We are so proud of all of the hard work and success from our Austria to Austin exchange participants. This week, we are putting the ATA Alumni Spotlight on Xiaoao Dong! He participated in the first-ever ATA program in 2016 and he’s achieved plenty to brag about since then.  

Where do you work and what is your role there?

“I am currently focused on two different startup projects that I talk about more in depth below. But currently, I’m also doing some digital marketing work for a tech startup called TeLLers — they provide innovative digital feedback solutions for gastronomy. My focus there is on digital marketing strategies, growth hacking, and social media.

 

What projects or achievements have you been a part of recently?

“I have worked on two different startup projects since my ATA exchange:

1. Mytea: An innovative all-in-one tea bottle, where you can enjoy Chinese tea in the traditional Chinese tea ceremony form, but on-the-go. We are in the early stages now, and the company has been founded already. We invited a Chinese tea expert from Nanning, China to Austria! She held 5 tea ceremonies for us, which consisted of focus group analysis with 25 participants in total. We are currently pivoting the business model using the smart management method, where we integrate ethical and sustainable aspects right off the bat. We won second place in the Gründungsgarage accelerator program.

2. marry – A natural, refreshing, vegan drink made from regionally selected berries, infused with a blend of maté and rooibos. We received coverage in two local newspapers, as well as placing in the top 20 of the Future Founder Challenge! Last but not least, we came in 2nd place at the Crowd Academy. We are in the progress of officially founding, and planning for a market launch in August 2018, along with a crowdfunding campaign.

Other than working on those two startup projects, I hosted around 35 “Startup Spritzers” with IdeenTriebwerk Graz. There were 150 participants on average, and I served as a moderator. I also really enjoy speaking at keynotes and workshops in different Austrian universities regarding the Business Model Canvas, pitching, startups and crowdfunding.”

 

What were your biggest takeaways from your exchange experience?

“The awesome entrepreneurial spirit from the people of Austin was amazing to be a part of. Also, the great network of key players was extremely helpful and supportive as I worked to get my ideas off the ground.”

 

How did those lessons affect you and/or your career?

“Being a part of the ATA exchange gave me the necessary boost to start my own businesses. I loved my time with ATA; especially getting to experience first-hand the people, the spirit, and the atmosphere.”

 

We are honored to have Xiaoao as a part of the ATA Community! Thank you for giving us an update, and a huge congratulations on all the success you have found. We’ll be back in no time with our next ATA Alumni Spotlight!

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