Why I launched my start-up in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 October, 2015, 12:23am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 October, 2015, 12:27am

My co-founder, Anita Chan, recently wrote a great piece on rational reasons of why we are choosing to work on Sam the Local in Hong Kong instead of San Francisco, but I want to share a more emotional and human element of this.

When I tell people that I moved from California to Hong Kong, I generally receive a puzzled look and the question, “Why?”

The one and only answer? Because I love it here.

During my first visit to Hong Kong in 2009, I fell in love with this amazing city and knew that I would move here one day. So what is there to love about Hong Kong?

It is a very deep and dynamic city that has a lot to offer. I love that I can be having afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental in city center and then be hiking on a mountain 30 minutes later. I love that food ranges from HK$20 (US$2.66) to not having an upper limit. I love that the people and their interests cover pretty much anything under the sun.

My love for Hong Kong is a big reason of why I wanted to create this platform in the first place. I want to give Hong Kong the chance to flex its muscles and charm its way into other people’s hearts, like it has done to me. I want us to be the opportunity and encouragement for people to go out and see all that Hong Kong has to offer. I love Hong Kong, and I want others to love it too.

It has something for everyone, and that is exactly what I want to Sam the Local to show people.

Additionally, Hong Kong has introduced me to amazing people, endless personal growth, and has given me the opportunity to expand my horizons beyond imagination. Hong Kong is an everyday reminder that I can achieve my goals and live a dream life. I want to give back to a city that has given me so much.

Be it economically, socially, or culturally, I want to do my part in keeping Hong Kong as one of the world’s most vibrant cities. I don’t see my startup just as a way for me to make money; I see it as a way I can give back to a city that has changed my life for the better and make a significant, positive impact on it.

People always told me to do what I’m passionate about, and now I get to do that every day by building Sam the Local in Hong Kong.

(Maggie Lau is the co-founder of Sam the Local. She quitted her job as Marketing Manager at a media company to work full-time on her startup in January 2015. Sam the Local is one of the ten advancing teams of the EYE Program launched by Google and CUHK Center for Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong.)