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Highlights: StartmeupHK Festival 2023 comes to a close

The StartmeupHK Festival 2023, organised by InvestHK, concluded on 17 November after a week-long series of events, networking activities, and pitching competitions. The festival drew over 12,000 participants and 16,000 online viewers from 85 countries and territories, including industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, tech enthusiasts, and government officials.

The theme of the festival, “A Future Unlimited,” highlighted the boundless potential of the startup sector in shaping a brighter future through cutting-edge technologies.

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Alpha Lau, Director-General of Investment Promotion at InvestHK, emphasised the impressive resilience and expansion of Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem. “Despite the ongoing challenges posed by macroeconomic uncertainties, Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem has shown remarkable resilience and growth. Furthermore, the HKSAR Government has proactively implemented a series of strategies and policies, with an aim to attract large companies, startups, international talent, and capital to Hong Kong.”

Source: StartmeupHK

Sustainability emerged as a prominent theme across all sectors discussed at the festival. Panel discussions stressed the significance of organisations taking proactive steps to address climate-related challenges through innovation and technology. The focus was on the crucial role of integrating sustainable practices into business models, and the need for regional collaboration to achieve sustainability objectives.

AI and web3 were identified as the next big things in the technology landscape. The discussions revolved around the promising capabilities of generative AI in the healthcare sector, and the anticipated influence of web3 and cryptocurrencies on the future of the digital economy. The future of work and leadership in the era of AI and new technology were also extensively discussed.
The festival also hosted various community events that sparked insightful discussions. Topics included the role of Hong Kong as a beacon of hope for female-led startups, the trend of impact investing for family offices, and the advantages of establishing family trusts in Hong Kong.

Source: StartmeupHK

During the festival, several scalable pitching competitions were organised to provide startups with the opportunity to showcase their innovative solutions to potential investors. One of the winners received cash prizes with a chance to compete at a global championship, offering them an international stage to attract further investment and support.

Another notable highlight was a Hong Kong-based biotechnology startup, crowned as the grand finale winner of JUMPSTARTER 2023 for its mission to revolutionise the healthcare landscape by bringing high-quality and cost-effective cell therapeutic products to patients.

The festival also offered 800 networking opportunities for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators to connect and explore collaboration opportunities. Unique networking events, such as investor-matching on a Ferris Wheel and exclusive business matching sessions dubbed StartMeetUp, provided a relaxed and engaging environment for participants to establish new contacts. 

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All in all, the StartmeupHK Festival 2023 served as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and the exploration of emerging technologies. From sustainability to AI and blockchain, the festival demonstrated the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. The spirit of entrepreneurship and the drive to create positive change will continue to resonate, inspiring startups to push boundaries and shape the future of business. This sustained momentum is expected to foster a healthy startup ecosystem in Hong Kong, ensuring that groundbreaking ideas can flourish, and the spirit of entrepreneurship remains vibrant.