Nurturing start-ups and promoting innovation in Hong Kong
The 11th HKTDC Entrepreneur Day (E-Day), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The opening ceremony for the two-day event was officiated by Jason Chiu, Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Startup Council. E-Day brings together more than 280 exhibitors, offering a one-stop platform for start-ups to get inspired, seek funding, source talents and build connections. It also offers investors an invaluable opportunity to discover innovative new products and services.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Margaret Fong, HKTDC Executive Director, said: “Start-ups are a powerful growth engine for Hong Kong’s economy and supporting them is a priority for the HKTDC. The vibrancy of the local start-up ecosystem can clearly be seen at E-Day, which has kept pace with market developments by introducing new elements every year and doubling the number of exhibitors over the past decade.” Ms Fong added that she was pleased to see that E-Day has thrived alongside local start-ups, with angel funds, mentoring programmes, shared workspaces and accelerators emerging to provide Hong Kong entrepreneurs with a broad range of support.
Start-ups show stronger focus on corporate social responsibility
Under the theme of “The Start-up Living Lab”, the 2019 E-Day encourages start-ups and prospective entrepreneurs to create solutions for challenges in four different areas of everyday life – clothing, food, housing and transportation – using innovative ideas and research to develop new products and services. This year’s E-Day exhibition features more than 280 exhibitors and their advanced products and technologies, many of which address current social problems and showcase corporate social responsibility initiatives. The Imaginarium zone features local start-ups that are developing real-life applications in the areas of healthtech, biotech, fintech, greentech, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Final Start-up Express pitching contest held tomorrow
Another key HKTDC initiative is Start-up Express, a start-up development programme now in its second year. In 2019 the programme will see 20 start-up finalists proposing solutions to improve efficiency in daily life and promote smart city development through AI, big data, greentech, fintech, the Internet of Things (IoT), medical technology, tourism technology and so on. The proposed ideas include a technology education start-up, iSTEM, that analyses emotions and hand gestures using big data, AI, VR and other technological applications to enhance students’ engagement; and GoByBus, a mobile platform that provides long-distance bus reservation services. The Our Hong Kong Foundation and AMTD Group are the official partner and strategic partner of Start-up Express, respectively.
The final Start-up Express pitching contest takes place tomorrow (17 May) with the top 20 finalists presenting their ideas to a panel of judges led by Duncan Chiu, Co-founder and Managing Director of Radiant Venture Capital; Calvin Choi, Chairman and President, AMTD Group; Jason Chiu, CEO of Cherrypicks; Jimmy Tao, Managing Director and CEO of Vitargent (International) Biotechnology Limited; and Prof GuanHua Chen, Co-founder of Hong Kong X-Tech Startup Platform. A total of 10 winners will be selected to explore new businesses opportunities overseas by taking part in various international events and exhibitions – including “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong”, a large-scale business promotional event to be held in Los Angeles in the United States – to help them break into new markets.
Forums encourage innovative thinking
The “Start-up Runway” forum, one of the highlights of E-Day, was held today, featuring a wide range of speakers including Sergio Pachon, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Kiwi Campus Inc, a campus robot delivery service company from the US, and Jack Zhang, CEO and Co-founder of Airwallexas. Participants also heard from two local start-up entrepreneurs, Andy Chan, Founder and Executive Director of Qupital Limited, a fintech company focusing on supply chain management that raised US$15 million in Series A funding, and Jordan Fung, 16-year-old Founder & CEO of Pedosa Group, who discussed the best business practices and ideas, including operations management on the ground, to help audience members plan their own business strategy.
Other entrepreneurs such as Jason Zheng, Co-founder & CEO of HelloToby, Joe Mak, Founder and CEO of ANIWEAR Company Ltd, and Fred Ngan, Co-founder & Co-CEO of Bowtie Life Insurance Company Limited, took to the stage to share their secrets behind transforming from start-ups into larger-scale enterprises and discuss start-up trends, including developments in fintech, AI, smart city development, medical technology and education technology.
Another successful element of E-Day was today’s E-Living Hackathon, a first-time collaboration with Young Founders School which invited young and prospective entrepreneurs to design solutions to address some of life’s daily annoyances. The activity collected more than 220 examples of real life challenges contributed by the public, selecting three key challenges for the young participants to work together to come up with innovative solutions and practices.
GBA Compass helps participants navigate Greater Bay Area development
This year’s event featured a seminar titled “GBA Compass”, where speakers including Tim Lee, Founder & CEO of QFPay Group, one of the largest aggregate payment platforms in Mainland China, and Abraham Lam, Director & CEO of MEGA Automation, shared their insights on the start-up ecosystem in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), its potential for development as a production base and consumer market, and the growing demand for professional services.
Various organisations supporting the start-up ecosystem in the GBA joined government bodies, including the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, and other departments promoting the development of the GBA, to participate in an exhibition and provide up-to-date market information and advisory services to current and potential entrepreneurs.
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Entrepreneur Day (E-Day) details:
Hours: 16 May – 11am-6:30pm; 17 May (Friday) – 11am-6pm
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter@hktdc, LinkedIn.
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