E-commerce in Asia is big, and rapidly growing. And judging by the newly announced winner of Tech in Asia‘s Startup Arena winner Lots of Buttons, it can also grow in pretty quirky ways. Hong Kong-based Lots of Buttons beat out 19 other impressive (mostly Asia-based) startups with a business model that revolves around buttons.
No, not the buttons you press (like on your keyboard), but those you sew on your shirts. Lots of Buttons is the world’s largest button store, providing crafters and manufacturers the buttons they need easily and conveniently – through e-commerce, of course – at extremely competitive prices. In fact the e-commerce site aims to be the world’s largest online crafts store, seeking to expand to other craft verticals pending profitability or an angel investment.
Now the feat of triumphing at Tech in Asia‘s Startup Arena – which took place during Startup Asia 2013 -is all the more impressive because Lots of Buttons came up against startups in far sexier spaces, from a cloud-based presentation management tool (mmixr) and online LGBT dating site (Xunta), to a specialized group messaging app (Hoozin) and a real-time shopper feedback platform Shopbust. The competition was judged by Andrew Collins (CEO at Mailman Ventures), Jeffrey Paine (founding partner at Golden Gate Ventures), Nobuaki Kitagawa (CEO at CyberAgent Ventures, Beijing), and Yasuhiko Yurimoto (founder, president, and CEO at Global Brain), who sat through the 20 startup pitches (which were culled from over 300 applications) across the two-day event.
Lots of Buttons took home the grand prize of US$10,000, as well as a fully-paid trip to Tokyo, Japan, to attend Global Brain‘s annual Global Brain Alliance Forum (GBAF). The winning startup also receives a complementary booth at Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing on May 7 and 8.
Buttons. They may be small, but they can win you a startup competition.
[Image credit: Tech In Asia]