FWEP00039 Karena Belin It is better to lift up people than look at them. We rise by lifting other people that’s what WHub do for start-ups. They provide resources for those who need and want it. Ms. Karena explained further what WHub does.
) I’m Karena Belin. I’m the co-founder of WHub. We are a community that has the passion to help start-ups grow and scale their business and therefore, you need resources so that’s what we do. We connected to the resources you need to grow and scale your business. (01:25
) Well actually, it’s the typical story. There is a problem that you started feeling really passionate about. We, my co-founder and me, had friends that were entrepreneurs and they were always desperately looking for talent. Now, if you look back at the year 2013, the Hongkong start-up system and ecosystem was relatively small and self centered and it was really lacking for somebody to open it up, drive feasibility and help them recruit so that’s why we came in. (02:08
) We cover over 1500 start-ups and more likely, more than half of the ecosystem here in Hongkong. The total community is over 10,000 because it includes passionate talent, it includes the investors, acceleration and co-working, programs and spaces and hopefully grow more and more and also get people from outside Hongkong interested. (02:38
) Yeah, exactly! The Hongkong government just recently did a study and set their 1926 start-ups here in Hongkong and there are probably more than 2000 even. But yeah, I think we can confidently say that we cover more than half of the ecosystem probably around two-thirds. Outstanding people has an absolute mission. WHub has a mission and passion to help start-ups on becoming a successful entrepreneur. This is what Ms. Karena elaborated.
) Well, I don’t know what makes us amazing. Our mission and passion is our tagline Start up Passion and the W comes actually from Why, the W of WHub. We are big fans of Simon Sinek which is gold and circle in his talk about Starting with Why. We believe that the most important asset an entrepreneur has is passion, his mission and his team. (03:51
) I’m originally from Germany. My better half is probably definitely French because my husband and my co-founder are both French and I studied in Germany and in France then traveled to Asia already over 10 years ago. Because I lived 7 years in Japan and 6 years in Hongkong now. I totally fell in love with Asia. (04:22
) In a day to day context, I do speak English, German and French. I do understand a little bit of Italian and I do have to admit I really tried to learn Japanese and Chinese and probably get some survival sentences out there but I think in my second life, I would really love to learn more Asian languages. Be the kind of woman that you wanted to be. Define your goal, do the action and make it happen. Everyone is powerful and can make a change whether you’re a man or woman. Ms. Karena shared her insights as a female entrepreneur.
) One of my challenges is what to answer in your question about, what is difficult in being a female entrepreneur. I don’t really feel or regard myself as a female entrepreneur. I just happened to have a lot of passion and energy in trying to make change happen. I am a woman at the same time so that makes me qualified to be a female entrepreneur. (05:45
) I would love too! I mean, we say that we believe in the power of meaningful connection and I think that’s totally true of connecting different ecosystems with each other because they are obviously complementary from the opportunities, from the promise that are people solving, and from the resources. (06:33
) Well the advice again is probably gender neutral. First of all, just go out and try. Follow your passion. Don’t let you get held back by your own paradigms and fears. Second thing is something I would love to quote from my co-founder, Karen, who once came up and said , we should listen to everyone but make up our own mind Women are also determined to rise. WHub aims to be known worldwide and it is possible having women behind that. Ms. Karena shared their vision for WHub.
) Ideally, I would love to see WHub making an impact to start-ups around the world. It’s really gonna help start-ups to make meaningful connections to the right people, at the right time, to the right resources. We have recently seen that there are more and more corporates that are interested, genuinely finding ways to collaborate and push agendas forward. (08:29
) We recently expanded our connections to make sure that our start-ups can connect and meet with investors because obviously talent is one resource you need. You first have to have, a somehow complete team in placed to the built and execute on the prototype. Start fundraising but money is the other big part that you need in compounded time. (09:03
) One of the things is obviously and that’s coming back to what we do is we showcase the ecosystem creating that visibility and know how to educate about the opportunities that are here so that actually, they come to you rather than having you reach out to them. (09:16
) And then the other thing is continuously driving these opportunities also in offline events and in strategic partnerships. (09:56
) So the visibility to WHub , I would say, is to know about the ecosystem. It’s the fundamental pillar of the business model in solving the problem. So again when we started in 2013, I think one of the things that ecosystem was lacking somebody driving the visibility. (10:34
) One part of it gonna depend where you are based and your context. But Hongkong is relatively small so you can definitely leverage offline tools. You don’t have to hack only online. At the end of the day, I still believe we are all humans and with human touch and connection is important. Key Takeaways:
- Do everything with passion.
- Be the change. Start the change within you.
- Human connection is the key for career and personal success.
- Make your ideas happen.
- Do not wait for opportunities, create it.
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