InvestHK Announces 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Program Grand Award Winners
Six budding entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, the UK and the US were today (November 11) named champions of the 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme, the second global startup contest designed and staged by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK).
After the two final rounds of pitching in front of judges and attendees at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum 2014, Freightos, Perseus Telecom and Scoutbots were named winners of the three Grand Awards. In addition, Easy Finance from the UK, Seevider from the US and Scoutbots from Hong Kong were named winners of the new special awards, FinTech, SmartCity and Data Analytics awards respectively (see table below). The six will get prizes worth around HK$5 million in the form of free professional services, mentoring and work space provided by corporate sponsors.
The 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme organised by InvestHK aims to raise awareness of Hong Kong’s potential as Asia’s leading hub of entrepreneurship and innovation. The global competition saw 550 entries filed from 47 economies, compared to 384 entries from 39 economies in 2013.
The announcement of the Grand Award Winners came at the end of the StartmeupHK Venture Forum today. The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, opened the Forum, followed by welcome remarks by the Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Simon Galpin. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, made closing remarks and presented prizes to the winners. Other speakers included President and CEO of Kauffman Fellows, Mr Phil Wickham; Co-founder and President, Yolu Co Ltd, Mr Richard Robinson; Founder and Managing Director, Anthemis Group, Mr Nadeem Shaikh; Founder and Director, True Global Ventures, Mr Dusan Stojanovic; CIO of NEST, Ms Jennifer Carver; CEO and co-founder of 9GAG, Mr Ray Chan; CEO of Cherrypicks, Mr Jason Chiu; CEO of Nixplay, Mr Mark Palfreeman and Founder Partner of SXE Ventures, Mr Danny Yeung.
Mr Galpin said, “After two successful competitions and given the tremendous response and high quality of the entries, I believe that Hong Kong’s position as one of the fastest growing startup hubs in Asia has been confirmed. InvestHK will continue to encourage scalable entrepreneurs to come and set up in our city and enjoy its many enduring business advantages, while bringing new skills and ideas to inspire our local community.”
As well as overseas and local speakers, the panel of judges included President of Prospect Ventures, Ms Renu Bhatia; Board Member and Co-founder of the International IP Commercialization Council, Mr Johnson Kong and 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.
Name of Company Origin
Freightos Hong Kong
Perseus Telecom US
Scoutbots Ltd Hong Kong
FinTech Award: Easy Finance UK
SmartCity Award: Seevider US
Data Analytics Scoutbots Hong Kong
InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government established in July 2000 to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 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 June 2014, InvestHK has completed over 3 300 investment projects creating more than 36 400 new jobs in the first year of operation or expansion and over HK$88 billion of investment.