ACE Startup Feature: Hello Factory
Hello Factory says “Hello Singapore!”
South Korean startup Hello Factory finds its feet in Singapore with some help from the ACE International Centre Market Access Programme.
Going global has always been an aspiration for Hello Factory, a two-year-old South Korean startup that develops seamless communication platforms for the service industry. Its flagship product, Hello Bell, is a technology-driven update of the call bells commonly seen in restaurants in its native country. Traditionally, these are small buttons installed at each table that patrons can press to request for their server’s attention. Hello Factory takes this further with call bells wirelessly connected to wearable devices, such as smart watches, that servers wear.
“With the third and latest iteration of our product, patrons just need to place their phones on our table-mounted device for a virtual call bell menu to instantly appear — no app download required because we use near-field communications (NFC) technology. The buttons on the virtual call bell are completely customisable to the establishment’s needs, and could include requesting for a menu, water refill or more,” explained Marketing Manager Richard Park.
While the startup is zooming in on the F&B and hospitality industry for now, its solution can make a difference in any industry where service is a priority. In South Korea, for example, its customers include a dental clinic and a hospital. According to Richard, as long as a business is focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience and driving productivity on the ground, Hello Factory can be of service. That’s also the reason why the ACE International Centre Market Access Programme caught its eye — because Singapore and its neighbouring Southeast Asian markets are prime candidates to benefit from its solution.
“We’ve always been interested in Singapore, given its Smart Nation initiative and nation-wide productivity drive. The Market Access Programme has given us an inside look at the market and an valuable opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in the local culture. The latter is really important for us, since ours is a service-oriented solution,” said Richard.
After spending a full month in Singapore during and working out of the ACE International Centre, Richard and the Hello Factory team has returned to Seoul.
“We’ll definitely be back. With a better understanding of the market and the product feedback that we’ve gathered, we intend to refine our business model for Singapore and Southeast Asia. We’re also keen on exploring partnerships with government agencies, as we’re confident that we can contribute to Singapore’s ongoing productivity drive,” said Richard.
The ACE International Centre is dedicated to advancing the growth aspirations of local and foreign startups with internationalisation and localisation services. The Market Access Programme is among its key offerings and involves a month-long programme with master classes, coaching by domain experts and ecosystem influencers as well as networking opportunities to ready startups to take on the world.