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Go, Animate, Go!

Hong Kong is a strategic research and development (R&D) base for GoAnimate’s growing video and animation business worldwide

GoAnimate creates online solutions for businesses and schools looking to make videos quickly and easily. Educated in Hong Kong and the US, GoAnimate’s Founder Alvin Hung ran his father’s company here before starting GoAnimate in 2007. He was disappointed that he could not find good online software that he could use to create an animated video for himself. Traditional animation software is expensive, as well as difficult for the average person to use — especially anyone who lacks film or animation training. But instead of seeing a hurdle, Hung saw an opportunity to venture into the do-it-yourself (DIY) video business.

“I was disappointed but excited, because many companies nowadays prefer educating people and customers with animated videos, rather than using boring presentation materials. They want to find something interesting to replace the traditional tools. So there is growing demand for DIY videos that help companies tell their stories and ideas,” Hung said.

The majority of its sales are in the US market, but GoAnimate develops its software solutions in its Hong Kong R&D office, with more than 30 staff members. It also has a team in Silicon Valley, where most sales take place. About 14 employees look after global sales and marketing, as well as customer service. A small team in Taiwan supports the operation in Hong Kong.

World-class Creative Talent

Hong Kong is renowned for its capabilities in the financial and services areas, and for the availability of talent in related fields. But Hung can discern the potential of the creative talent here. “Hong Kong’s software engineering and creative professionals are definitely underestimated,” he said. “People often think that Hong Kong’s talent in the creative industries is not as capable as its US counterparts, but I can prove that this is wrong. Our R&D team in Hong Kong is world-class and generates many new ideas. They definitely have the ability to excel and to exceed their western counterparts.”

As the regional headquarters for Asia, GoAnimate Hong Kong is actively looking to hire graduates from local universities. Targeting English-speaking markets, its range of clients includes ordinary consumers, international and local schools, SMEs, enterprises in the US, freelancers and others. Affordable and easy-to-use product solutions are sold online to help create powerful and fun videos for all kinds of users.

Hung has several tips for startups in Hong Kong,“First, go global on day one. Hong Kong entrepreneurs often overestimate the difficulty in going global. It’s not that much more difficult than succeeding in the local Hong Kong market. Second, try to think of a good idea with unique and competitive advantages that not everyone else can solve. Lastly, consider going solo if you are an engineer and you are comfortable with business issues. While having a cofounding team brings many benefits, there are significant downsides as well,” he said.


Fast Facts

  • Founded by Alvin Hung in 2007, with offices in Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and Taiwan
  • A DIY video-creation platform enabling people using drag-and-drop tools to produce a wide range of custom videos in the cloud

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