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Hong Kong to host startup conference in 2019

According to a recent report, a major China-based e-commerce and tech giant’s Entrepreneurs Fund has announced plans to hold its second JUMPSTARTER startup conference in January 2019 and to open the event to global participants for the first time.

The two-day conference will commence on 23 January 2019 and will include keynotes and talks, master classes and workshops, 1:1 matching and mentoring, networking, on-stage demo pitching and a startup pavilion for companies to showcase their innovative ideas.

The company will select 100 start-ups from Hong Kong and another 100 from overseas to meet with international corporates and investors to exchange ideas and pursue collaboration opportunities.

The top 36 shortlisted start-ups from each track will have a chance to showcase their products and services at the exhibition.

The conference’s launchpad is open to start-ups that are between the seed and series C capital stage, has been operating for less than five years and has raised less than HK$235 million (US$30 million), and that has an innovative product or services for which they believe Hong Kong could serve as a key base for further development.

A qualifying start-up’s core business must come from at least one of the four key growth areas of the smart city, retail technology, advanced technology and financial services.

Various tech giants, I&T experts and other established companies will attend to share innovation insights and expertise and participate in 1:1 mentoring and networking with the start-ups.

The Entrepreneurs Fund’s executive director stated that with Hong Kong rapidly becoming a high-ranking city on the global stage for start-ups to scale and further develop, there is an increasing need for platforms like the tech giant’s conference to support this fast-growing community, acting as the bridge between entrepreneurs, corporates, investors and the public.

She also noted that the company’s 2017 event proved to be the biggest business pitching competition in Hong Kong in terms of scale.

Building on this momentum, and now that the conference is open to global entrants, the company is excited about what JUMPSTARTER 2019 has in store.

The first JUMPSTARTER event was held in 2017. The winning three participating start-ups in the Launchpad competition received a substantial investment from the e-commerce giant’s Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

It is important to note that the conference is not only an excellent opportunity for start-ups to meet investors and innovators, it will also help manifest some of the objectives laid out in the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint.

That is, the government seeks to continue to explore and formulate initiatives to nurture a highly adaptive population to embrace changes in technology (by organising and hosting various tech conferences and events like JUMPSTARTER 2019), and build a knowledge-based society to support future development of I&T.

Moreover, opening up the conference to global start-ups and innovators is a great way for Hong Kong to meet its objectives of enhancing the overall business climate, particularly in areas of the technology-driven economy like Fintech and re-industrialisation; further developing the region’s I&T ecosystem to attract more start-ups and investors from other jurisdictions, and attracting more leading talents and investments to enhance the city’s economic vibrancy.

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