An Interview with
STW Innovation Company Limited
Founder & CEO
STW Innovation is a Hong Kong & Shanghai-based cultural tech company founded in 2018. Our mission is to preserve & connect the world's art & culture anytime, anywhere, leveraging technology. With a bigger dream and vision, we aim to empower creative minds by connecting & preserving human's arts and culture.
We have been creating tech solutions (SaaS platforms & User-Apps) & digital marketing campaigns for connecting culture and art to be more innovative and fun for every stakeholder within our eco-system:
(1) 4000+ unique cultural institutions/museums/brands in Europe, Mexico & Latam listed in travel apps
(2) 62 brands with over 400+ cultural products selling online in eShop mini programs
(3) 150,000+ social media fans & mini program platform users
(4) 10 key universities partners with over 10,000+ university students interested in connecting to China participated in our cultural talks or programs online.
28 February 2022
Tell us about your background, and how you came to found your company?
Passionate about innovation and technology, I strongly believe in "TECH for GOOD". As a woman in tech, keeping up with the latest tech such as blockchain, crypto, web 3.0, DAO etc., excite me. Leveraging technology well, consumer experiences could be enhanced, and we could bring positive changes to businesses, society, and our daily lives.
With over 16+ years of experience in Technology - SaaS platform building, brand strategy, digital transformation, social media & KOLs marketing, eCRM & digital communication strategy, I have completed more than 300+ projects from the past. I am currently running a creative agency CREATEC Digital (www.createcdigital.com) for 8 years, and an agile cultural tech company, STW Innovation (www.shaketowin.net) for 4 years.
Brand Projects Reference from CREATEC: JNBY Group (JNBY, LESS, jnby by JNBY, CROQUIS), Nespresso China, Green Planet Foods, Brandhouse China (Old Jamaica, Ctrics for China market entry), VEOCEL, Maserati, Vans, Levi's, Skechers, Ballantine's, K11, Lorna Jane Active Wear, Coty Group (Lancaster Philosophy), GEOX, Zegna, WMF, ETAM Group, Adidas, Crocs, TNF, TARGET, Walmart, Logitech, Alibaba, Kewgreen Hotels, Anta Group etc. Luxury, Fashion retail, FMCG, and Cosmetics & Beauty are my expertise. I love to work with innovative clients who constantly develop new business models and campaigns and keep up with the Chinese market.
Projects reference from STW Innovation: from day 1, we built the company; we also created strategic alliances connecting over 3000+ direct B2B decision-makers, local universities partners, and related organizations in cultural, art, and tourism industries. We worked with 60+ B2B partners to create the #travelfromhome social campaigns and reached over 30,000,000+ media impressions. Our B2B key partners include well-known cultural foundations, e.g. Van Gogh Site Foundation, Picasso Foundation Malaga etc & 400+ museums globally. We also connected with over 50+ tourism boards, Consulate Generals and organizations that promote local businesses/communities to the Chinese audience e.g. Visit Brabant, Pro Chile, Pueblos Mágicos etc.
I found STW Innovation fulfils our desire to connect cultural institutions and brands worldwide with Chines new generations. We believe it could create a more harmonious world to bridge the understanding between nationality via travel and commerce.
What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why?
My vision & mission involves working side by side with cultural foundations, brands, charities, artists & NGOs to make the world a better place. We all can rise as a society by lifting each other by preserving nature and culture and building mutual understanding and trust between different cultures across the globe. More than commercial benefits, I value humanity benefits, bringing a sustainable impact globally.
As an extension of my personal belief in life, it empowers our company to create value for the cultural industries. Our company mission is to preserve & connect the world's art & culture anytime, anywhere, leveraging technology. With a bigger dream and vision, we aim to empower creative minds by Connecting & preserving human arts and culture.
I have always believed in value creation. When you create the actual value to others, the business model and revenue will come, and since we found STW Innovation, it has proven my philosophy. I think mission/vision and core value is the crucial foundation of a company that wishes to last for a long time, so before everything, we set up our value belief, mission and vision. It guides us towards a long-term perspective future
Can you explain briefly how your service(s)/product(s) works?
We have a B2B platform (STW Merchant - SaaS Platform) for businesses overseas to subscribe and being visualised in China market in 7 days with few clicks online and offer premium features such as integrating Alipay/WeChat pay and further selling your product on our travel and e-commerce platform. Over 4000+ B2B merchants have chosen to partner with us in the past.
Our B2B business coverage includes The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Portugal, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Mauritius, Maldives, Bhutan etc.
We also developed a B2C platform (Appreciation Trips (赏游地）- iOS, Andriod, WeChat Mini app), ApprciatorSelect eShop (赏游地心选）and STW Media (赏游地内容新媒体) which is a 100K+fans KOLs platform for helping brands to promote in China without setting up their own social media account.
How has the industry been changing in recent years?
China transformed rapidly in the previous five years and recently became the home to many of the fastest startups to reach a $1 billion valuation globally. The young Chinese generations (Millenials & Gen-Z with 200M populations) drive China's digital economy's growth.
The behaviour of people experiencing art and culture had changed during the COVID time, from physical to virtual. Western people also take China market as serious business consideration. However, local companies, especially SMEs, lack expertise and affordable tools for helping them to tap into this potential market; thus, we think 2022 will be the year for us to monetize the value of our tech solutions and marketing service.
China is still one of the largest outbound tourism markets and is expected to grow to 255B USD by 2025. With a projected market volume of US$1,412,109m in 2022, most revenue is generated in China. In the eCommerce market, the number of users is expected to amount to 1,230.4m users by 2025. (source from https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/ecommerce/china)
What makes you different from what’s currently available in the market?
We are a tech solutions provider and a marketing expert with a solid brand marketing agency background in China. By providing affordable, easy-to-use tools, we create campaigns to help your brand achieve more in the market in one company. People call us All-in-one solutions to kick-start their first China business journey. Our B2B network also makes us stronger. We have an alliances concept that anyone joining us can unlock our global partners network for doing business together.
More than just a commercial business, our institutional partnership with ten universities across Europe, Mexico & Latam for sharing" NEW CHINA" stories to youth is also something worth mentioning. Knowledge sharing is essential to bridge understanding and stimulate digitalization with locals. We are the finalist of the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition 2021.
What does the future hold for your company?
In the previous two years, we pivoted our business model, transforming from a travel tech company to a cultural tech company offering also eCommerce platform services for our B2B partners targeting China market. In 2022, We are innovating how to connect culture better via NFTs (Market size: USD41b in 2021) & metaverse (Market size: USD829b in 2028), preserving them better by leveraging blockchain technology.