Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) announced details of its five-day StartmeupHK Festival 2020, which will run from July 6 to 10. Befitting its theme of start- ups and technology, the festival is making the unprecedented move of transforming from an in-person event to a fully virtual experience.
The week-long extravaganza of start-up events will feature keynote addresses by renowned industry figures from around the world, exhibitions, investor matching and a jobs fair, and will be open to attendees across the globe for free, with additional paid premium sessions. The festival will showcase the latest developments in smart cities, retail tech, artificial intelligence, fintech, lifestyle tech, and global start-up trends and insights. It represents a unique opportunity for start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, students and government representatives to connect, exchange ideas and benefit from business opportunities in Hong Kong, Mainland China and elsewhere in Asia.
“Despite the challenges, Hong Kong’s start-up ecosystem remains resilient,” Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at InvestHK Mr Charles Ng said. “Our solid track record stands as a testimony to Hong Kong’s enduring appeal as a place for start-ups to settle, grow, launch and expand into other markets.
He added, “The number of start-ups in Hong Kong in 2019 reached 3 184, up 21 per cent year on year. And, importantly, the number of people working in the city’s start-up sector grew 31 per cent to 12 478. Hong Kong’s appeal as a start-up hub extends to a wide variety of industries, with sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, supply chain management and logistics technology all having experienced phenomenal growth in recent years.”
Citing InvestHK research on the city’s start-up ecosystem, Mr Ng pointed out that about one-third of start-up founders came from outside Hong Kong, with the United States, Mainland China and the United Kingdom being the leading three places of origin.
Day 1 (July 6) of the festival will feature the Connected Cities Conference, an event hosted by KPMG, showcasing innovations for the next generation of urban living. Global and regional speakers from academia and business, including leading entrepreneurs, will discuss successful smart cities around the world and how smart technologies, including the Internet of things, artificial intelligence and data analytics can enhance a city’s liveability, workability and sustainability.
Day 2 (July 7) will play host to Connected Retail Experiences, a full-day virtual fair and half-day conference hosted by Bailey Communications for retailers and brand owners that understand retail is changing and that are looking for solutions to help reposition their businesses. The event will encompass the technology and innovation that goes into creating seamless branded retail experiences across all channels, as well as the future of retailing and how retailers are able to harness the power of the data lakes of information that they hold on their customers’ purchasing habits.
Straddling Day 2 and Day 3 (July 7 and 8) and hosted by WHub, the Startup Impact Summit 2020 will be what its name suggests – an event that brings together the local and international tech communities to showcase ideas and create impact. The event will feature multiple tracks with stages dedicated to venture capital, innovation, social impacts, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and overseas markets. It will also include start-up pitches, a job fair, a start-up village, workshops, investor matching and a masterclass, as well as an Asia-wide hackathon. The event aims to connect entrepreneurs, corporates, investors and students, and help the audience gain practical skills to start and scale their business.
Day 4 (July 9) will see an exciting double-header of the Lifestyle Tech Conference and the Ecosystem Summit. Hosted by Jumpstart Media, the Lifestyle Tech Conference will provide key insights into the global start-up ecosystem. The half-day virtual conference will bring together high-value speakers from around the world, dissect today’s top trends, and share the experiences of the most promising start-ups, investors, corporates and change-makers disrupting our world today. It will also include a curated full-day virtual investor-matching session. The event will offer a sneak peek into the future of everyday life – participants will be able to hear first-hand on how lifestyle tech is changing the way we live, eat, work and shop.
Meanwhile, the Ecosystem Summit, hosted by the Mills Fabrica, will focus on ways to foster and grow the start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong and internationally. With a series of panels and roundtables, the half-day event will highlight ways to develop entrepreneurial talent through education and incubation, transform corporates through innovation, take Hong Kong start-ups global, and promote the city as a world innovation hub.
Day 5 (July 10) will end the festival on a strong note with the Hong Kong Financial Institutions Awards 2020 Forum. Hosted by Sina Finance, with support from the Center for Investing at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and S&P Global Market Intelligence, the forum and awards ceremony will celebrate the success of innovators in Hong Kong’s financial sector and recognise awardees’ contributions to the city’s financial markets. This year’s theme is “The road ahead: How will entrepreneurs be adaptive to the changing world in the next decade?”.
The Head of StartmeupHK at InvestHK, Ms Jayne Chan, said, “Now entering its fifth year, this year’s festival will be truly an embodiment of the Hong Kong start-up ecosystem in action – from investors who provide the capital to fuel technological development to start-up owners who push the boundaries and corporations that embrace new technological solutions. Participants will be able to witness first-hand how these movers and shakers are transforming every aspect of our lives, by the minute and for the better. The year 2020 marks the start of a new decade. Now it’s time for all of us to join forces to harness the wind of innovation and chart a course for the future.”