Ken witnessed firsthand that a company could make money while contributing to society at the same time. He was part of the first batch of interns to join Google in Silicon Valley and later became a full-time employee. While at Google, Ken developed a patented algorithm to find related pages and created a system to evaluate Google's search quality in real time. Then, in 2007 – before iPhone was widely adopted and Android devices came out in the market – Ken returned to Hong Kong where he and fellow HKUST alumnus Leo Chan founded MotherApp, a mobile app generator that allowed developers to create their own apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile using HTML.
MotherApp won the heart of customers in no time, not only because it significantly reduced the cost and time of app development, but also because it allowed ordinary people with web-page designing knowledge to create mobile apps on their own. Ken and Leo's insight and creativity are definitely key factors behind MotherApp's success. Betting on the widespread use of smartphones, they knew that the trend would spark off a blaze of handset app developments and decided to take a share of the market by utilizing their programming experience.
The company has evolved greatly since then: Ken and his team realized that the most challenging aspect of app development is not the technical side, but rather about understanding the unique needs of each of their customers and designing a corresponding mobile solution. To address this, MotherApp has invested in and introduced User Experience (UX) Consulting. The company has also extended its reach into North America, and currently has offices in both Hong Kong and the US. MotherApp's clients span Asia, North America and Europe and include well-known names such as BBC, Bank of China, JobsDB and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Most recently, Ken won the Young Entrepreneur Award in the DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards 2016.
The driving motivation for Ken and the MotherApp team is to help people live better lives, one mobile app at a time. To carry out this vision, they have developed apps such as FamLoop, which helps bring families closer together through reading, and a pro bono slavery victim identification app that helps law enforcement officials identify, communicate with and rescue potential victims.
Despite his busy schedule, Ken has been greatly supportive of HKUST and makes time to share his experiences with students whenever possible. Most recently, he was a panelist at Seize Your Future - HKUST Alumni Entrepreneur Panel where he spoke about the challenges in starting his own business and gave helpful tips and advice to hopeful entrepreneurs-to-be.
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