StartmeupHK Festival 2022 officially came to a close on September 10th after a busy week of events and activities centred around startups, changemakers and emerging technologies.
Organised by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the week-long Festival drew over 20,000 participants from more than 100 countries and territories, comprising of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, tech enthusiasts and government officials. The Festival theme A Future Unlimited could not have been more apt: 556 speakers from around the world spent six days celebrating the startup sector’s ability to embrace emerging technologies and innovate for a better tomorrow.
StartmeupHK Festival 2022 kicked off on Monday 5 September with the GBA Innovation Summit 2022 organised by TusPark and the 1.5°C Summit – The Defining Decade for Impact with Techby Eureka Nova and New World Development. Speakers at the GBA Innovation Summit recognised the ever-evolving nature of consumer habits and commended the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area’s (GBA) ability to adapt, with Mr Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government urging in his opening remarks, “in the process of development, there are both challenges and opportunities. I encourage startups to seize the opportunities of development in the GBA – an important base for Hong Kong in innovation.”
Panel discussions at the 1.5°C Summit focused on the concept of driving impact through sustainability and accepting risk as an inescapable element of entrepreneurship. “There is no failure, only learning along the way,” said Dr Entela Benz-Saliasi, CEO and Co-Founder, Intensel Limited. “Adapt, change and innovate as you move forward.”
On Tuesday 6 September, Brinc’s Asia Healthcare Innovation Summit gave members of Asia’s expansive healthcare ecosystem a chance to explore BioTech, HealthTech, MedTech and blockchain adaptation. During the event, Egglogics, an IncuBio company based out of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, announced the launch of its new gene-based diagnostic platform that can scan and determine the health of eggs for IVF/cryopreservation.
WHub’s Scaleup Impact summit – Universe x Metaverse explored the idea of Web3 and the Metaverse, and the challenges and opportunities for scaleups in this space took place from 6-7 September. Mr Tim Kendall, Co-founder of Moment and previously Chairman for Pinterest, shared his insights on scaling Pinterest from 15 to 2,000 people, saying, “If you are incredibly clear about what you’re doing, and it’s bold and mission-driven, people will be attracted to that.”
A new addition to the Festival, MaGESpire’s Game On! 2022 celebrated the essence of Gaming, Art, Music and Entertainment (GAME) and took place from 8-9 September. At the event, Yat Siu, Co-founder and Chairman of Animoca Brands, had one key takeaway for the audience, “Do things with purpose. Think of things you can have an impact on, however small… If we do our part to make it work, grow the ecosystem, then as a whole, we will all better succeed.”
Investors, leaders and startups at the forefront of the PropTech revolution came together at Asia PropTech Beyond 2022 by Asia PropTech to discuss the changing nature of consumer behaviour and how the traditional real estate industry is having to evolve as a result. “Physical stores are no longer just for transactions or selling… It’s experiential. It’s about meeting your consumers at every point of the consumer journey,” said Ms Shireen Lee, Head of Publications, Retail in Asia.
Rounding off the week was KMPG’s Connected Cities Conference on 9 September and Global Citizen Capital’s Young Pioneers forum 2022 on 10 September. Panel members at the Connected Cities Conference debated the best ways people and corporations can support Hong Kong’s development as a ‘connected’ and ‘smart’ ESG-led city. “There are six elements of smart cities,” explained Ms Susheela Rivers, Partner at DLA Piper. “Mobility, living, environment, people, government and economy.” At the Young Pioneers Forum, more than 500 teenagers from 30+ countries came together to cultivate creative ideas and solutions for a better, greener future.
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“This year’s K Festival was packed full of insights. It was an inspiring week that brought together the brightest minds behind some of the world’s most exciting companies. We all came together to explore opportunities, such as those presented by Web3 and the Metaverse. There was also a strong focus throughout the week on sustainable innovation. Another significant focal point this year was the impact of increasing digitalisation on wider society. Hong Kong has proven itself a key player in the innovation and digitalisation game and the potential for growth is, truly, unlimited,” said Ms Jayne Chan, Head of StartmeupHK at Invest Hong Kong.