Uptown Co-workshop and HKUSTEC held the “E-commerce Challenge Startup Tour 2019” to foster student entrepreneurial spirit

Best regards, Entrepreneurship Center HKUST-Sino One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition 2019 Email : competition@ust.hk Website : https://onemilliondollar.ust.hk/

Uptown Co-workshop and HKUST Entrepreneurship Center co-organized the E-commerce Challenge Startup Tour 2019 (“Challenge”) to provide opportunity for student to learn and submerge themselves in the realm of E-commerce. The program has two parts, a trip to Seoul on 14-18 January 2019 and followed by a 3-month hands-on execution period.

A total of 24 students joined the Challenge and they are divided into 8 teams competing. Teams were arranged to meet with 15 local startups in Seoul and select one product to sell. They were required to set up and manage their online stores for 3 months, whichever team gets the highest profits wins the Challenge.

Before the Seoul trip, a tea party was arranged for the students to learn some brief ideas and knowledge of e-commerce from different experts, as well as to get to know each other and prepare for the Challenge together.

The students gained some tips on setting up an online shop from Mr. Eric Ng, Founder of Boutir. He demonstrated how to promote and market a product, data analyzing and shared some successful cases. Ms. Emily Chu, Business Development Manager of Buildonauts, gave advice to students on the strategies on promoting a product on different social media. Prof. Edward Chan, Principal Lecturer at the Legal Clinic in HKU, provided legal advice when running a business.

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Ms. Emily Chu (Top left), Mr. Eric Ng (Middle), Prof. Edward Chan (Top right) giving speech to students


Students getting to know each other in the tea party


During the trip in Seoul, the teams met with the local startups and began their hands-on experience in doing an e-commerce business. They chose their partnering startup companies and products and came up with business plans for the next 3 months. The products included air purifier, aroma relaxing color patch, eco-friendly detergent, nutrition supplement, baby care appliances and DIY paper toy.

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Teams meeting with local startups in Soeul


Products chosen by the teams

Moreover, the students also visited many places including Interpark – HQ of one of Korea's top online shopping platforms, EightM HQ – a local digital marketing company, SBS CNBC – a 24-hour business news channel/ broadcast center, Korean University, Daone- an incubator and co-working space in Seoul.

When talking about the trip, the students were excited,  “That was a wonderful tour! I have learnt a lot about the Korean startups and marketing skills through different visiting and sharing given by experienced businessmen. Most of the sites we visited are restricted to public, this tour has provided a great opportunity for us to see and learn what happened behind the scene, something you don’t get to see in your daily life,” said Cindy Hung a year 1 Science School Student at HKUST.

“It is going to be packed and tensed. Since coming back from Korea, me and my team have already started working on the preparation, trying to push the product out to the market. I cannot wait and see how far we can go. I think the product we picked has a good potential to shine in Hong Kong. We have chosen the made-in-Korea natural soap and detergent as natural cleansing products has become very popular in Hong Kong. We can see quite some competitors, yet we believe the market is mature enough for us to go in. We are also very happy with the profit margin of these products. I think we will have a pretty good shot with it!” said Aaron So from MPhil Program in Technology Leadership and Entrepreneurship at HKUST.

They are now putting their learning into practice by promoting their chosen products through social media and online channels to make some sales. Below are the links of their online media:




Nutrition balance snacks



Pain relief patches

Dream Team


Pain relief patches



UV sanitizer for baby’s bottle



Eco friendly cleansing product



Air purifier

Golden Triangle


Air purifier




Founded in 2016 by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs, Uptown Co-workshop first started as a co-working space in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong aimed at providing an interactive and collaborative space where start-ups and creative minds get together. Its concept came from the founders’ desire to create a home for start-ups to learn and work together in building their businesses.


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