Checkmate, a start-up business co-founded by Kelvin Wong, year-one student of HKCC's Associate in Business, recently received HK$100,000 from the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund to support its future development.

Checkmate, a one-stop "Cloud-working Space Matching Platform", combines innovative technology with business ideas. Its target customers are micro-enterprises which do not have their own offices due to cost issues and slashers with multiple jobs. Checkmate's matching platform helps them find a decent place to meet their potential clients when necessary.

 "Our entrepreneurial concept is to use and match idle resources to promote business opportunities. Just like the company name Checkmate, the opening of a chess game is the key to success," said Kelvin.

Checkmate has achieved great results in various academic entrepreneurship competitions such as winning the first runner-up in the HKBU Dean's Cup Business Innovation Gymnasium; being a finalist in the HSUHK Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022; winning the PolyU Student Entrepreneurial Proof-of-Concept Funding Scheme and the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub.

Checkmate currently has 10 space partners in 18 districts in Hong Kong, most of which are located downtown or in central business districts, thereby making it convenient for renters to meet their clients. These spaces include a three-storey bar in Causeway Bay and a Grade-A office in Wong Chuk Hang which have different features can meet different needs. In the short term, Checkmate will cooperate with some suppliers of large local co-working spaces and explore business opportunities outside Hong Kong in the coming year.

CESO provides comprehensive support

Kelvin said that it is important for students who want to start a business successfully to put together a suitable team, comprising people with lofty ideals and different talents - his team members include students from HKUST. However, what is even more important is time management because it is very difficult to strike a balance between academic studies and career development. Therefore, Kelvin is very grateful to the CPCE Employability Services Office (CESO) for providing the iG-Lab, a base that nurtures innovative ideas and cultivates students' problem-solving thinking, so that he can handle Checkmate's business and meet with clients immediately after class on campus.

Kelvin added: "CESO has provided a lot of professional advice, guidance and contacts all along the way. It has made my entrepreneurial journey smoother. With the encouragement of CESO, I have participated in many large-scale entrepreneurial competitions where I met my current team members. I am very grateful to HKCC and CESO for their support."

Dr Macy Wong, Head of CESO and Senior Lecturer in the Division of Business and Hospitality Management, said that within a year of establishment, CESO has helped Kelvin achieve good results. CESO will continue to assist students in realising their entrepreneurial dreams by helping them conceive and write business proposals, and sharpen their communication skills, etc. CESO will also lead students to participate in entrepreneurial competitions to gain practical experience.

The iG-Lab has so far supported the operation of many start-ups, including not only popular technology ones but also some handmade soap brand. CESO will continue to hold different kinds of workshops and talks in the future for students to get in touch with more industry professionals and know more industry information and trends so that they can take a step towards successful entrepreneurship.

Under the guidance of Dr Macy Wong (left), Head of CESO, Kelvin Wong successfully co-founded the start-up Checkmate.
Kelvin says Checkmate aims to match users with idle resources to promote business opportunities.
Kelvin Wong (left) with Mr Peter Yan, JP (right), CEO of Cyberport and Mr Lam Hoi-yuen (middle), Co-Chief Executive Officer of GOGOX Holdings Limited.