Over 70 Hopeful Startups Primed for Hong Kong Mega Event of EPiC 2024 Grand Finale

0
345

    • With the final stop of semi-final contest at Stuttgart, four-city world semi-final series for EPiC 2024 global pitching contest completed and over 70 semi-finalists were selected
    • “Best-of-the-best” semi-finalists to gather in Hong Kong on 26 April 2024 and all applicants target US$45 million investment to be arranged, up to US$5 million in HKSTP venture funding, US$240,000 in cash prizes, plus partnership opportunities
    • Grand Finale set to feature stellar cast of judges with innovation gurus and leaders from Cathay, HSBC, MTR Lab and more to added in Grand Finale

      HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach Newswire – 12 March 2024 – With the completion of the last two EPiC 2024 semi-finals in Hong Kong (29 February 2024) and Stuttgart (4-5 March 2024), Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) has successfully wrapped up its first-ever world series of four regional semi-finals for the HKSTP global Elevator Pitch Competition 2024 (EPiC).

      Over the course of seven weeks from January to March, the brightest and best startups from Silicon Valley, Singapore, Hong Kong and Stuttgart (Germany) have battled in ferocious pitching contests to leave over 70 semi-finalists still standing and set for the EPiC Grand Finale in Hong Kong on 26 April 2024. All applicants have set their sights on the US$45 million investment to be arranged[1], plus up to US$5 million in HKSTP Corporate Venture Fund (CVF), as well as US$240,000 in cash prizes, plus partnership opportunities. The EPiC 2024 Grand Finale on 26 April 2024 will take place at the iconic Sky100 venue atop Hong Kong’s tallest building, International Commerce Centre (ICC), with aspiring startups literally making 60-second elevator pitches while hurtling up the ICC tower.

      Eric Or, Head of Partnerships, HKSTP, said, “EPiC 2024 has surpassed all expectations with over 70 startups of the highest quality and with the most impressive levels of talent, innovation and judging excellence that we have witnessed since this global contest began. With EPiC 2024, HKSTP has now forged a new global innovation footprint across the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, providing unmatched growth opportunities for startups plugging directly into the city’s biggest innovation ecosystem and also integrating for seamless expansion from Hong Kong to the China GBA and beyond.”

      This year, HKSTP has handpicked a star judging panel of leading figures from the Hong Kong innovation scene to determine the winners at EPiC 2024. Over 70 semi-finalists will be categorised by the three innovation tracks of PropTech, FinTech and MobilityTech. They will be assessed by the specific track judging teams, who will select four finalists from each track to join a final group for 12 startups for a final on-stage presentation to the final judging panel. From the coming Grand Finale to the series of global semi-finals, HKSTP has assembled over 100 world-class innovation leaders to steer the judging contests and more judges are being confirmed. The current Grand Finale final judges include:

      PropTech Final Judges:

      • Dr Andy Lee, Chairman, East Asia Region, ARUP;
      • Ar Donald Choi, JP, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Chinachem Group;
      • Michael Chan, Managing Director, MTR Lab;
      • Jonathan Chiu, Hong Kong President, Schneider Electric (Hong Kong) Limited.

      FinTech Final Judges:

      • Sachin Goel, Chief Technology Officer, AIA International Limited;
      • Sebastian Paredes, Head of North Asia & CEO of DBS Bank (Hong Kong);
      • Bojan Obradović, Chief Digital Officer, HSBC Hong Kong;
      • Eric Hui, CEO Zurich (Hong Kong), Chairman Zurich (China) and Chairman of HKFI InsurTech (GI) Task Force.


      MobilityTech Final Judges:

      • Lawrence Fong, Director Digital and IT, Cathay;
      • Ed Lam, CEO, LFX;
      • Andrew Ma, Chief Technology Officer, eLab Asia, AS Watson Group.

      Before coming on the stage, the selected over 70 semi-finalists will make their live 60-second pitch in front of judges while riding up the elevator at the iconic Sky100 venue atop Hong Kong’s tallest building, International Commerce Centre. The current Grand Finale elevator judges include:

      PropTech Elevator Judges:

      • Ir Yan Zhou, Assistant Director, Industry Development, Construction Industry Council;
      • Ir Dr Stewart Wan, Head of Innovation, Gammon Construction;
      • Johnny Yu, Advisor to Chairman, Henderson Land Development;
      • Wilson Cheung, Executive Director and Chief Projects Officer, HKR International;
      • Julie Wong, General Manager, Sustainability, Hysan Development;
      • Biga Luk, Managing Director – Hong Kong and Macau, Ingram Micro (China);
      • Kevin Chu, Deputy Managing Director, Kai Shing Management Services Limited;
      • Kiki Wang, General Manager, MTR Lab;
      • Kain Chow, Head of Group Technology Strategy, New World Development;
      • Kevin Lee, Head of Smart Facilities Management, SOCAM Development.

      FinTech Elevator Judges:

      • Edison Sam, Director of Technology, Digital and Analytics Transformation, AIA International Limited;
      • Timothy Lee, Managing Director, Head of Transaction Banking Group Greater China, BNP Paribas;
      • Derek Ip, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, FT Life;
      • Charles Chang, VP, Head of Digital Platforms, FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited;
      • Dr Gabriel Leung, Executive Advisor – Hong Kong and Macau, Hewlett Packard Enterprise;
      • Mimi Poon, General Manager, IBM Hong Kong;
      • Selina Lau, Chief Executive, The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers;
      • Binnie Wong, Managing Director, Global Family and Institutional Wealth Management, UBS Wealth Management.


      MobilityTech Elevator Judges:

      • Kammy Leung, Hong Kong General Manager, Global Import Supply Chain Division, Cainiao;
      • Aldric Chau, General Manager Digital, Cathay;
      • Steve Ng, Managing Director of Commercial Group, HKT;
      • Lily Lai, Chief Information Officer, Hong Kong International Airport;
      • Nixon Cheung, Head of Commercial and Brand, Hong Kong Tramways;
      • Lilliana Choi, Corporate Development & Affairs and Real Estate Investments Director, Jebsen Group;
      • Robert Ip, Managing Director, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Limited;
      • Keith Ip, Chief Technology Officer, Li & Fung;
      • Dennis Mak, Managing Director – Greater China, Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Hong Kong Limited;
      • Joseph Leung, Finance Director, The Kowloon Bus Motor Bus Co. (1933) Ltd.

      EPiC 2024 Grand Finales also gives valuable chance to startups to get noticed from investors with their cutting-edge solutions and business plans. Investors judges will also select 12 finalists out of over 70 semi-finalists in the 60-second elevator pitches. Investor Final Judges and Investor Elevator Judges confirmed to attend Grand Finale including Lap Man, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Beyond Ventures; Dr Alfred Shang, Managing Partner, Bitrock Capital; Kenneth Lee, Investment Director, Gaw Capital; Dr Jason Sun, Operation Director, Hong Kong X; Dr Samson Tam, JP, Partner, InnoAngel; Alex Zhou, Investment Manager, Jafco Asia; David Chang, Managing Partner, Mindworks Capital, and Michael Chow, Managing Director, Radiant Tech Ventures.

      EPiC has a proven track record of propelling success for past finalists and winners. Two notable examples are Archifiction from EPiC 2023 and Papkot from 2021. Archifiction is a naked-eye 3D XR tech venture based in Silicon Valley and now also Hangzhou in China. Through EPiC, it successfully partnered with a leading Hong Kong property group, Henderson Land, to create a pioneering XR experience centre in Hong Kong and it will soon launch and power further growth in this region. Meanwhile, Papkot is a French greentech that set up in Hong Kong and through EPiC expanded with a lab at the HKSTP Shenzhen Branch. Today it is aggressively taking its ground-breaking plastic-free paper packaging to meet critical market needs and opportunities here in Hong Kong and the GBA.

      All chosen semi-finalists for the Grand Finale will gain vital exposure to international investors as well as the cream of corporate innovators in the region. While the access to HKSTP’s Shenzhen Branch provides global ventures with scalable, efficient, and dedicated infrastructure and services support, in the expansion to Mainland China. More information can be found on: EPiC 2024 (https://epic.hkstp.org/) and HKSTP Shenzhen Branch (https://www.hkstp.org/hong-kong-and-beyond/greater-bay-area/hkstp-shenzhen/).

      Photo 1: HKSTP successfully completed regional Elevator Pitch Competition 2024 (EPiC) Hong Kong Semi-final on 29 February 2024, with 12 of the Hong Kong’s brightest innovators selected to participate in EPiC 2024 Grand Finale on 26 April 2024.
      Photo 1: HKSTP successfully completed regional Elevator Pitch Competition 2024 (EPiC) Hong Kong Semi-final on 29 February 2024, with 12 of the Hong Kong’s brightest innovators selected to participate in EPiC 2024 Grand Finale on 26 April 2024.

      Photo 2: HKSTP successfully completed regional Elevator Pitch Competition 2024 (EPiC) Stuttgart Semi-final on 4-5 March 2024, with 20 of the European brightest innovators selected to participate in EPiC 2024 Grand Finale on 26 April 2024.
      Photo 2: HKSTP successfully completed regional Elevator Pitch Competition 2024 (EPiC) Stuttgart Semi-final on 4-5 March 2024, with 20 of the European brightest innovators selected to participate in EPiC 2024 Grand Finale on 26 April 2024.

      Photo 3: Eric Or, Head of Partnerships, HKSTP, said, “EPiC 2024 has surpassed all expectations with over 70 startups of the highest quality and with the most impressive levels of talent, innovation and judging excellence that we have witnessed since this global contest began. With EPiC 2024, HKSTP has now forged a new global innovation footprint across the US, Europe, SE Asia, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, providing unmatched growth opportunities for startups plugging directly into the city’s biggest innovation ecosystem and also integrating for seamless expansion from Hong Kong to the China GBA and beyond.”
      Photo 3: Eric Or, Head of Partnerships, HKSTP, said, “EPiC 2024 has surpassed all expectations with over 70 startups of the highest quality and with the most impressive levels of talent, innovation and judging excellence that we have witnessed since this global contest began. With EPiC 2024, HKSTP has now forged a new global innovation footprint across the US, Europe, SE Asia, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, providing unmatched growth opportunities for startups plugging directly into the city’s biggest innovation ecosystem and also integrating for seamless expansion from Hong Kong to the China GBA and beyond.”

      Photo 4: Featured startups showcased FinTech, PropTech and MobilityTech innovations in EPiC 2024 Hong Kong Semi-Final Contest
      Photo 4: Featured startups showcased FinTech, PropTech and MobilityTech innovations in EPiC 2024 Hong Kong Semi-Final Contest

      Photo 5: Featured startups showcased FinTech, PropTech and MobilityTech innovations in EPiC 2024 Stuttgart Semi-Final Contest.
      Photo 5: Featured startups showcased FinTech, PropTech and MobilityTech innovations in EPiC 2024 Stuttgart Semi-Final Contest.


      [1] Target to arrange USD45 Million investment: Investors (including funds managed by HKSTP CVF, Beyond Ventures, BitRock Capital, Gaw Capital, HKX, InnoAngel, Jafco Asia, Mindworks Capital and Radiant Tech Ventures) will consider investing in applicants (subject to terms and conditions to be agreed between the parties)

      The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

      About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

      Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) was established in 2001 with a mission to position Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub. HKSTP has created a thriving I&T ecosystem supporting over 10 unicorns with more than 13,000 research professionals and around 1,700 technology companies from 26 countries and regions focused on healthtech, AI and robotics, fintech and smart city technologies.

      We offer comprehensive support to attract and nurture talent, accelerate and commercialise innovation for technology ventures on their I&T journey. Our growing innovation ecosystem is built around our key locations of Hong Kong Science Park in Shatin, InnoCentre in Kowloon Tong and three modern InnoParks in Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long. The three InnoParks are realising a vision of new industrialisation for Hong Kong, where sectors including advanced manufacturing, micro-electronics and biotechnology are being reimagined.

      Hong Kong Science Park Shenzhen Branch in Futian, Shenzhen, opened in September 2023 to support Hong Kong’s future development and its growing demands of the I&T industry and to strengthen cross-border exchange, attract technology companies as well as talent from around the world, helping them go global. It has both dry and wet laboratories, co-working space, conference and exhibition spaces, and more. We will focus on attracting enterprises in seven key areas: Medtech, big data and AI, robotics, new materials, microelectronics, fintech and sustainability.

      Through our infrastructure, services, expertise, and network of partnerships, HKSTP will help establish I&T as a pillar of growth for Hong Kong.

      More information about HKSTP is available at .