Most International and Tech-focused Edition Ever
17 May 2018－A record 276 exhibitors are taking part at the 10th HKTDC Entrepreneur Day, which opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and continues through tomorrow. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Entrepreneur Day provides start-ups with an opportunity to obtain useful information, seek funding, establish connections and recruit talent. Showcasing a wide range of innovative technologies and products, as well as supporting services tailored for entrepreneurs, the event is expected to draw 18,000 visitors.
Officiating at the opening ceremony of Entrepreneur Day this morning, Nicholas W Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, said that the administration has been increasingly supportive of start-ups since the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau about two years ago. He noted that various measures have been put in place to create a favourable ecosystem for start-ups, including increasing the quota for incubation programmes, as well as launching the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund, Inno Space and the InnoCell development project. The Government’s 2018/19 Budget also proposed allocating additional funds to Cyberport and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation to provide further support for start-ups, he added.
Increasingly international and tech-focused
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Raymond Yip, Acting Executive Director, HKTDC said Hong Kong is becoming an important part of the global start-up community, thanks to the HKSAR Government’s policy to promote the development of innovation and technology, coupled with the new opportunities presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development. “Both are pull factors attracting overseas talents to start their businesses in the city,” he said.
Reflecting these trends, this year’s Entrepreneur Day is the most international and technology focused edition ever. The event welcomes start-up exhibitors from Canada, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States for the first time, while over half of all exhibitors are tech-related. The Imaginarium zone, dedicated to showcasing innovative technology, spotlights 140 exhibitors, more than double last year’s number, indicating that more and more start-ups are specialising in such sectors as medical tech, bio- tech, fintech, green tech, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
New features enhance one-stop platform
New initiatives have been launched at this year’s Entrepreneur Day, further enhancing this one-stop platform for start-ups to pitch ideas to potential investors and business partners, seek advice from experts, recruit talent and establish business connections.
A key event highlight is the final contest of the HKTDC’s new, 2018-launched “Start-up Express” incubation programme, which will take place at Entrepreneur Day tomorrow (18 May) to yield 10 winners. They will be invited to take part in a mission to the Bay Area and a series of major international trade fairs, free of charge. Business leaders, including Vincent HS Lo, Chairman, HKTDC; Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Fung Group; Daryl Ng, Deputy Chairman, Sino Group; and Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner, Sequoia Capital China will share their experiences with the winners during a series of power meet-ups. Furthermore, “NiCubator”, a project set up by actor and entrepreneur Nicholas Tse, may also provide the winners with promotional opportunities.
Meanwhile, a “Start-up Dreams” mini exhibition is being held from 8-20 May at the HKTDC Design Gallery store in Wan Chai, featuring innovative products from 10 Entrepreneur Day exhibitors to help them test the market and gain retail experience. Among the products are a “smart skateboard” – a self-balancing skateboard controlled by human motion [Booth no: Start-up Express Display Area], unique fashion accessories that integrate 3D printing technology with traditional craftsmanship [Booth no: 1D-C08], and a “smart wearable device” that monitors a baby’s vital indicators including the blood oxygen level, heart rate and body temperature [Booth no: SU-D14]
Making its debut at Entrepreneur Day, the “Start-up Battle” talk will provide job seekers with an introduction of the local start-up scene. The “Start-ups Meet Talent” recruitment session, co-organised by the HKTDC and WHub, aims to connect talented job seekers with the best start-ups in the city. A total of 16 start-ups, including AfterShip Limited, Datum and Pakpobox, will make on-site recruitment.
Also new to Entrepreneur Day is the “Start-up Clinic”, which provides one-on-one customised business consultation / advisory services for start-ups. A total of 11 industry experts including Alvin Lam, Managing Partner, T12M Ventures Ltd and Rono Kwong, Founder, Best Video Ltd, will assist start-ups to solve problems in the areas of accounting, financial management, information technology (IT) application as well as branding and marketing.
From start-up to scale up
Bonnie Cheung, Venture Partner, 500 Startups; Wesley Ng, Co-founder and CEO, Casetify and Norma Chu, CEO, DayDayCook shared their rewarding journeys from start-up to scale-up this morning at the plenary session of the “Start up-Runway” seminar series.
At these seminars, over 40 entrepreneurs from various industries will share their secrets of success, and explore the future development of AI, the Internet of Everything (IoE), fintech, healthtech, edtech and more.
Forming a start-up community
Other highlight events include the “Bootcamp by Techstars Startup Weekend”, co-organised with Startup Weekend Hong Kong; “Pitching for Charity”, co-organised with Jumpstart Media; and “Fund & Mentor”. “Start-up Mixer” will be held tomorrow, allowing start-ups to meet with experts from a wide spectrum of industries in a speed-dating format.
The HKTDC will officially launch a start-up portal, “HK Startup Society”, in October. Renowned entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, such as founder of Goxip, Gogovan and Rotten Tomatoes, will share in-depth articles regularly, analysing common problems facing start-ups as well as success and failure factors.
About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 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 information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus.