"Listen to your customers, make them happy and they will reward you" Patrick Kosiol - Founder of SwapIt

Can you give us a brief introduction about your startup?

Swapit is a mobile marketplace app to trade pre-loved items nearby in real-time.

How do you see your project in 2 years?

In 2 years time, we will have revolutionized the way everyone trades pre-loved and new items with people who are nearby right now. Our market share will be dominant in two to three densely populated cities in the region. We will have raised a Series A funding round and are targeting a Series B round for further expansion in Asia.

How do you get your brand out there? (Did you leverage any connections to other startups? Any other meaningful relationships or connections that helped you?)

We entered into several partnerships with startups and established companies in Hong Kong, like Citymapper and Street Value Asia. Furthermore, we have joined accelerators like SoftLayer Catalyst, Facebook’s FbStart and Microsoft BizSpark which have proven very valuable to us.

How do you spend your time during a day at work?

Most of my day is used for Business Development and Product Development. I am constantly reviewing our development progress and do test our product every single day. I also read customer feedback myself to some extend, so I know exactly what our customers are looking for. Furthermore, I am taking care of hiring new talent as well as investor relations.

What makes you feel special as an entrepreneur?

I don’t believe I am special. I just personally believe, my work needs to be meaningful to me. Every single morning when I get up and look in the mirror, I want to feel happy to go to work. That’s the reason I am doing what I am doing.

"Listen to your customers, make them happy and they will reward you" Patrick Kosiol - Founder of SwapIt

What was your biggest challenge or the worst decision you had made and had to flip away from afterwards?

The biggest challenge was to create a liquid marketplace on Swapit. Yet, we managed to get our Swapit marketplace to a point where we are constantly getting new items posted all across Hong Kong every day.

I don’t believe in bad decisions. The world is not black and white. There are just decisions and we always have to live with them. If a decision needs to be revised, one needs to be honest enough to recognize that and do the necessary changes. With Swapit, we have built our whole product development process around that philosophy. That’s why we update Swapit very rapidly (every week or every other week), look at how our changes are being used and make the necessary changes as quickly as possible. We believe that’s the best way to build a product that does exactly what our customers want. Customer happiness leads directly to financial success of the business. I firmly believe in that.

What made you proud of your team recently?

Our team's dedicated work and creativity makes me proud to work with them.

TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. What keeps your team going? What do they value the most?

We are all moving together to the common goal of bringing buyers and sellers closer to each other. While Hong Kong is a great place for startups and many startups are based here, I believe everyone understands that we are building a very special service with Swapit. Trading pre-loved items is an old concept, but we are looking at it from a very different angle by bringing people together in real-time that are nearby each other already. That is very unique and extremely useful in densely populated places like Hong Kong where social live and neighborhood communities are not that important (yet).

You lived in China for some years before coming to Hong Kong, can you tell us what is the biggest difference between the HK business market and the market in Mainland China?

Hong Kong is just better for business. The local labour market offers quality talent and if we need to look to hire someone from outside the territory, there is a standardized straight forward process on getting talent into Hong Kong. The local laws in that respect are made with the understanding that there is a need for quality talent immigration. That’s absolutely crucial for innovative industries like ours.

"Listen to your customers, make them happy and they will reward you" Patrick Kosiol - Founder of SwapIt

Which is the last event you went to and particularly enjoyed? Why?

I recently pitched Swapit at a private event of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association. It was a rather private setting of about 30 folks who have deep knowledge of business. I had some very interesting conversations about our business which helped a lot focusing on the right parts.

What is your motto?

Listen to your customers, make them happy and they will reward you.

What is your #Startup Passion?

Build a meaningful product / service that is passionately used by a large number of people.

"Listen to your customers, make them happy and they will reward you" Patrick Kosiol - Founder of SwapIt

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