple measures for SMEs to future-proof our businesses in these abnormal times, ensuring  our businesses continue to be of value into the distant future and not becoming obsolete.

These days, trying to win new contracts and secure new revenues may not be so easy. Retaining customers and minimising any lost sales is very important. With current events, now is a good time to review our costs and identify costs which are no longer required, or which can be temporarily suspended, without decreasing good customer service. These can include and of course not limited to:

  • Negotiate with landlords and see if we can secure a temporary rent reduction
  • Review subscription fees and identify and software licences we are paying for, but not using
  • Reducing international travel costs and making the most of technology for meetings and calls
  • Reviewing contracts and agreements with suppliers to see if we can negotiate fees and change of scope for services
  • Review marketing costs. Do we need to spend as much as we have been
  • Review insurances in relation to the business. We all need insurance, however, now is a good time if we can find or negotiate better rates
Review insurances in relation to the business. We all need insurance, however, now is a good time if we can find or negotiate better rates
Negotiate with landlords and see if we can secure a temporary rent reduction
Review subscription fees and identify and software licences we are paying for, but not using
Reviewing contracts and agreements with suppliers to see if we can negotiate fees and change of scope for services
Reducing international travel costs and making the most of technology for meetings and calls
Review marketing costs. Do we need to spend as much as we have been
Review insurances in relation to the business. We all need insurance, however, now is a good time if we can find or negotiate better rates
Negotiate with landlords and see if we can secure a temporary rent reduction

Negotiate with landlords and see if we can secure a temporary rent reduction

We should consider setting a budget and forecast for the financial year ahead. It may be difficult to predict our revenues. We can, however identify all our costs and ascertain what revenue we need to achieve to break-even and what incremental revenue is needed to achieved a desired profit margin.

Flexible Management Accounting

Having the flexibility in place is important. Fresh Accounting is a dynamic management accounting practice and consultancy with offices in Hong Kong & Singapore. Fresh believes accountants should do more than just report on how your business is doing in which they identify opportunities and strategies to improve your business and support you in improving performance and profitability. Fresh provides three distinct services:

  • Monthly accounting services
  • CFO & Advisory
  • Implementation of cloud based accounting solutions

CFO

Employing a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can prove expensive for a small or medium sized business and you may not have the requirement for a full time professional, especially in these difficult times. 

Having said that, you still need an experienced set of eyes to help you grow your business or even maintain business through the current economic climate. A flexible arrangement with clients where we work closely with you to become a valuable resource.

A CFO will work with you to understand your business and put systems in place to provide a framework that will deliver meaningful information, allowing you to maximise business performance through informed decisions.

You need an experienced set of eyes to help you grow your business or even maintain business through the current economic climate

Digital transformation and cloud based accounting solutions powered by Xero

Xero allows you to automate many of the essential, but time-consuming, accounting tasks. With Xero’s help, Fresh can take care of everything for you, so you can get on with what you’re good at. Fresh is to support business growth with Xero at the helm.

Fresh Accounting is one of Asia’s fastest growing Xero specialist and a Platinum Partners. Xero is cloud based, which means you can access your accounts anywhere, from your office to the comfort of your sofa at home at any-time of the day. There is no need to back up information or rely on one computer to access your accounting software. The interface is slick, easy to navigate and use. Bank feeds with HSBC, DBS and Hang Seng allow bank information to flow into Xero seamlessly.

Xero is cloud based, which means you can access your accounts anywhere, from your office to the comfort of your sofa at home at any-time of the day

There are numerous add-ons to Xero, from expense management, inventory management to project management allowing you to build and customise your own integrated cloud based software solutions.

This blog is written by Fresh Accounting team and also posted on Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs.

For more information, please click on on www.freshaccounting.biz or email hello@freshaccounting.biz