February 23, 2024

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HKSTP hosts first-ever virtual elevator pitch competition

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) held its annual Elevator Pitch Competition 2020 (EPiC) virtually for the first time to unveil new and exciting pitching, investment and partnership opportunities as global start-ups face a challenging business landscape. A US-based biotechnology start-up topped other finalists to be crowned champion and claimed the top prize at the competition.

HKSTP’s annual flagship event this year expanded to a week-long virtual programme. It garnered a great response with over 77,000 live views at today’s pitching competition. This year, EPiC attracted 476 entries from 37 countries and cities across five continents. A total of 170 contestants from 31 different markets entered the semi-final round, with nearly 70% of them coming from overseas.

The champion and winner of the Smart City category is a company that upcycles and reengineers protein food waste into plastic and cotton alternative fibres for the fashion, medical and packaging industries. The three Tech Category Winners, including a UK-based AI & Robotics start-up, a Philippines-based fintech start-up, and a Portugal-based health technology start-up, showcased their full potential as innovators in the competition.

The CEO of HKSTP stated that this year’s successful staging of the 5th EPiC is a clear sign of our determination to provide a platform of unmatched opportunities to start-ups around the world to showcase their innovations and demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit. The week-long programme is also a show of strength and resilience for Hong Kong’s rapidly growing innovation and technology ecosystem which propels start-ups and their ideas to success in Hong Kong, Asia and beyond.

Since inception in 2016, EPiC has drawn a huge number of international start-ups to make a live one-minute elevator pitch to leading investors and judges at the International Commerce Centre (ICC), the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. This year, the contestants switched modes to present their innovative business ideas, with a one-minute video pitch submitted to simulate the signature 60-second elevator ride.

The top ten finalists were given another opportunity to face the judges in a three-minute live pitch and two-minute Q&A, before announcing the overall champion, who took away a cash prize of US$100,000 while each of the category winners received a cash prize of US$10,000 and all ten finalists won US$6,000 each.

The competition marks a major progression for start-ups who gained valuable exposure among investors and industry leaders in their ongoing entrepreneurship journey. To further bolster the growth and development of local and overseas start-ups, this year’s EPiC provides a wider array of business opportunities to explore and acquire a better understanding of the investment landscape in the region with the upcoming “Global Matching” programme from 9 to 12 November and the “Investment x Corporate Innovation Conference” on 13 November.

The COVID-19 undoubtedly forced a complete change in daily life, and millions of businesses are being disrupted. While the world’s economy has been slowing in the past few months, several innovation and technology (I&T) events in Hong Kong carry on albeit differently.

Hong Kong’s leading I&T ecosystem is also forging a virtual path forward­ to bring up opportunities and create collaboration platforms free of geographical, travel and social distancing constraints. HKSTP, as the city’s largest R&D base that bridges innovators with investors, corporates and industry leaders and other stakeholders, has made virtual events the “new normal”.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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