Sometimes, a dream can feel far out of reach. But, by seizing the moment, a dream can actually be close at hand.
This “just do it” maxim guided Sum Wong, EventXtra’s co-founder, to reach his start-up dream.
Sum was a computer science major in university. During his second year, he visited Beijing’s Tsinghua University as an exchange student. One day in class, Sum noticed that his classmates were working hard writing codes. Curious, he inquired and learned that they were developing a mobile app for an app design competition.
This piqued Sum’s interest in developing apps. It also prompted him to create an app to enter into the competition. Although he later found that the competition accepted only Mainland students, Sum’s “first taste” developed into a passion for making apps.
“At first, I just thought creating apps was fun. I did not imagine turning it into a career.”
After he finished the exchange, Sum entered into many competitions, and he won many awards. A few start-ups even invited him to help them develop apps and design webpages.
This experience of working for a start-up motivated Sum to think about starting his own business.
Sum “just did it”. He contacted his long-time friend, Angus, and they soon developed an app design platform called AppZolute. They took on projects to design webpages and to develop apps for clients, and they soon scored some success.
Intent to broaden his perspectives, Sum frequently joined different forums and conferences. As he participated in the events, he noticed that many of the event operations still required a large amount of manual processing.
An idea flashed. Sum thought that he could develop a software that would help event organisers to take care of everything through cloud computing and AI. Such a software would create a smoother workflow for large-scale events and would relieve the workload of event organisers.
Realising that the market needed this type of software and that his team had already accumulated enough experience to aim for greater goals, Sum decided to turn this project into a core business, and he ushered the company into a new chapter, which he called EventXtra.
Once he set up EventXtra, Sum discovered that apart from solving technical problems, they also needed to find clients and investors to develop the business. As soon as he learned that Cyberport provided free servers and all sorts of support to its start-ups, Sum applied to the Cyberport Incubation Programme and was accepted.
“In addition to providing different kinds of support, Cyberport used our software in many of their events. It was a great encouragement for us.”
Outside of work, Sum loves to watch documentaries to learn from other people’s stories and experiences. He was particularly impressed by a documentary named Crocodile In The Yangtze, which tells the story of Jack Ma, who turned from an English teacher into a globally celebrated entrepreneur and founder of Alibaba. Sum was spellbound and inspired by Ma’s success story.
“Jack Ma taught me that entrepreneurship is about making swift corrections amid continuous setbacks. Almost every entrepreneur has to go through this process. By learning from the experience of others, I can stand on the shoulders of giants and go further and wiser.”
It was this do-as-he-wants and charging-ahead-no-matter-what attitude that led Sum to realise his start-up dream and to succeed.