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Strong showing by healthtech, greentech start-ups


10 winners were selected as part of the 2024 cohort of the HKTDC’s Start-up Express programme.


The 10 Start-up Express winners, an entrepreneurship development programme organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), represented diverse sectors, ranging from healthtech and greentech to edutech and mechanical engineering.

The ESG Award went to CHOMP in recognition of its sustainable and socially impactful business solution in regard to food waste, while the My Favourite Start-up Award, determined through audience live-polling, went to pet-wellness entrepreneur Petalife.

The 10 winning start-ups will participate in local and overseas business events organised by HKTDC to build connections, explore markets, seek partners and enhance brand awareness.

Stephen Liang, Assistant Executive Director of the HKTDC, said: “Start-up Express is now in its seventh year and, over the past six years, we have assisted 60 Hong Kong start-ups by helping them expand and venture into overseas markets. Many have won international awards, secured large orders and received new rounds of investment.”

“Mainland China’s clear support, along with the collaborative efforts by various stakeholders, continues to drive Hong Kong’s development as an international innovation and technology hub, charting a new direction for the city’s I&T development. HKTDC will continue to foster a favourable environment for start-ups and help them achieve new heights, while advancing Hong Kong’s economic development.” 

The 10 winning start-ups were:

-Braillic – AR guidance system provider to enhance surgery precision;

-CathovenAI – AI assistant for language teachers to make language teaching more efficient;

-CHOMP – food-saving app designed to change the way people feel about food consumption and reduce food waste;

-Lacess – greentech upcycling waste material, ranging from farm and factory waste to discarded plastics, to make shoes;

-Libpet Tech – manufacturer of robot chairs to enhance patients’ mobility and independence;

-PharmCare Technology – healthtech streamlines the drug prescription process, digitises medication management data and enables pharmacists to manage patient records and generate drug labels;

-PointFit Technology – developing a skin patch that tracks health conditions by monitoring sweat and alerts patients when their biomarkers approach dangerous levels;

-Stellerus Technology – its ClimaTech service platform helps government and industry stakeholders manage high-value assets against mounting climate risks

-Vidi Labs – its compact wearable AI device Seekr improves navigation for the visually impaired; and

-Xtra Sensing – its AIoT machine analysis software can predict potential machine faultiness up to three months in advance. 

Start-up Express judges were Hong Kong Startup Council Chairman Jimmy Tao, Sino Group Associate Director of Innovation Andrew Young and Gobi GBA Executive Director Cindy Zhang, Executive Director.

Mr Tao said: “The exceptional performances of this year’s finalists and business diversity demonstrated that local start-ups have considerable strengths in innovative thinking. Hong Kong’s start-up community continues to thrive, with a record high of more than 4,200 start-ups launched last year, demonstrating Hong Kong’s appeal as an ideal destination for establishing a business.”

Start-up Express targets start-ups that offer innovative products or solutions and have a strong desire to enter the international market. It assists local start-ups in building capability and connections, seeking business and funding partners, exploring markets and enhancing brand awareness.

The programme’s international edition, launched in 2022 for overseas early-stage start-ups to connect with local Start-up Express winners, will return during Entrepreneur Day in December. It has thus far attracted participants from across Asia, Europe and the United States.

This year’s Start-up Express attracted more than 200 applications. The 10 winners were selected from 20 contestants on the Final Pitching Day in June, attended by some 200 industry players, including business leaders and investors.

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