The Founder Institute has officially launched a chapter in Hong Kong, bringing with it expert startup mentors like Simon Newstead of Frenzoo, Yat Siu of Outblaze, and Joanne Ooi of Plukka.
Leading the Founder Institute’s expansion in Hong Kong is Cedric Delzenne, an illustrious digital entrepreneur who first rose to prominence as the founder and owner of Shop Des Createurs, a curated e-boutique that promotes independent designers and shops. Having abdicated his role as CEO of Shop Des Createurs in October of 2013, Cedric plans to use his own experiences to guide incipient entrepreneurs enrolled in the Founder Institute.
Iris Leung details Cedric’s prior startup experience and advice for future founders in a StartupsHK article titled Startup Veteran Cedric Delzenne Helps Launch Hong Kong Chapter of ‘The Founder Institute’.
Cedric recalls founding Shop Des Createurs, his first startup:
It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot of lessons during it: how to structure your business, how time is definitely not on your side and how much effort it is to get funding – even for a relatively small amount.
The online fashion space is super competitive. Even though we had limited competition in the beginning, you really need to stand out with either a great value proposition or a lot of cash.”
Despite founding Shop Des Createurs by himself, Cedric encourages neophyte entrepreneurs to recruit co-founders to allocate the manifold tasks associated with launching a startup. Also, he claims, solid founding teams are more enticing to investors than solo entrepreneurs.
I went it alone for six months, and it wasn’t easy because entrepreneurship is a difficult journey. You need to be ready to sacrifice on the financial side for quite some time. The hardest part is to find people that are ready to embark on the same journey as you.”
Cedric also strongly recommends founders to acquire technical expertise when developing a web platform.
I started on my own and relied on agencies and freelancers – and ended up wasting a lot of time just to get what I wanted delivered on time. As a founder, you have so many things to deal with and it all requires different skill sets – you need to have the best of the best around you.”