Preface Hackathon Student Stories

Nomad Hackathon — May 2019

Students’ apps to keep out tropical rain

Nomad Hackathon is a monthly event where all our young coding students meet and build projects that serve the community around them. Being notorious for its tropical weather, it’s rather tricky to stay dry in Hong Kong in the rain season. What’s the hack from Preface coding students to keep the moist away?

App Inventor team who created the best umbrella rental app in May Hackathon.

Umbrella rentals on demand

What’s the one essential to have when you need to be on the move under the rain? A trusty umbrella, of course. The trouble of carrying one around though is a big put off. At the same time, our App Inventor students saw it as an unnecessary problem in nowaday’s sharing economy — we share everything from videos to bicycles and even homes. Why not umbrellas, too? It should be there when you need it, and gone when you don’t.

There born the idea of Preface Coffee’s “Umbrella-To-Go” app. The cafe is launching an umbrella rental service this summer — for $50 anyone can rent an umbrella from Preface Coffee. Upon returning, guests can redeem a drink for free. Our baristas will be using this app to keep track of the rental record and send reminders to guests who are yet to return the umbrellas.

We will first soft launch this service at Preface Coffee, and slowly add more collection points around the district of Tin Hau, Hong Kong. Expect to see a troop of Tin-Hau dwellers crossing the zebra lines holding up black umbrellas (or the blue cups from Preface Coffee) later this summer!

T-Rex Runner Game in Preface Coffee

For the younger students from the Scratch class, they created a mini game for people to play while waiting for the sulky rain to stop. It’s a mini game called Baby T-Rex Runner. You may have encountered this game from Preface Coffee already, but this one is new, you know, with a cute baby T-Rex. The winning version from Alvin features a gigantic, earth-piercing rainbow in the background. It’s his ultimate tribute to anyone who’s patient enough to wait for the rain to stop, for the rainbow to show its true glory.

With these creations from our students we are all set for the summer rain to hit. Now we’re just waiting for the rain to come. Time to play a round of Baby T-Rex Runner, maybe…?

Student Stories

Preface Workshops Revisit: Month of Blockchain


Blockchain Technology: Hitchhiker’s Guide to Blockchain

Preface Coffee had the honour of hosting Mr. Michael Yung, Head of Digital Products and Technology at Asia Miles on the night of 21st January. An experienced figure in the world of Blockchain as a result of his impressive work on refining Asia Miles’ very own loyalty programme, Mr. Yung captivated the audience with his talk on Blockchain and its usage in cryptocurrency.

Through the workshop, Mr. Yung allowed participants to understand Blockchain by breaking its concepts down into visualizable, easy-to-follow procedures, before delving into its application in Bitcoin — the most popular cryptocurrency in the world to date. The talk gradually built on to real use cases of Blockchain, in which an eager audience was introduced to how blockchain could be implemented into numerous industries. A plethora of questions were raised, stimulating an interactive discussion and exchange of ideas that transcended beyond a common workshop.

Preface would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Yung for his inspiring and eye-opening talk, and will aspire to continue attracting high calibre speakers to future Preface Workshops!


Blockchain Technology 101


Blockchain 101 recorded Preface Workshop’s highest attendance in its short history, as participants from many different backgrounds gathered to learn about a technological phenomenon predicted to deliver an impact similar to that of the internet two decades ago. Fresh from his studies in Oxford’s Blockchain Course, Preface Founder and CEO Tommie Lo guided participants through intricate concepts of Blockchain, and introduced their possible use in a wide range of business scenarios through Hyperledger, a global collaborative effort facilitating blockchain technology across different industries, and backed by numerous conglomerates.

Preface Coffee is re-running this popular workshop in March 2019.


Why Do We Teach Blockchain

We have been adhering to the vision of bringing emerging knowledge to the Preface Coffee space since the first day of launch; liberalising proprietary knowledge pieces from graduate schools to a community we love, believing that there’s nothing cannot be learnt, and we then apply the knowledge to make a difference in the world.

We therefore teach Blockchain Technology as we believe in its power to become a revolutionary enterprise application. Our Blockchain workshops aim to deliver a deeper public understanding through diving into Blockchain Technology with cryptography and delving into its relationship with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Latest News

Preface Going Global

“There isn’t a thing that cannot be learnt.”

Indeed, it’s true; and Preface lives by this motto to re-innovate a global learning ecosystem for not only kids, but also adults to engage in. Today, Preface is one step closer to being a key influencer and making global impacts — being the international winner of the world’s most anticipated EdTech event, EdTechX.

An International Recognition from Tech Giants

Preface took glory earlier last year with her immersive and all-rounded learning ecosystem being spotted and valued by the Tech Giant Google, and Asia’s largest online technology media firm Tech in Asia. Going forward, Preface is honoured to celebrate her dominance in the world with another international prize.

Winning the EdTechXGlobal Rise Award from the largest international EdTechXGlobal Summit in June 2018, Preface out-competes all other education companies around the world. Being identified globally as an EdTech institution that shows the most significant innovation and growth in the education industry, Preface strives to entertain both the local and global community with advanced and emerging knowledge through her innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology; as well as the perspectives from re-designing the mindsets of learning.

What’s in Preface Ecosystem?

Preface recreates learning efficiency and experience through reinventing conventional textbooks, exercise books, tutorial notes and dictionaries into AI-powered apps for better personalised learning; these free apps boost learner’s engagement into our education-ecosystem and gather crucial study-behavioural data to our AI system to provide every user with an accurate learning journey with Preface education services — both online usage and face-to-face teaching.

Speaking to the founding team, “It’s our motto that pushes us forward. This recognition drives us to strive harder to be the game changer we have to be, the influences we need to bring and the move we want to make in education. We believe we are closer to causing an impactful change not only to China and Japan, but also other global regions.”


The EdTechXGlobal Summit

EdTechXGlobal is the world’s largest Education Summit held across the Globe every year, with stops in Asia, Europe and Africa. It brings together investors, innovators and industry influencers; global leaders from different education segments, such as publishers like Pearson, Macmillan and McGraw Hall; tech Giants’ education branches from Google, Baidu, Apple and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; as well as unicorn EdTech companies from the US and China like EdX, Coursera, Da Da English (噠噠英語), and 17zuoye (一起作業) participate to promote a global learning ecosystem.

Latest News

Preface Workshops — A space to kindle your interest…


A myriad of specialty coffee shops have been emerging in the city over the past few years. As Preface’s concept store, Preface Coffee stands out with the operation of its space that subtly blends the pleasures of savoring a whiff of freshly brewed Arabica and enjoying a free flow of up-to-date knowledge provided at Preface Workshops. In a sense, Preface Coffee is building a school in a coffee shop; in another sense, it is redesigning the notion of education and schooling.

Preface Workshops at Preface Coffee

Acknowledging the eternal evolving nature of knowledge and the limitations of academic curriculum in schools, Preface Workshops aspire to immerse the most timely knowledge and discussions in the community.

During the day, customers can enjoy the carefully crafted coffee and work on their new ideas in a free seating environment. After seven, when the hectic day of most working individuals ends, Preface Coffee transforms into an afterwork symposium in where Preface educators or guest speakers share their expertise, so participants can refresh their minds with not only coffee aroma but also mind blowing ideas from all walks of life. Through Preface Workshops, the Ed-Tech company strives to spread knowledge in a different, thus, a better way.

Preface Workshops on Education, Technology and Design

Powered by Preface, a technology and design driven company, Preface Workshops endeavour to educate the like-minded creatives on the topics of education, technology and design. Preface believes that technology is not merely grim theories, nor is design just a terminology for colours and patterns. On that account, Preface Workshops spark keen learners with open conversations on the topics of latest technologies and methods of design thinking used in project management.


Innovative workshops held for both kids and adults are mainly related to, but not limited in, programming knowledge, artificial intelligence and design thinking. Beginner courses (from level 101 to 105), like Artificial Intelligence, Ruby on Rails, Python, Data Science and Design Thinking, are open alternately throughout the year at Preface Workshops.

Artificial Intelligence 101–105 and Design Thinking 101–105 are offered this summer and fall. The former series focuses on the evolution of key AI technologies and the way they can be engaged in businesses and industries; whereas the latter engages the idea of systematic approaches to new product development as well as the rationale of customer-centred problem-solving processes.

Advanced learners or individuals who have taken a particular 5-level beginner course can further enrol in the advanced courses at Preface centers. It is in the right place at the right time to reignite the interests of eager folks in mastering skill sets needed in the 21st century.

Unstuck Your Minds in the Free Environment

Preface Coffee sits on Lau Li Street in Tin Hau

Preface Coffee sits on Lau Li Street in Tin Hau, a neighbourhood brimming with great restaurants and foodie’s favourite local street stalls. Preface Coffee is a space hard to miss. Its modern earth tone exteriors and open environment flooded with sunlight stand in stark contrast to the authentic buildings in the area, making it an inspiring place to stop by.

Attending Preface Workshops is no longer the same as that in traditional classrooms where students are bounded by chairs and tables. The design of auditorium seatings embodies the value of learning and open discussions. There, learners can grab a cup of drink, sit on the podium and indulge in the flowing of ideas when attending the workshops.

Learners are encouraged to ask questions proactively and exchange thoughts in pursuit of inducing ideas. Folks, as a result, are able to interact with one another and receive relevant information in the industries. Preface Workshops are reckoned as a place where learners can build the network to interchange materials and views. The tranquil atmosphere of learning is freed up at Preface Coffee, so as the individuals’ minds at Preface Workshops; and yet, Preface treasures free minds as they are the essence of quality education.

Its motto of ‘There isn’t a thing that cannot be learnt’ extends past the grey walls.