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HKSTP's Elevator Pitch Competition Attracts Keen Global Interest Showcasing Hong Kong's Rising Profile as a Start-up Hub

2017-11-03 02:17
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Strengthening Hong Kong's entrepreneurial spirit, 100 technology start-ups from around the world take a unique opportunity to meet potential investors

HONG KONG, Nov. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) held the Elevator Pitch Competition 2017 (EPiC), a leading annual event for the increasingly important Hong Kong start-up industry, at the iconic International Commerce Centre (ICC). After seven months of intense competition, Cathay Photonics Limited has beaten 99 other finalists from across the globe to be crowned champion and claimed an investment prize worth US$140,000. Cathay Photonics Limited is a Hong Kong-based company, founded in 2014 by a group of physicists and engineers that engaged in research and development of specially-coated glass and ceramic products.

"This year's competition was highly competitive and attracted a number of excellent local and overseas start-ups. This highlights Hong Kong's significant position as an international hub for start-ups to thrive, given its strong global connections, proximity to the Mainland China market, and more importantly, the accessibility to funding and investors," said Fanny Law, Chairperson of HKSTP.

"I am delighted about the success of EPiC and would like to personally congratulate Cathay Photonics Limited on winning the investment prize," said Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP. "The competition has created a unique platform for local and international start-ups to mingle and exchange innovative ideas. In fact the diversity and quality of the home-grown and international start-up projects on display reinforced the fact that Hong Kong is the place for technology start-ups to grow and operate. As a key supporter and incubator of technology start-ups in the city, HKSTP also endeavors to provide a strong driving force for Hong Kong's transformation into an innovation-led economy. I believe that EPiC will spur this vibrant development in Hong Kong and help contribute to the further development of the city into a regional innovation and technology start-up hub."

In an intensely competitive, yet fun-filled, environment, an internationally diverse range of 100 start-ups pitched their ideas to investors and industry experts, in a 60-second elevator ride. From these ten contestants were selected to face a panel of judges and potential angel investors at Sky 100 atop the ICC with a longer three-minute pitch, with one being named the eventual champion. The event not only provided the opportunity for participating start-ups to raise funding, but additionally gave them the chance to connect with start-ups from across the globe. The contestants also gained valuable experience from one-on-one matching with angel investors to validate their ideas and business concepts as well as two panel discussion sessions held before the pitch competition.

The ability to attract a large number of overseas entrants shows the growing importance of Hong Kong as a regional technology and innovation hub. This year 40% of entrants to EPiC came from overseas. The contestant composition was also extremely diverse, with representatives from the software and hardware, robotics, IoT, big data, materials, wearables, biotech and fintech sectors.

Six local universities participated as partners in the programme (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Baptist University). In total there were 68 applications from these institutions with 13 alumni and current students from them amongst the final 100 start-ups. As a key supporter of technology start-ups in Hong Kong, HKSTP strives to catalyse their growth by supporting universities at the upper stream of the innovation and technology ecosystem value chain, to transfer technology and translate academic research into commercialised products.

The application process for EPiC began in April this year, and a total of 458 applications were received. To be eligible, this year's start-up entrants must have been less than five-years-old on 24 April 2017 and have received less than US$10 million in funding by that date.

Country / region and sector breakdown of 100 finalists

Country / Region

No. of Finalists

Australia

3

Canada

4

Chile

1

Mainland China

3

Finland

1

Hong Kong

61

India

1

Ireland

1

Israel

2

Italy

2

Japan

1

South Korea

2

Singapore

5

Spain

1

Taiwan

5

Thailand

1

Ukraine

1

United Kingdom

1

United States

4

Around 40% from overseas

Sector Breakdown
Sector Breakdown

List of winners

Award

Company Name

Country / Region

Category

Champion

Cathay Photonics Ltd*         

Hong Kong

Material and Precision Engineering

1st Runner-up

Vox Technology Limited

Hong Kong

Electronics

2nd Runner-up

Bee Hive Network Information Technology Limited

Hong Kong

FinTech

Lenovo Innovation Awards

Capsule Delivery System

Hong Kong

Green Technology

Cathay Photonics Ltd        

Hong Kong

Material and Precision Engineering

Igloohome

Singapore

Information & Communications Technology

My Most Favorable Start-up:

Motive Force Technology Limited

Hong Kong

Information & Communications Technology

*Cathay Photonics Limited (CPL) is a Hong Kong-based company, founded in 2014 by a group of physicists and engineers with extensive experience in the photonics and optoelectronics industries. Embracing a vision to improve the quality of life, CPL is engaged in research and development, commercialisation, marketing, and sale of specially-coated glass and ceramics products. We invented the technology of depositing an ultra-thin layer of sapphire onto a softer substrate, such as quartz and chemically strengthened glass. It can be applied in many different areas, such as smartphone screens and all kinds of glass surfaces, even rounded ones used for watches or TVs. A very thin layer is enough to guarantee excellent protection without diminishing transparency, since optical transmission of the film is very near to that of glass, between 89% and 92%. The invention received the Grand Prix at the 2016 Geneva International Invention Exhibition. The experts at CPL are dedicated to providing creative solutions for the photonics and optoelectronics industries. With more than 60 years of cumulative R&D and industrial knowledge, CPL has the ability to take customers' needs from the conceptual stage, through engineering-design, to final manufacture. A number of inventions have been filed for patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Cathay Photonics Limited has beaten 99 other finalists from across the globe to be crowned champion and claimed an investment prize worth US$140,000.
Cathay Photonics Limited has beaten 99 other finalists from across the globe to be crowned champion and claimed an investment prize worth US$140,000.

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About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.

Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.

Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long. More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.

Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20171103/1982620-1-c 
Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20171103/1982620-1 

Source: Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

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