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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Hong Kong
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How a startup was born from a simple jam meetup of two strangers

It helps businesses to design user experience integrating the online and offline worlds.

Fed up with the culture of agencies and working in client services, Patti Hunt and Kristin Low came up with a business that will give them a choice about who they will work with and that will made enough money. In May 2013, the founders put up On-off Design & Technology, an experience design and service innovation company.

 On-off stands for online and offline - this technology design experiences that integrate the digital and physical worlds.

 “We are unique because we want to break down the boundaries between 'work' and 'not work'. That's why we designed a hybrid business that is part lab, part studio and part community. The lab is where we experiment and play with ideas and technologies, the studio is how we make money to sustain ourselves (through a variety of experience design and service innovation engagements) and the community is where we socialise, learn and create with people who share the same passions. They all kind of feed and nurture each other,” said co-founder Patti Hunt.

Patti is originally from Melbourne, Australia. She has a design trifecta, having held roles as a user experience designer, service designer and strategic designer. After cycling across Spain with little money and no maps, Kristin found his way to Melbourne where he met Patti at a weekend jam event. In 2013, they moved to Hong Kong to explore Asia and get a different perspective.

According to Patti, they started the business with their own funds and investments. And even before On-off, they did lots of community activities such as jams, mentoring and hack-a-thons, writing articles, speaking at conferences. Then, Kristin founded the Design Thinking network when they first arrived in Hong Kong. Now, they hire people from there, they make friends and get business from it too. After a year of operation, Patti said that the team is now consisting of 8 people.

“We haven't sought external funding or investment so far because our plan is to be self-sustainable and self-directed as much as possible in the early days. We do intend to seek funding in the future as we build up the lab side of the business, to develop digital products, ship and scale. We have developed design-led techniques that we believe will give us an advantage in the market. Our focus will be on radical design and hyper-fast development,” Patti said.

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COMPANY PROFILE

Name of the Company: On-off Design & Technology
Founders: Patti Hunt and Kristin Low
Website: http://on-off.com.hk/
Start of operation: May 2013

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