With sustainability an increasingly critical issue across industries, firms are rapidly adopting innovative digital technologies to drive green development.
Such technologies featured strongly in the second edition of the global version of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) Start-up Express entrepreneurship development programme, Start-up Express International.
The 10 laureates included an entry from Mainland China, Northern Latitude 37 (Suzhou) Technology, which develops smart chassis technologies for electric vehicles (EVs), TEGnology, a Danish green energy supplier, Ambiator from India that makes affordable sustainable cooling systems and a German renewable energy management system producer, Think Voltaic.
All these winners focus on overseas markets and intend to raise more funds for R&D and business expansion.
EV sales are soaring worldwide, promoting sustainable living and economic development. Northern Latitude 37 aims to develop intelligent chassis technology for braking, rear wheel steering and chassis domain control. The braking technology is already mature enough to replace the hydraulic connection between the brake pedal and brake pads, boosting range, efficiency and safety. The company plans to raise HK$35 million (US$5 million) to take the technology on to the road.
The firm will continue to focus on the Mainland China market, but also intends to expand internationally and extend its business in the traditional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) industry, vehicle and retail industries.
As energy issues become a global concern, the waste heat exhausted by industrial processes presents a business opportunity and TEGnology notes that the waste heat from existing industry could exceed the total energy derived from all the renewable sources combined.
To make drawing on low-grade industrial waste heat easier, the Danish entrepreneurial firm founded the TEGmat start-up to develop and produce thermal power generation (TEG) equipment.
TEGmat developed Flex-TEG, a cost-effective and flexible power generator, suitable for semiconductor chip production lines, and it can also be integrated into other production lines.
Even a very small temperature difference can be converted into electricity, which helps deploy low-grade industrial waste heat in industry, manufacturing and even construction processes, and achieve sustainable, large-scale and more efficient and reliable green power-generation solutions.
The company plans to raise EUR3 million (US$3.3 million) to develop patented technology and roll out a new generation of products.
The International Energy Agency predicts that as the world's climate heats up, 10 air conditioners will be sold every second over the next 30 years. Ambiator Private Limited, established in 2022, is a climate technology start-up dedicated to environmentally friendly indoor cooling.
The Ambiator 5 TR systems can also run on solar power. The biggest difference between Ambiator’s products and traditional air conditioners is that these provide ventilation and cooling functions with an energy efficiency 6.5 times higher that of conventional air conditioners.
Ambiator aims to cut costs for consumers and benefit the environment. The company has targeted countries and regions in the Southern Hemisphere with hotter climates, promoting its products to residential, industrial and commercial customers.
Another winner putting its resources into solar is Think Voltaic, founded just last year, which distributes solar power generation, battery storage, battery boxes and heat-pump solutions.
The firm works with many internationally renowned high-quality manufacturers, such as Huawei, Canadian Solar and SUNGROW, providing one-stop integrated solar power solutions, including advice, project planning, installation and maintenance, to help customers efficiently reduce long-term energy costs and promote the development of green and sustainable smart cities.
Think Voltaic firmly believes that all the energy we consume can be derived from climate-friendly solar and recycled energy sources.
It hopes to establish a European climate science and technology hub, promote global transformation through sustainable development and provide low-cost and reliable energy to the public.
Looking ahead, in addition to cooperating with different well-known companies, Think Voltaic hopes to expand its business in Europe and distribute solar solutions across the region.
The Startup Express International connects start-ups with opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and elsewhere via Hong Kong, enabling them to expand their presence on the international stage.