FHKI set up the Hong Kong Startup Council

FHKI set up the Hong Kong Startup Council and Launch STARS Programmes and Industrial Angel Fund

The Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) held a press conference today (Thursday) to introduce its newly established Hong Kong Startup Council (the Council) and its support and mentorship programmes.

The Council’s Chairman cum FHKI Deputy Chairman Dr Jack Yeung said, "The Hong Kong Startup Council will bring together talent and resources from the business, industrial, financial, professional and services sectors to provide guidance and support to startups in the areas of prototyping, design, production, marketing and business operations, to help them grow and prosper.”

“The Council has also coordinated members who have investment interest to set aside an initial amount of HK$10 million as the Industrial Angel Fund to invest in startups which have finished the STARS programme and showed good potential.”

Dr Yeung explained that each of the STARS programme will last for six to nine months under different themes. The Council’s Advisory Committee will select suitable startups to the programme and pair them with experienced mentors who will support and guide them in areas such as production and business operations. At the finishing stage of every programme, the Council will arrange these startups to showcase their products or services to FHKI members or potential investors, helping them to gain funding opportunities."

FHKI Chairman Prof Daniel M Cheng pointed out, “Through the Council’s platform, enterprises can match their rich operational experience with startups’ innovative ideas and technology by means of investment or other means so as to speed up the pace of their enterprises’ transformation and upgrading and sharpen their competitive edge. On the other hand, these enterprises can provide startups with the operation knowhow needed to commercialise their ideas, guide them in aspects such as marketing, financing and management and help them expand their network. This will enhance the capability of the startups to thrive.”

He also mentioned that startups in Hong Kong have developed rapidly in recent years. By 2015, there were more than 1,500 in Hong Kong, a 46 per cent rise compared to the number in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of employees and co-working spaces also increased more than 50 per cent in the same period.

He said, “The Council will be an important platform to nurture startups in Hong Kong; facilitate and foster collaborations between them and enterprises in various sectors; and leverage their creativity, innovation and technology to help reinvent Hong Kong Industries and provide new impetus to economic growth.”

The Council’s Vice-Chairman is Mr Jason Chiu. The Council’s Advisory Committee Chairman is Dr Samson Tam, and Vice-Chairmen are Dr Sunny Chai and Duncan Chiu. Those who have agreed to be mentors of the STARS programme include talent and business leaders from the industrial, commercial, financial, professional and services sectors as well as startup community.

The following four startups were invited to demonstrate their products and share with the media their entrepreneurial concepts, challenges in operations, and the support they can receive from the Council’s programmes.

1. Freightos, an online international freight marketplace. They use the SaaS market model to provide automated fee management and pricing solutions for leading international freight import and export logistics companies.

2. aniWear, a company engaged in wearable devices for pets, with bio-sensing technology as a way of vital signs and activity monitoring. Their products’ proprietary AI algorithms adapt to each pet, learn and track the well-being and activities of pets anytime and anywhere, which is useful to break the communication and location barrier between owners and their pets and give owners a deeper understanding of their pets' daily lives and behaviours.

3. Doki Technologies Ltd is specialised in producing 3G smart watches for children. The smartwatch is a wearable phone and locator that combines video calling, voice calling, messaging, and location-tracking capabilities into one simple device, which can help strengthen communication among families and ensure the safety of kids.

4. Cathay Photonics, a company engaged in the business of research and development, commercialisation, marketing, and sale of specialty-coated glass and ceramics products. It has recently developed an innovative and advanced product portfolio based on state-of-the-art thin-film deposition and post-treatment process. It is also dedicated to providing creative solutions for the photonics and optoelectronics industries from the conceptual stage, through engineering-design, to final manufacture.

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