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“It was always a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant. But it turned out there are much more interesting things than just being a professional,” says Timothy, Co-founder of Spread-it. This realization came to him at HKUST, and it put him on a path to becoming an entrepreneur, taking advantage of the opportunity to work at various startups as an intern.
Named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in 2020, Timothy founded his inaugural business while still studying at HKUST. It resolved around postcards and providing opportunities for people to use them to connect. He and his partner soon evolved the business model into what Spread-it has become today, Hong Kong’s largest micro-influencer platform. Upon graduation, however, he went and worked at a consultancy firm, learning how a corporate really works before kicking off the platform.
Taking the opportunity which came when Instagram began to flourish, Timothy, who strongly believed that anyone could have their own influencing power, decided to focus on smaller influencers, with a following of 500 to 10,000, instead of KOLs. Spread-it recruits micro-influencers and then matches them with brands, including McDonald’s, Clinique and H&M, to promote campaigns and products. The company has been expanding fast with offices now in HK, Thailand, Singapore and Dubai.
Being able to adapt in a rapidly changing environment is something that has been particularly important with the slash of marketing budgets as a result of the coronavirus-induced economic downturn. Timothy identified e-commerce as an alternative market so that in addition to using influencers to collaborate with brands and engage their audiences with these brands, he uses influencers to sell goods directly.
“Run before you learn to walk. You can stop after you have run for a while. You can grow a lot quicker. We didn’t stop to think a lot of things through thoroughly. It’s how we start anything, including expanding overseas,” says Timothy, who sees a lot of talented people who never even try to start their own business of project because there are so many things that they think about before starting out and they hesitate. “If you stop and think, you will never do things. Don’t think too much. Just go. Just keep running.”
More about Timothy in Alumni Magazine 2020 Summer Issue