Three entrepreneurs from New Zealand, the US and Hong Kong today (December 5) were named champions of the 2013 StartmeupHK Venture Programme, the first global start-up contest designed and staged by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK).
After two final rounds of judging at the Conference Hall of Central Government Offices at Tamar, D’Arcy Polychrome Ltd, Hanson Robotics and Wifinity Ltd beat nine other finalists to win the Grand Awards and receive prizes worth around HK$2 million in the form of free professional services and work space for one year provided by eight corporate sponsors.
The announcement of the Grand Award winners came at the end of the department’s StartmeupHK Venture Forum held at the Conference Hall today. The Forum was opened by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, while the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, made closing remarks. Speakers included Founder and Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Mr Tim Draper from the US; Founder and CEO of OurCrowd Mr Jonathan Medved from Israel; and Founder of School for Startups Mr Douglas Richard from the UK.
Mr Tsang said, “Hong Kong actually has all the conditions favourable for quality start-ups, both local and overseas, to flourish, and it is well placed to leverage its enduring advantages in support of such ventures. Our city is most definitely the right place for you to turn your brilliant ideas into a scalable enterprise and to expand your business globally.”
Congratulating the winners, Mr So said, “Hong Kong is starting to ride on the global trend of start-ups, using our own unique advantages to compete with significant start-up hubs like Silicon Valley, Silicon Roundabout in London, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and more. In the long run, I hope that entrepreneurs like you will bring business creativity to our economy, as a catalyst to reshape and reinforce the home-grown start-up culture in Hong Kong.”
The Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Simon Galpin said he was happy to see the successful conclusion of the 2013 Venture Programme, and said, “The strong response to the competition reflects the fact that entrepreneurs are increasingly seeing Hong Kong as an important startup hub in Asia. We hope to make the competition an annual event to pull together the public and private sectors in the start-up community.”
The panel of judges included the Executive Chairman of Golien Ltd, Mr Max Burger; the Chief Strategist Officer of Schneider Electric, Ms Carina Ho; Co-Chairman, Venture Committee, Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Mr Marvin Lai; the Vice-President of Asia Pacific, China and Japan Strategy and Business Development at IMS Health, Mr Andy Liu; the Executive Director and Group Chief Financial and Operating Officer of MF Jebsen Group, Mr Alvin Miu; the Publisher and CEO of WealthAsia Group, Ms Elsa Pau; the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Outblaze, Mr Yat Siu; and the Chief Representative, China, Silicon Valley Bank, Mr Mike Yahng.
InvestHK’s dedicated website www.startmeup.hk offers a one-stop portal to the city’s start-up community, and is the first such Hong Kong Government portal on start-ups. It also lists the latest start-up events and signposts users to various government incentive and incubation schemes.
InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government established in July 2000 to take responsibility for Foreign Direct Investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong’s vibrant economy. As at September 2, 2013, InvestHK has completed 3 000 investment projects creating 33 950 new jobs in the first year of operation or expansion and over HK$78.6 billion of investment. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.
For event photos, please visit www.flickr.com/photos/investhk/sets/72157638372993774/.
Ends/Thursday, December 5, 2013