If all founders have an origin story, then ours began roughly six years ago, in 2017 — assuming you're reading this in 2023.
Sam, who felt stuck in her career, had just taught herself how to code and landed a job as an iOS Mobile Engineer. Luannie? Well, she was just happy to finally graduate from University and have a stable job.
To cut straight to the chase, it all began with this useless box (real photo).
Building this 'useless box' turned out to be one of our best ideas. It allowed us to bond over Cantonese culture, discover how well our skills complimented each other and most importantly our dream to start our own company.
Sam who is a creative at heart, naturally focused more on the aesthetics and experience of the product. While Luannie, who studied engineering and loves problem solving, took on the wiring and programming of the box.
It was this box, now collecting dust in Sam's bedroom, that formed the foundation of our partnership. It continues to symbolize the way we work today—Sam handling the frontend and Luannie managing the backend—Sam getting excited about ideas and Luannie grinding them to life.
We became known as Shooting Unicorns. A brand/company/whatever it will eventually evolve into that we used for housing our incredibly naive creations.
While being iOS Mobile Engineers was cool and all, the reality was we were stuck inside Apple's walled garden which was limiting because the future was not in building mobile apps. You could probably count all the apps you use on a daily basis on one hand.
With our sights set on founding a company together, we joined a SaaS startup we believed could accelerate our journey. Here, people got shit done fast, there was no toxic ladder to climb and we got to work with the latest technologies.
By this year, we were flourishing in our respective roles but had no idea what we wanted to do for our own company. As a result we continued to participate in hackathons as an outlet for rapidly building and testing out ideas to see if anything had legs.
Turns out, finding the right problem you're passionate about solving, which also happens to align with your skill set is like capturing lightning in a bottle. Turning passion into profit is a lot harder than you think!
Enter our naive phase of building an algorithmic trading platform! But however naive it was, it still ended up winning us an expense paid trip to New York City where we got to pitch in front of 2,000 people.
We also missed out on winning 1st prize by a mere 1%! But honestly, the best thing that happened was seeing our bosses wake up at 6am to watch our pitch :')
We founded our (first) company, joined an incubator and received pre-seed funding!
First stage of our startup dream unlocked with many more gruelling stages yet to come...