“Collectible Card Games (CCG) taught me about running a business and about resilience, because the ability to optimise resources and to strategize during shifting conditions is exactly what entrepreneurship demands.”
Since he was a child, Joseph Ku, the founder of Ember Entertainment Limited, a game development start-up, has been fascinated by the constantly evolving conditions in Collectible Card Games (CCG) and the strategies and tactics involved in gameplay.
Joseph’s entrepreneurial dream began in 2015, when he was a university student in Los Angeles. One day near his campus, he chanced upon an e-sports arena that was operated by renowned game developer Riot Games. He experienced the excitement of e-sports first-hand and found that the strategies involved in e-sports are like those in card games. That gave him the idea to marry the two.
“If we combine e-sports and card games, we can connect card game lovers around the world to enjoy the thrill of a contest anytime, anywhere.”
Bearing this dream, Joseph returned to Hong Kong in 2017 and founded Ember Entertainment. He wanted to develop Hong Kong’s first locally produced online trading card game that excels in both gameplay and in attracting and entertaining viewers.
Joseph has evolved from a university student and an office newcomer into an entrepreneur within a few short years. But he considers it all to be the result of serendipity; the right people at the right time and in the right place catapulted him onto this entrepreneurial journey.
“I don’t think personality is what determines whether someone will work better for others or for themselves. Rather, the key is whether one comes across the right opportunities and capture them.”
As e-sports continue to attract more attention, the Hong Kong government announced its budgetary support for Cyberport in 2018 to promote e-sports. Having run his own business for some time, Joseph was looking to expand his team and to apply for the Cyberport Incubation Programme. The opening of Smart-Space 8 (SS8) in Tsuen Wan, Cyberport’s first co-working space outside of the Cyberport campus, gave Joseph an opportunity. It took him only a day to make the decision to move into SS8 and to become one of its first users.
Under the creative environment and strong entrepreneurial atmosphere of SS8, Joseph has continued to pursue his dreams. He joined many events that Cyberport organised to meet start-ups in other industries and to learn about business and technology during weekly gatherings and seminars to help his start-up grow.
On the entrepreneurship journey, there will sometimes be doubts and sneers. Many choose to give up at the sight of failure. But Joseph firmly believes that, when one is committed to one’s beliefs, goals, and dreams, success will not be far away.