Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) today (January 20) announced details of next month's StartmeupHK Festival, its influential annual showcase of what's new and what's next in the world of start-ups. Entering its fifth year, the StartmeupHK Festival this year has been extended to six days and features seven core events that will present the latest ideas, trends and innovation to an audience from around the world.
The key themes this year include changing lifestyle and retail and logistics innovation technology, smart city, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, e-sports, property tech, environment and sustainability, developing entrepreneurial talent through education and incubation, investing in start-ups, and co-innovation between start-ups and corporates. The event will also see the finals of the global Jumpstarter and WHub start-up pitching competitions.
The StartmeupHK Festival 2020 will run from February 10 to 15 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai and, on its final day, in Tsuen Wan. An international mix of more than 300 speakers from 54 countries or territories will discuss their experience and know-how in a range of panel sessions, fireside chats, keynotes and presentations. The festival attendance is set to exceed 17 000 delegates.
The signature event will be the StartmeupHK Forum on Day 2, co-hosted by InvestHK and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, when high-profile speakers in keynotes and fireside chats will shine a light on the city’s investment landscape for start-ups and scale-ups, solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues and empowering women in innovation.
"This year's festival is set against a backdrop of remarkable growth in Hong Kong's start-up ecosystem. It demonstrates the city's appeal as a place for start-ups and how welcoming it is to them," Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at InvestHK Mr Charles Ng said. "The number of start-ups in 2019 reached 3 184, up 21 per cent year on year. Importantly, the number of people working in the start-up sector grew 31 per cent to 12 478."
Citing InvestHK research on the city's start-up ecosystem, Mr Ng pointed out that about a third of the start-up founders are from outside Hong Kong, with the United States, Mainland China and the United Kingdom being the leading three places of origin.
Day 1 (February 10) will feature the Connected Cities Conference, hosted by KPMG, which will focus on innovations for the next generation of city living. Global and regional speakers from academia and business and leading entrepreneurs will showcase examples of a number of smart and connected cities and technologies from around the world including artificial intelligence and data analytics to enhance a city's liveability, workability and sustainability. A new thought leadership survey report will be launched to provide insights on the future of Hong Kong as a smart city.
Days 2 and 3 (February 11 and 12) will combine three major offerings: Jumpstarter, organised by Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund; Connected Retail Experiences, organised by Bailey Communications; and InvestHK's above-mentioned StartmeupHK Forum.
Jumpstarter is a two-day event that’s both a global pitch competition involving start-ups from around the world that will have its grand finale in the event and also a first-of-its-kind start-up conference focused exclusively on advocating entrepreneurship, showcasing quality start-ups and providing high-impact networking opportunities among start-ups, investors and corporates. It will include keynotes, panel discussions, experiential zones and workshops.
Connected Retail Experiences is a two-day conference for retailers and brand owners who recognise the rapidly changing nature of retail and are looking for solutions to help them reposition their business. It will look at the technology and innovation behind seamless branded retail experiences across all channels, along with how retailers are able to harness the power of data lakes of information that they hold about their customers’ purchasing habits.
On Day 4 (February 13) is the Lifestyle Tech Conference, hosted by Jumpstart Media, in which attendees can learn about trends from the most promising start-ups, investors, corporates and change makers disrupting peoples' bodies, purchases, downtime, technologies and aspirations, and necessities. It will provide new meaning to everyday life and key insights into the way we live. There's also the opportunity to check out the start-up zone and test gaming skills in the e-sports corner.
Day 5 (February 14) will have the Startup Impact Summit 2020, hosted by WHub. As the event title suggests, this is about creating impact, and the summit will bring together the local and international tech communities for a related showcase. It will condense 365 days of start-up life into one day, with multiple tracks, stages, workshops and resources for start-ups to scale their business. The summit this year will feature a brand new global start-up competition, co-organised by AngelHub and WHub, which will bring together prominent start-ups, investors and corporates across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as Asia.
Alongside its Startup Impact Summit, WHub will also launch a new white paper that focuses on the start-up ecosystems in the 11 cities that combine to form the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
This year's StartmeupHK Festival has an extra day on February 15 that will take delegates away from the main venue in Wan Chai to Tsuen Wan, where the Ecosystem Summit hosted by the Mills Fabrica will take place. This half-day event will focus on ways to foster and grow the start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong and globally. A series of panel sessions and roundtables will look at developing entrepreneurial talent through education and incubation, transforming corporates through innovation, and taking Hong Kong start-ups global and promoting the city as a global innovation hub.
The Head of StartmeupHK at InvestHK, Ms Jayne Chan, said, "Our need for technological solutions for global challenges has never been greater. This year's extended programme spotlights the latest technologies and innovations that are improving lives in a sustainable way, and hopefully contributing in the bigger picture. The festival looks at the way we live our lives and offers a real variety of ideas and technologies that can help us to do things better. It will showcase how Hong Kong as a leading innovation hub globally, playing its part in creating a better, smarter world."
To follow the latest start-up developments in Hong Kong, please go to the website www.startmeup.hk.
InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government responsible for attracting foreign direct investment and supporting overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services for overseas and Mainland companies. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.