Three Business School Alumni Named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2020 List
Interview with the Founders of Spread-It (Winnie Lee) and Mellow (Chester Szeen)
Undergraduate Office, CUHK Business School (UG)
UG: What’s your company’s story? Why did you found this company?
I founded Spread-it because I believe there are a lot of problems in the world and business is one of the most effective and efficient ways of solving different problems. Therefore, I want to be one of the persons who help to solve one of the problems in the world.
We first spotted the problem of bad personal finance habits amongst our peers in 2016, especially when they struggled to manage their income at internships during universities. After some detailed market research, we discovered that is a widespread problem in not just Hong Kong, but across Asia. These bad financial habits are formed during childhood, but when we looked at current solutions like school workshops or app games, the available solutions are not practical or habitual. Children learn best by doing and we felt the need to create a digital solution that is disruptive and accessible. We started to develop the idea of Mellow in 2017 after interviewing 200 families.
UG: What unseen business opportunities did you see that might have resulted in your making your start-up successful?
A lot of brands wanted to reach out to university students and looking for options other than mega-influencers and YouTubers, and wants to create more noise and buzzing impact on social media, therefore we tried out the idea on “Micro-influencer”.
Our greatest achievement is making a social impact on our future generations with Mellow. Mellow addresses the population’s need for financial literacy and good money management, and promotes financial education by building children’s correct money habits. With a practical approach using the kid debit card linked to the app, Mellow allows kids to constantly track and improve their budgeting, saving, spending, and earning habits with analytics and guidance. Parents save a lot of time and headache from manually tracking their children’s expenses, and they love the kid-driven learning approach – giving some autonomy to children to learn from money mistakes early in a safe and guided environment.
UG: How do you manage the distribution of your product/service to the right audience?
We analyse their profiles and segment them in different identities and groups, so that we can have a better targeting on the audience who would receive the information.
Distribution is done mainly through social media marketing, finding parent brand ambassadors, and B2B2C channels. We found great synergy with educational institutions, kid member clubs, and retail stores, as Mellow fits their direction and we have the same target audience.
UG: What are your views on customer experience? What will be the customer experience of your business?
To clients – how we can deliver the posts and campaign to the right audience from the right spreadian. To Spreadians – how we can help them to communicate well with clients and help them to have a good quality of content created.
User experience is the foremost important thing on Mellow. At the same time, we have to focus on two different types of users – the parent and the child. It is not an easy job to fit both types of users, but we still try to focus on the experience areas of education value, ease to use, fun visuals, and meaningful interaction between kid and parents.
UG: We were very glad to have Winnie and Chester share with us their entrepreneurship journey, business insights, and the positive impact they have created on different communities.