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White Knight Group Unpacks the True Value of Design Thinking

No market need: it’s the number one reason startups fail.

So emphasised White Knight Group during their Cyberport seminar on 9th May. And just as there’s no overstating the number one killer of startups, there’s no overstating the power of design thinking in startup survival.

In a room full of early-stage and long-running startups alike, co-founders Kai Tsang and Amy Ip unpacked White Knight’s key mission as a unique investor, then proceeded to the core of the day’s meeting.

What is design thinking? Why is it important, and how does one implement it in their business?

The team also presented a case study on BONI, an online-to-offline laundry service platform whose business White Knight helped turn around.

The Why & How of Design Thinking

How exactly did design thinking serve a startup like BONI, and how can other startups apply design thinking to their own business?

Amy Ip, White Knight’s resident expert in Design Thinking, unpacked the principles and methodologies of Design Thinking framework during the workshop, walking attendees through the different stage of the process.

“Design Thinking is a customer-centric problem-solving methodology,” she said.

For instance, many founders miss the empathy portion of the framework, the first in a looping five-step process.

To give workshop attendees a better understanding of the design thinking framework, White Knight facilitated a workshop where participants were tasked to create a pleasant journey for travellers visiting Hong Kong. Moreover, they were asked to anticipate and cater to the varying needs and expectations of such travellers.

Startups teamed up to work on the plan

To accomplish the assignment, participants formulated a user research plan, including the creation of a set of questions to better understand their market. At the end of their presentations, Ip offered feedback and advice to fine-tune their output.

Team presented their results. Ip offered feedback and advice to fine-tune their output

Ip concluded the seminar with three key takeaways.

“We do not know what we do not know,” she said. “We are not the customers – let data speak for itself.”

“Don’t forget to design for engagement by understanding both the emotional and functional needs of your customers,” she added. Finally, “develop a KEI (Key Experience Indicator) so that your experience quality can be benchmarked and measured.”

“Among everything we shared today, the most important thing I want you to remember is market need,” added Tsang. “You need to build your startup for the market and for the customer, solving a real-world problem.”

About White Knight Group

White Knight Group is a revolutionary investor dedicated to partnering with startups and helping them succeed. Get in touch with the White Knight Group at

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