HKSTP's EPiC Competition 2019 Attracted Record Number of International Startups Vying for HK$1 Million Cash Prizes and Tapping into Greater Bay Area Opportunities
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) today concluded its annual Elevator Pitch Competition 2019 (EPiC), which saw 126 top-notch start-ups from 33 markets making the business pitch of their lives, vying for cash prizes of over HK$1 million. This is the fourth year of the competition, and this year's event attracted a record number of 650 applications in the first round of entries. The final competition day in Hong Kong brought together more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, angel investors, industry players, incubators, accelerators and tech disruptors.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191108005246/en/
BionicM Inc. beat other finalists from across the globe in the Elevator Pitch Competition 2019 and was crowned champion, earning a cash prize of US$100,000. (Photo: Business Wire)
BionicM Inc., the winner from Artificial Intelligence & Robotics category, topped other finalists to be crowned champion and claim the cash prize of US$100,000. Guests got to vote too and EcoPackers Ltd. earned the highest number of votes to win the "My Favourite Pitcher" award, walking away with a cash prize of US$10,000.
BionicM Inc. provides mobility technology and related solutions for lower limb amputees, focusing on state-of-the-art artificial legs and the integration of robots and humans. The team started R&D on robotic prosthetic legs at the University of Tokyo in 2015.
"EPiC is HKSTP's platform to provide start-ups the most direct form of support and networking opportunities, where they can collaborate and share experiences," said Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP. "The growing number of entries and diversity of contestants in this year's competition is proof of Hong Kong's attraction to entrepreneurial talent and investors as an innovation and technology hub."
This year's event surpassed expectations, with 650 entries from 48 countries and cities, a 10% rise from 591 applications from last year. 17 countries joined the competition for the first time, such as Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Russia, to name a few. All the start-ups focused on four technology areas - Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Fintech, Health Technology and Smart City.
All 126 finalists were given the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas to judges in a one minute elevator ride at the International Commerce Centre (ICC), Hong Kong's tallest building. The best 10 ideas were given another three-minute opportunity to pitch to the panel of judges, made up of investors and industry leaders. The competition gave the finalists a chance to connect with other like-minded innovators from around the globe, to share experiences and knowledge while taking part in a friendly competition.
To better equip the contestants and other overseas startups with all-round knowledge and pitching techniques, as well as a better understanding of the resources and support programmes available to them in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, HKSTP's Global Acceleration Academy hosted a three-day business exploration tour before the competition. The tour featured activities such as sharing sessions on topics like digital marketing, company structure and taxation in Hong Kong and China, Asian business culture, and networking opportunities with business partners across industries.
Another highlight of the tour was the Angel x Corporate Venture Conference 2019, co-organised with the Hong Kong Business Angel Network (HKBAN), held earlier on 7 November. The conference explored cross-border co-investment and acquisition opportunities, and attracted over 200 start-ups, venture capitalists, angel investors and regional incubators to share investment strategies and insights. The incubators and accelerators highlighted the opportunities and challenges faced by early-stage startups in fund-raising and the help they need in expanding their market footprints in Asia. Four HKSTP park companies and incubatees - Phase Scientific, Hanson Robotics, Intensel and Fundpark showcased their innovations at the conference.
"We will continue our mission to grow the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong with unwavering focus. The fact that more overseas contestants, investors and VC representatives attended the EPiC competition than ever before shows that our work is yielding solid results. We must continue our efforts to create opportunities for our next generations. The overwhelming support from local and global investment communities demonstrates their vote of confidence in these innovators and their brilliant ideas, and that they are ready to help take these ideas to the next levels," concluded Albert.
List of winners
About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.
Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill- intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long. More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.