We’re back with another startup Q&A bonus content! This week, we’re asking Weavit CEO Emmanuel Lefort about his experiences as an international founder (Weavit and its team are entirely based in Hong Kong).
What are some unique challenges you’ve faced as a startup operating internationally with international markets?
As with any startup, we had to start focusing on a specific audience. In our case, because we are using NLP and English is the first language that we are making available, that was already reducing our target audience to people that naturally capture thoughts in English.
But interestingly, after the TechCrunch article, we had a lot of Japanese users starting to use the app, so we had to quickly adapt Weavit to cope with Japanese characters and language.
The magic of creating an app and being fully digital is that you can reach anyone anywhere. But in practice, you still want to target a specific community that will talk about your product and provide valuable feedback. That’s the real challenge beyond the physical borders.
What are the benefits of running a company outside the U.S., and in Hong Kong specifically?
Hong Kong is not yet a major place for digital startups, and we clearly miss the vibrant tech community of Silicon Valley. But there are some specific advantages too, such as an extremely simple and supportive business framework, a solid local entrepreneurs community and the access to the global Asian and Australian market.
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