The eighth edition of Entrepreneur Day opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The two-day event, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), features more than 270 exhibitors and is open to the public with free admission.Entrepreneur Day kicked off this morning with Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs of the HKSAR Government, officiating at the opening session of the Start-up Runway. HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “Hong Kong has long been an effective cradle for nurturing young entrepreneurs. At the same time, entrepreneurship is an important and vibrant trend that depends on the ability and eagerness of young entrepreneurs as well as support from various sectors of society, including investors with their keen eye on local start-ups. The creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Hong Kong people, especially the younger generation, are key to the continued economic growth of Hong Kong. Supporting start-ups has been one of the HKTDC’s core missions over the past 50 years.”
Following the opening session, the Start-up Runway hosted a plenary session entitled Big Wave, New Wave, examining entrepreneurial trends and opportunities. Speakers included Jason Chiu, Founder and CEO of cherrypicks, Ir Allen Yeung, Government Chief Information Officer of the HKSAR Government, and Alan Yip, Co-founder and Chairman of Guru Online (Holdings) Ltd. The two-day Start-up Runway comprises three main sections tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs, namely, Trend Track, where latest market trends and start-up opportunities are analysed; Idea Lab, where tips and ideas for launching start-ups in trending industries can be shared; and the Entrepreneur Arena pitching session.
Experience innovative tech first-hand
This year’s Entrepreneur Day features a new Innovative Technology Zone where 50 tech start-ups from sectors such as ICT, finance, education, healthcare, biotechnology and green technology are showcasing their creative solutions. Within the new zone, an Innovative Technology Demo area is hosting five tech and tertiary institutions, including Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Ltd, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Knowledge Transfer Office of the Hong Kong Baptist University and CoCoon. Visitors to the demo area can see various tech innovations and systems in action.
Another new zone at the fair is the Overseas and Mainland Start-up Project Zone, where start-ups from the mainland and around the world, including Israel and India, are on display. The new zone also gives local entrepreneurs a chance to expand their horizons and explore business opportunities with peers from different countries.
Entrepreneur Arena presents golden opportunities
Another popular feature of Entrepreneur Day is the Entrepreneur Arena pitching competition, which takes place tomorrow. Co-organised by the HKTDC and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, young entrepreneurs will present their business ideas and plans in the Entrepreneur Arena. As one of the events celebrating the HKTDC’s Golden Jubilee, the Entrepreneur Arena has been scaled up, receiving more than 50 start-up applications this year, about double the number last year. Also, close to 2,000 people took part in an online vote for the most popular start-ups. The 10 finalists will present their ideas on stage tomorrow afternoon with experts offering valuable feedback. The top three start-up entrepreneurs will receive an Entrepreneur Day Outstanding Start-up Award as well as cash prizes. The winners will also be invited to a Power Lunch with either the current HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo or a former chairman, namely, Dr Victor Fung or Jack So.
40 renowned speakers
More than 30 seminars, workshops and networking events are organised throughout Entrepreneur Day, during which over 40 business elites and successful entrepreneurs will share their tips and experience to help aspiring entrepreneurs plan for business success. Speakers include Shih Wing Ching, Chairman and CEO of Centaline Group, Dr Samson Tam, Chairman of the Hong Kong Business Angel Network, Eddie Pang, singer, actor and Co-Founder of Chrisly cafe, Ursule Wong, artist and Founder of me Me & ME, Quincy Wong, Group Chairman and Executive Director of Convoy Financial Holdings Ltd, Dr Au Yeung Ying-kit, well-known Hong Kong blogger, Matt Chung, columnist and disc jockey, Janice Lee, Founder of Popbee and Alexander Roth, Managing Director of foodpanda Hong Kong. Under discussion are a range of hot-button issues such as starting a business outside Hong Kong, the sharing economy, social media, financial technology, e-tailing and smartphone applications.
The fair also features a one-on-one “Fund & Mentor” Business Matching Session where new entrepreneurs can fine-tune their presentation skills and start-ups can meet investors and potential business partners. A total of 50 matching meetings are arranged with participating institutions such as Institute for Entrepreneurship of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Ltd, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Hong Kong Business Angel Network, CoCoon and HKUST Alumni Association.
Entrepreneur Day is one of the events under the umbrella of the International Start-Up Week being launched this year. It comprises a series of entrepreneurial events taking place this month, including conferences, exhibitions, seminars and workshops organised by government departments, universities, non-governmental organisations, and co-working spaces. Through the International Start-Up Week, entrepreneurs can acquire the skills and resources they need and take advantage of Hong Kong’s reputation as a start-up hub in Asia.