It has been one year and a half since we last met, yet she's still able to recognise me right when I walked into Cocoon, one and probably the most well-known co-working space in Hong Kong.
Yana walked into the same door three years ago and built her marketing consulting firm (9AM Consulting) from here. But her entrepreneurial adventure didn't stop there. Being immersed in the local start-up scene, she decided to launch a print magazine which was dedicated to local start-ups and SMEs, and she named it <Jumpstart>.
The project came alive last March, and my first impression of Jumpstart was actually... delicious, since it was the magazine-look cake presented at its launch party.
Great cake and cupcakes ;)
That party, just like other start-up related parties held by expats in town, gathered business travellers, local entrepreneurs and other enthusiasts. But one interesting fact that distinguishing it from other web nights was, it's not only about Internet. You could hear some guys chatting on their P2P lending startups(or other buzzwords) , while some other people talking about running a bagel business in Hong Kong.
The magazine itself mirrored that party, it's built for all kinds of small business owners and the copies could be found in cafes, co-working spaces and even company campuses.
People who don't have the luck to get a print one could also read the articles online fromits website, where the necessary resources for entrepreneurs (e.g. renting, hiring, business services) along with upcoming events are also listed .
So, since it has been more than one year and the magazine has reached its 7th issue, I did a quick interview with Yana and here are her answers:
1. How would you describe yourself to someone who didn't know you?
New Yorker, Expat, entrepreneur, editor of Jumpstart Magazine, founder of 9AMConsulting.com, insomniac. I thrive on ideas and have been known to launch new projects overnight.
2. I guess that's a frequently asked question: why did you create a print magazine while digitalisation has been the trend (especially for start-ups)?
“Content marketing” has made everyone a publisher and while print may seem retro to some, it’s actually one space that’s not over-saturated nowadays. Plus, new technologies cannot replace the feeling of holding a book or a magazine.
3. For Jumpstart, what are the benefits of being a free, print magazine?
I wanted the magazine to be accessible to everyone and making it free, I was able to quickly grow the distribution to 350+ locations including all co-working spaces, Chambers of Commerce, private clubs, airport lounges, marketing agencies, VC Firms, universities, coffee shops, hotels, companies such as Regus, Compass and Google, and numerous other locations in the city.
4. It has been one and a half year since the first issue published, how do you think of your magazine adventure so far ? What's the most impressive thing you've experienced ?
I still get excited when a new issue of Jumpstart comes out of the printers. But probably the most impressive was getting invited to moderate a panel at HKSTP with some pretty impressive panelists. It’s not something I thought I would ever do and actually enjoyed the experience.
5. I've found several resources and activities listed on Jumpstartmag.com. What would be your future plan for the site, or the brand "Jumpstart" in general?
Continue to build up resources for Hong Kong and launch additional projects to support the Jumpstart brand.
6. As a non-local yourself, how do you think of the city's current startup scene ? What would be your suggestion for foreigners who want to make a career here?
We’re seeing an exponential growth in startup activity, and even an over-saturation in some areas. For instance, there are too many startup events (as many as 5 or more a day) and as a result a high number of no-shows and harder to get people interested. Competition is starting to heat up in many startup areas (restaurant and produce delivery services for instance) and among small business providers (particularly marketing/design consultants). There are more international companies coming to HK to establish their base of operations in Asia.
My recommendation for someone moving here is to spend some time identifying what’s here and what’s missing and then go after something unique.
p.s. You could find the Chinese version of this inteviewhere