Swapit for Social Good at So In So Good Impact 2 World Award

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-5-42-27-pmTwo weeks ago, I really sucked at pitching. Last week, I was invited to the So In So Good Impact 2 World Award pitch event.

This event was a bit different from the usual pitch events I go to. For once, I was able to pitch Swapit not just from the commercial angle, but from the social angle.

Social Innovation for Social Good.

Our initial idea of Swapit evolved around the aim of making it easier for people in densely populated places to buy pre-loved items. By making it easier for people to purchase pre-loved items and for sellers to sell (or give away) their used stuff, we always also wanted to contribute to the society in a whole. The whole process of re-cycling, up-cycling, re-using and re-purposing of existing things, has always fascinated me. If Swapit can just make a tiny difference to how people consume products and they re-use existing ones, just one more time, then we already made a positive impact on the world. Yes, it will be a tiny one, but it is a start. If there then is another person and another one and another one, then we might start to make actually a real impact in the long run.

Let’s be honest, waste production is a problem – worldwide. Especially in Hong Kong, where space is scarce, landfills are full and citizens are against incinerators,  we need to reduce the amount of waste we product.

Hong Kong produces 15,000 tons of waste every day. That equals the weight of 6,500 Mercedes S Class Cars.

So yes, if Swapit can provide a platform where people can trade their used stuff with others nearby and it removes the need for them to throw those things away, Swapit has a positive impact on our environment. In part, that was also one argument for having green as Swapit’s leading color scheme.

THE PITCH

This time, my pitch was different. Generally, though, it was definitely better than the week before at Cyberport. Perhaps because there weren’t many investors in the audience? Or perhaps it went better, because the great wine sponsor of the event (check out Luibao Wine Subscription) convinced me to try one of their Italian reds right as the first thing that night without having had dinner.

The audience was great and while speaking, I even heard someone launching Swapit for the first time. We’ve got this beautiful “Swapit la!” voice that plays the first time you launch the app, and that’s exactly what happened during the Q&A session afterwards.

It was a good crowd, we could get some new users obviously and we’ve made it very clear that Swapit has a positive impact on the world. There were 10 other great teams and some of their projects where absolutely inspiring. Many had a purely social cause and an NGO / community / donation approach, which was a bit hard to compete to. From a social angle, there are a lot of problems that are being tackled and I am happy that So In So Good, which is actually supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is covering the social innovation field in Hong Kong.

Thanks a lot to our friends at EasyCare, we also have a photo of me speaking:

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Have you tried Swapit yet? It’s free. Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now

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When you suck, you suck.

On some days, you just have to admit that you sucked big time. I had that day about a week ago at the “Opening Ceremony of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 China – Hong Kong with Pitching Competition”.

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As a result of our training session earlier this month, most other startups also participated in the pitching event that was held on November 15th at Cyberport. It was a great event with a huge panel of judges (9 in total!) and a rather gracious pitch time of 5 full minutes. For the first time, I publicly pitched our re-worked / re-organized pitch deck to an audience. Though, many parts remain largely the same since all the previous pitches, I did; the overall structure is more clear now. At the same time, I present our global vision for Swapit and how it can impact billions of people across the globe. That was the idea.

Yet, my execution during the actual pitch was not satisfying. I was too nervous and it got in the way of forming clear thoughts. In the end, that resulted in me leaving out some crucial key points, which I definitely wanted to communicate. During the following 3 minute Q&A session, I forgot to present some of the key data, which I had prepared as separate backup slides (e.g. demographics, popular trading categories, etc).

I sucked at pitching and I admit it.

Overall, my immediate feeling was that, it was a waste of my time and the time of the judges. After the pitching was over, I reached out to I think 5 or 6 of the judges and asked for feedback on my performance and Swapit in general. To my surprise, most of them actually thought that my pitch wasn’t as bad as I experienced it myself. Perhaps they were just being nice and trying to motivate me. However, they also had some great feedback in terms of Swapit’s business direction and how far we can take this. It appears, that many people are finally starting to understand the power of our technology, what our key advantage is over our competitors, and – most importantly – that it actually is an advantage over them.

Besides the fact, that my pitch performance wasn’t as good as it should have been, it was a great event and I was able to gather a lot of feedback about Swapit and our current stage.

I promised, I will be better next time. Soon there’s gonna be a new tale of startup pitching. Stay tuned!

Have you tried Swapit yet? It definitely does not suck! 🙂 Go to: http://get.swapit.la/now

Swapit will Pitch at RISE BREAKTHROUGH

swapit-blog_riseBREAKTHROUGH is the stage for HK startups to show the world what we are capable of, here in Hong Kong. Swapit made it through the BREAKTHROUGH semi-finals and will now pitch at the FINALS today! Watch us here:

  • Time: 10:00 am and 12:15 pm
  • Date: Today, Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
  • Location: BREAKTHROUGH stage at RISE

You can view a map of the venue here: RISE Venue Map

This time, I’ve only got 3 minutes to pitch, so I will be talking fast — lightning fast. Make sure you got your daily dose coffee to keep up! Better a double-dose, though.

Swapit will Pitch today 2-3pm at RISE PITCH

swapit-blog_riseFrom 200 startups, 60 were selected to pitch at the PITCH competition at RISE and Swapit is one of them. Watch us at:

  • Time: 2pm – 3pm
  • Date: Today, Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
  • Location: PITCH stage at RISE

You can view a map of the venue here: RISE Venue Map

Come by and watch our latest pitch. It’s been a bit refreshed and has a bit of new angle. I’ve only got 4 minutes to pitch, so I will be talking fast. Make sure you got your daily dose coffee to keep up!