Raymund Chu loves helping young startups get a start in life. He works with Hong Kong Polytechnic University at the Institute for Entrepreneurship offering education and seed funding to young people.

What’s your story?
After spending almost 20 years in various different industries including banking and finance, healthcare and Chinese medicine, I ended up joining The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and I am now the Assistant Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship for the University.  My major responsibilities are to promote knowledge transfer and commercialization for the University, as well as foster innovations and “Do Well Do Good” entrepreneurship by offering education and seed funding programmes to young students and graduates.  We started in 2011 and since then, we have supported around 150 startups.

What excites you most about your industry?
I am fascinated by all the new things I encounter daily, dealing with passionate young people who have tremendous creativity. They always come up with interesting, exciting and creative ideas and I feel, I can learn something from them everyday.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I grew up and was educated in Hong Kong so I have always been in this part of the world.  I have travelled extensively for work and pleasure through Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. So Asia is my home.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hmmm, I thought of saying Shanghai but in the end, I would have to say Hong Kong. Not just because I am from Hong Kong but also because Hong Kong is a global financial centre and business hub for both international business and startups. Here businesses can develop into greater China and the Asia Pacific markets, with a wealth of talents, good legal framework and communication infrastructure. Need I say more?

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
You may fail if you try, but you will definitely fail, if you don’t try.

Who inspires you?
In the personal sense, there were many people who influenced and inspired me when I grew up – my parents, my high school teachers and my former boss who gave me a lot of advice which shaped who I am today.
In business, there are also many inspiring people. Elon Musk who is a visionary for the betterment of human life. Mark Zuckerberg who revolutionizes how we connect and communicate with friends and people. I am particularly inspired and impressed by his recent donation aiming to build a better and more equal society in future, a perfect example of “Do Well and Do Good.”

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
From the movie Interstellar; the black holes, wormholes, theory of relativity and space travel, all interweave together.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am very happy with what I have today and I have no regrets. I think what I am doing is very interesting and meaningful. However, if I could start over again I think I would be an entrepreneur starting my own startup.  I have some ideas in mind.

How do you unwind?
I love to enjoy a moment of peace every night before sleep by reading books and articles not related to my work.  This allows me to wind down before sleep, otherwise my “brain machine” would continue to work overnight. Weekends are mostly activities with my family such as hiking and badminton.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Kyoto, it’s so beautiful and peaceful.  Japanese food is delicious.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel.  This book is so inspiring.  In particular, it strikes me how it highlights how startups like Paypal and Amazon in their initial stages should have focussed more on monopolising a particular market or area, before growing and expanding into other areas. I would recommend it to everyone, especially those who want to startup a new venture.

Shameless plug for your business:
PolyU Institute for Entrepreneurship is positioned to support innovation and entrepreneurship for young people.  We run different education and funding programmes together with different partners and so we welcome like-minded partners to talk to us for potential win-win collaborations.

How can people connect with you?
I can be reached by LinkedIn (Raymond Chu) or email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@Raychucy

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

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