The start-up network is growing and diversifying quickly, extending from traditional hotspots like San Francisco and London to rising giants, such as Hong Kong, while developing economy centres across ASEAN are becoming super-nodes in their own right.
Recognising that the digitised entrepreneurship world is borderless, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council last year launched Start-up Express International, the global version of the its long-standing local entrepreneurship development programme.
The award ceremony for this year’s edition will be part of the HKTDC’s Entrepreneur Day on 7 and 8 December, themed Building Resilience, Boosting Collaboration.
Laureates come from a wide range of sectors as diverse as textiles and food preservation, underlining that the entrepreneurial mindset is moving well beyond its traditional home of information technology and finance.
This edition of Start-up Express International focuses on enterprises specialising in innovative technologies in fintech, health tech, web 3.0 and metaverse, smart city and green tech.
The global partners for Start-up Express International come from many economies, ranging from France, Japan, Mainland China and the United Arab Emirates. The 30 finalists were shortlisted earlier in October and 10 finalists were chosen by three judges from start-up incubators Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Cyberport and Gobi Partners.
At E-Day, seven of the 10 global winners will have a booth booth and all have been invited to speak, sharing their industry insights and start-up journeys. They are also entitled to a series of benefits, including marketing, technology and peer support through the Start in Hong Kong Programme to facilitate their setup in Hong Kong and explore the regional market.
The winners in healthtech are brain-computer interface developer Flectothink and portable nuclear magnetic resonance imaging developer Sino Microimaging (Taizhou) Medical Technology, both from Mainland China.
Green tech winners included thermal energy harvester TEGmat from Denmark and dry-climate cooling solution provider Ambiator Private from India.
Sustainability entries were Fabric upcycling firm Moreloop from Thailand and fellow Thai entry, pre-loved clothing vendor Hangles. The third sustainability winner, Uvera from Saudi Arabia, has developed a tracking system to prevent food spoilage.
Smart city winners were Think Voltaic from Germany, which offers solar power and heat-pump systems, and North Latitude 37 (Suzhou) from Mainland China, which has developed an intelligent skateboard chassis for commercial vehicles.
The AI laureate was intelligent manufacturing solution provider Ucloudy from Mainland China.
In addition to Start-up Express International, E-Day will feature discussions on keeping data centres cool, which has become a key source of carbon dioxide. Speakers will discuss solutions. There will also be a session on how start-ups can help SMEs meet ESG goals.
Sessions offering practical advice to businesses in the here-and-now address the use of chatbots for marketing and plugging into the Web 3.0 ecosystem.
E-Day runs in parallel with the HKTDC’s Business of IP Asia Forum. Themed IP & Innovation: Steering New Economic Growth, the Forum brings together IP industry players and business leaders from around the world to discuss the latest IP developments and explore collaboration opportunities.