From nothing to something

by Allen PakChing Lau

Hi, I am Allen, the founder of a fin tech start-up iPYGG, a Hongkonger, and a millennial. My story of founding iPYGG begins like any other motivating coming-of-age movie, but that is my reality: my dad passed away when I was a young, rebellious teenager. It was not until university had I realised the responsibility for me to carry the family’s financial burden. I worked multiple part time jobs, woke up at 4 am to be a lifeguard, then went to lessons in the afternoon. I was living from paycheck to paycheck. I didn’t see the point of managing my money because for god’s sake I did not have any. I worked so hard that one time I coughed blood during lessons, but my money was still not enough to cover our daily expenses and my tuition. I shared this not to show how diligent and persevering I used to be (well, maybe a little), but more importantly, I am certain I am not the only one in Hong Kong that is experiencing the same frustration. By then, I began teaching myself all sorts of financial knowledge in order to ease our hardship.

Since Hong Kong is not the strongest place at teaching financial planning to our generation, millennials like me are baffled by how to effectively manage our money when we first get our paycheck. On top of that, the cost of living in Hong Kong is simply too high for fresh-off-the-boat graduates to achieve basic life goals, like buying an apartment, getting married and starting a family. Precisely because of the above obstacles I experienced, I created iPYGG, an all-inclusive financing application, to better manage one’s wealth by connecting various financial institutions and banks and present all information in a systematic way, and to advocate smarter planning of one’s unique financial circumstances with our budgeting algorithms. 

It was not easy to create an all-in-one platform that connects all fields of financial institutions, like banks, pension funds, securities firms and crypto wallets. Until now, we have connected 13 banks and 50 financial institutions in APAC. Not only was it arduous to run all the different bank formats together smoothly in the same platform, but it is also particularly challenging for financial institutions and banks to open the API for a start-up for no return. We are still continuously striving for more access permissions while this very article is being written. This is what an entrepreneur needs to conquer in the journey of ending the dominance of the big heads, so that our future generations can be able to create financial freedom. 

We created Asia's first Open Finance platform for businesses and banks, an impossible task deemed by others. Although life in Hong Kong might be tough for the new blood, there is still a glimpse of hope if we dare to dream. You see, even a nobody who used to have nothing can be the founder of something. 

It is still an uncertain ride for us, but hey, at least we tried.

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About the Author

• HKSTP Science & Technology Entrepreneur Program
• IEEAC Competition by Tencent Top 10
• Unicorn Battle Fintech Asia-Pacific Top 6
• HSBC API-Ecobooster Showcase
• Fintech Award 2020 by ETNET
• Patent of Round up Savings & Micro investing
• Fundraising HKD 1.00Mn in HKD 10.00 Mn Evaluation of iPYGG
• Delegates of Hong Kong Fintech to London with Hong Kong Financial
• Acquiring cooperation with 3 Top 10 international companies, and 30 wellknown
top brands
• Fintech Award 2018 by ETNET
• Jumpstarter 2019 Top 100 Startup in Hong Kong
• Economic Times Asian Business Leaders Delegates 2019
• Cyberport Incubation Intake 27
• Plug & Play Accelerator
• Aurelia Venture Accelerator
• TVB Finance Magazine Exclusive Interview
• Several talks about Fintech and applying tech in different industries
• Led Transin to incubation and funded by Cyberport
• Leading Transin to achieve USD 4.00 Mn in evaluation
• Speaker in China Hi-Tech Fair
• Member of Fintech association Hong Kong