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HK calls for global start-ups to showcase tech

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced that the applications for the Elevator Pitch Competition 2019 (EPiC) have already started in earnest.

The Park is inviting more start-ups from around the world to come forward and take part in Hong Kong’s signature start-up competition event which will be held in Hong Kong on 8 November 2019.

Successful applicants have the opportunity to meet more than 1500 investors, accelerators, business leaders and other start-ups around the globe.

Since applications started in July, HKSTP has received tremendous response locally and from all the world. There are currently over 200 entries with a large majority of overseas applicants, coming from 41 countries and cities.

Through the competition, 100 high potential start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative business ideas to judges within a 60-second elevator ride at the International Commerce Centre (ICC), Hong Kong’s tallest building.

Ten finalists will be picked to give a longer 3-minute pitch, this time to a panel of judges made up of investors and industry leaders. Overseas start-ups to make the 100 list will receive a round-trip flight to join the competition.

There are four broad categories for the competition – Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Fintech, Health Technology and Smart City.

Overall winners stand to win cash prizes of up to US$150,000, while finalists may also stand to win prize money if their ideas impress under the four entry categories.

The 100 finalists will also join a pre-competition EPiC Acceleration Programme, where they get insights into Hong Kong’s start-up ecosystem, get to practice with potential business partners and investors during mock sessions, as well as learn about business opportunities in Hong Kong, China and Asia.

For this year’s competition, a new category will be added to Hong Kong’s secondary school students to spark their entrepreneurial spirit.

In 2018, Hong Kong attracted 591 entries from across the globe and 60 per cent of the applications came from overseas.

Of the 100 that made it to the finals, about 70 were from overseas coming from 24 different markets, including Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand and the United States, among others.

The event brought more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, angel investors, industry players, incubators, accelerators and tech disruptors together, to bolster the start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong.

Who can apply:

  • Tech Start-ups less than five years old and has received less than US$10 million in funding by 31 March 2019, or
  • Individuals who have not yet established any companies
  • Ideas should focus on four technology areas: Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Fintech, Health Technology and Smart City. Details for entry to the new category for Secondary School students will be announced on the website soon.

Competitions like these help Hong Kong grow its talent pool and establish connections with some of the most promising tech start-ups currently around. The innovations developed by these firms help Hong Kong to achieve its smart city goals as well as move forward in digital transformation.

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