Road to Entrepreneurship, Key to Social Impact - HKBU Alumnus Mr Sunny CHEUNG Sai-ho

 

Mr Sunny Cheung Sai-ho

CEO and Founder of CP2JOY IT CO. LIMITED

Are great ideas alone enough to be turned into great businesses? Things are not that easy and straightforward in the real world. Our HKBU alumnus, Mr Sunny Cheung Sai-ho shared with us that “Research & development as well as marketing & sales are equally essential to the growth of a business.” With tremendous effort to build up these important elements, he founded an IT company, CP2JOY IT CO. LIMITED, in 2019 to commercialise his innovative technology. “CP” is the initial of Cerebral Palsy and “Joy” stands for joystick.

CP2Joy is the first human-computer interface software in Hong Kong. Replacing traditional keyboard and mouse, it enables severely disabled people, for example, those who suffer from stroke and quadriplegia, to use computers freely on their own. CP2Joy aims to reduce digital divide and empowers those who are physically challenged to explore the cyber world with greater convenience by improving the efficiency and accuracy of the input method. Despite physical limitations, users could give voice commands which represent mouse actions such as clicks, drags and drops, keystrokes to the computer by uttering five basic vowels, i.e. [a],[e],[i],[o],[u] using the CP2Joy software. This system can also be used to control most modern wheelchair movement to and from school and work.

Turn an idea into business

The Road to entrepreneurship may not be easy, but fortunately, a long list of important people have helped Sunny along the way. As he recalled, early in his first semester at HKBU, the business idea of developing a voice-control system came to his mind during a meeting with his former occupational therapist, Mr Ng Chun-kwok, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Tung Wah College. He learnt from Mr Ng that the joystick software licenses for several special schools in Hong Kong had expired and the manufacturer had gone out of business. Because of this, students from these special schools could no longer use the joysticks as the relevant software was not compatible with other brands in the market.

Solutions came to Sunny’s mind and he was eager to offer help. His previous work experience at Microsoft equipped him with rich knowledge and skills in programming mobile apps and system software. With the help and guidance from the professors of Department of Computer Science of HKBU, Dr Byron Choi Koon-kau and Prof Joseph Ng Kee-yin, Sunny finally turned the concept into a real product - CP2Joy.

Sunny believed “One person can’t do everything”. Thus, he engaged marketing expert Mr Howard Ling from the Business School and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre at HKBU to assist on the promotion and marketing. He also reached out to Prof Joseph Ng from the Department of Computer Science for supporting technical areas including programme writing and function enhancement of the system. The formation of such a strong team helped the whole business walk further.

Challenge and Opportunity

In this entrepreneurship journey, CP2JOY faced a crucial challenge as most of the start-ups did – a lack of funding. Luckily, the company gained support from the Lee Hysan Foundation with equipment for research and development. With the continuous effort made to reach out to more resources, the company is now one of the HKBU spin-off companies under Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU)* and also the Science Park incubatee under the HKSTP’s Incu-App Programme, which affirmed the company’s potential for future development. Subsequently, Sunny successfully applied for the Social Ventures Fund to make the research results available for trial use by Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Jockey Club Rehabilitation Complex, Direction Association for the Handicapped and Hong Kong Red Cross John F.Kennedy Centre. The company has also been widely reported in the media recently. Sunny was invited by the Innovation and Effectiveness Office under the Innovation and Technology Commission to write articles on a newspaper, AM730, for a special column and participate in the “Aging Technology Expo”. All these helped CP2Joy gain more exposure in the market.

Sunny shared a motto which kept him moving towards his goals - “The very beginning mind itself is the most accomplished mind of true enlightenment (不忘初心,方得始终)”. There are always challenges in the journey but never forget why you started as those challenges always keep you motivated, help you grow, learn and become stronger after all.

Serving with a caring heart

Sunny started a caring business with the heart of serving special needs minority as he thinks that these people are as equally important and should not be easily ignored and marginalised by the society. “I believe that identifying clearly defined goals and plans is the most essential step to kickstarting a business and actualising ideas. Being able to pay forward to the society is the most satisfying moment in running a business.” Sunny definitely walks his talk and his entrepreneurial mindset helps CP2Joy create a new market.

When the user sees the desired letter rotating to a specific position, they only need to make the basic vowels, i.e. [a],[e],[i],[o],[u], to control mouse clicks and the letter will be automatically inputted. (Details: http://cp2joy.sunit2u.com/)

(Left to Right) CP2Joy Team: Mr Andy Wo, Prof Joseph Ng, Mr Sunny Cheung, Sunny’s father and Mr Howard Ling

Special Thanks

Along Sunny’s entrepreneurship journey, he always keeps a thankful heart and would like to express sincere gratitude to various departments of HKBU and external organisations for their unwavering support and assistance:

Prof Joseph Ng and Dr Byron Choi, Department of Computer Science, HKBU
Mr Howard Ling, Department of Marketing, HKBU
Centre for Innovative Service-Learning, HKBU
Knowledge Transfer Office, HKBU
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service
Innovation and Technology Commission
The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation
Lee Hysan Foundation
Hong Kong Red Cross
Rehabilitation Department, Tung Wah College

Last but not least, special thanks to the mentors, Miss Ophelia Chan Chiu-ling, BBS, and Mr Willy Law Wai-cheung, MH; his partners, Mr Andy Wo and Ms Angel Wo, and his parents.

* HKBU TSSSU aims to bring R&D results from campus to real world, by encouraging more entrepreneurial activities at the University and facilitating more commercial development of HKBU’s intellectual property rights (IPR) and technology developed at the University. It is a “company start-up” scheme designed to encourage spin-off companies to commercialise the IPR and technologies developed at HKBU.

Click here to know more about HKBU TSSSU.