Entrepreneur returns to campus after almost 20 years

Monday, July 29, 2013

Jason Chui

Raising the Waterloo brand in Asia

It's nearly two decades since Jason Chui was last on Waterloo's campus. When he left, he was a freshly-minted electrical engineering graduate. Today, he's chief executive officer of The Cherrypicks Group, a leader in mobile marketing in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region that connects marketers and brands directly with customers. It’s also a Red Herring Asia 100 and Deloitte Technology China Fast 50 company and the winner of multiple media and technology awards.

After travelling to Silicon Valley and Victoria BC, Waterloo was the last stop of Chui's North American visit to meet and recruit Waterloo Engineering students and alumni for his company. His first stop on campus was VeloCity's pitch competition where he met a number of young entrepreneurs, including Paul Rondeau, an electrical and computer engineering student and part of the startup PumpUp, a mobile personal trainer. Besides trading business cards, Chui and Rondeau, pictured above from left to right, also traded success stories.     

Chiu’s own professional success can be traced back to his co-op terms where he worked at hardware, software and consulting firms before he took a job at Deloitte Consulting after graduation.

He worked and earned the trust of CEOs as part of Deloitte’s Hong Kong/Asia Pacific High Tech and Telecom Industry Group and picked up invaluable training. Still, rather than offering strategic advice, he wanted to put it into practise.

“My real passion lay in creating an original product or business with a vision that can provide a positive impact on people’s lives,” he says.

Delivering fun and giving back

That vision also has to deliver fun. One of the company’s most recent products is iButterfly, a coupon entertainment app where consumers download coupons with a flick of a smartphone to capture digital butterflies. So far, over 300 million butterfly coupons have been distributed in 12 countries.

Even with his busy schedule, Chiu has found time to give back to the University of Waterloo in Hong Kong. Two years ago, he helped University President Feridun Hamdullahpur open the new Waterloo office in the downtown to support the 1,500 Waterloo graduates living and working in Hong Kong, as well as the more than 2,800 Asian students enrolled at Waterloo.

“It seems that Waterloo is one of the best kept secrets in Asia-Pacific,” he says. “I want to keep raising the profile and brand of our great school.” [Cherrypicks website]

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