Starting up in Hong Kong


Isaac Esch

Sage Corps 2019 Hong Kong Fellow

Catch up with our Sage Corps Fellow, Isaac, from the University of Wisconsin to see what the Hong Kong 2019 Summer cohort has been up to!

The first few days in a foreign city can be intimidating. Being surrounded by people from a completely different culture and speaking a different language was honestly a little shocking at first. It’s amazing, though, with helpful city managers and a group of fellows in the same position as you, how fast we became acclimated to this incredible city. We’re only two weeks into the program, and Hong Kong is already starting to feel like home. Here’s a recap of a few adventures the Hong Kong cohort has been on these past couple weeks:

Startup Life

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On our second day in Hong Kong, we had the opportunity to check out a startup called Explorium. They are a startup based around predicting industry changes due to the world’s ever changing technology. They team up with startups like the automatic checkout. After putting items on the counter, their machine-learning device almost instantly registers all of the products and allows check out to happen in a matter of seconds.

Most of the Sage Corps fellows work for different companies - my particular startup is called eNano Health. eNano Health’s innovative product is a saliva-based glucose tester. From the beginning, they’ve given me an incredibly hands-on experience. Within 2 weeks of work, I’ve had the freedom to design marketing strategies and create business pitches. Currently, I’m working with another intern to redesign their packaging so that it not only looks great, communicates their message effectively and costs less to manufacture.

Horse Races

Last Wednesday, we had our first experience with Hong Kong horse races at the Happy Valley Jockey Club. Thousands of people come weekly to meet up with friends, see the beautiful Hong Kong skyline, and bet on the horse races. There’s always the possibility of losing money, but three of us had some beginner’s luck and picked some winners right off the bat. Afterwards, some of us stumbled upon a live music pub and sang karaoke all night long with some Wednesday night regulars.

Tons of people show up every Wednesday for the Horse Races!

Tons of people show up every Wednesday for the Horse Races!

Dim Sum 

Outside of work, we’ve had the chance to try some amazing food. We were able to try dim sum, which is a traditional Hong Kong style food. They serve small portions  of all sorts of food from soup dumplings, sticky rice, to barbecue pork filled buns. Most recently I tried chicken feet , which, I never thought I’d eat in my life, and actually ended up loving.


A final perk of interning abroad so far has been the ability to take short trips on the weekends. Hong Kong is especially convenient because it’s just a short flight away from so many amazing places. This past weekend I checked off Thailand from my travel bucket list. My friends and I indulged in some amazing Thai food, explored Bangkok, and visited an elephant sanctuary. I can’t describe how much fun we had hanging with the elephants, feeding them, and giving them a bath at the end of the day. It was an once in a lifetime experience.

We’re only a couple weeks into our Hong Kong adventure and have already had some great experiences. The first few days abroad may have been a little uncomfortable, but the payoffs so far have made the experience well worth it.

Stay posted for the rest of Isaac and the rest of the Hong Kong 2019 cohort’s adventure! Follow @sagecorps and @sc.hongkong_ for more info!