Hong Kong’s Annual “StartMeUpHK” Festival Returns January 2017


Upfront we’d like to clarify, this site you are reading is called “StartupsHK.”

The InvestHK startup initiative is called “StartMeUpHK.”

Two similar sounding but totally different things run by different people. One, us, decided on the most obvious name we could think of that would be easy to remember. They, InvestHK, obviously huge Rolling Stones fans.

Clear? Good. Let’s continue (and never stop…).

The StartmeupHK Festival, (the one run by InvestHK, remember?) the weeklong festival that will be held next January 2017 is going to celebrate it’s 4th year to promote and encourage Hong Kong’s startups to showcase the city’s vibrancy, lifestyle and business scene.

The event started in 2013 as a venture competition forum that attracted about 300 participants around the globe. As the startup ecosystem has been growing and consolidating in Hong Kong, startmeupHK took advantage of the momentum and all the clusters, movement. The one-day forum became a week festival.

Part of this year event will be focus on exposing not only the business side of the city but the vibrancy, quality of life and connectivity that Hong Kong has. The aim for the attendees is to leave the event taking with them a great experience in terms of entertainment, exploring new ideas, markets, the potential of making business deals here as well as meeting possible investors, regional partners, etc.

Some of the Keynote speakers expected in January are Brett King, co-founder of Moven, a NYC mobile banking startup with great knowledge in FinTech, Marco Tempest a multimedia illusionist bringing his show for the first time to Hong Kong and Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum a blockchain platform. Among others they will keep entertained the 5,000 expected the attendees and full of market insights and trends for the next year.

In the 2016 festival both, Hong Kong and the event were the centre of attention of the local and international press as they interviews and covered one of the event’s keynote speakers, Tesla’s CEO; Elon Musk.

Elon Musk in a interview with CNN anchor, Kristie Lu Stout

Elon Musk in a interview with CNN anchor, Kristie Lu Stout

If you missed it earlier this year, you can watch the whole interview below:

Jayne Chan, head of startmeupHK said that the conference by Elon Musk gave Hong Kong worldwide exposure and raised its profile as a startup hub. “It gave Hong Kong the chance to showcase some of the real innovation that is happening here, but also to show to international audience how dynamic this space is” said Chan.

Hong Kong is now the 5th fastest growing startup hub according to the global startup ecosystem ranking in 2015. But even so, Hong Kong is a unique city that provides great characteristics for entrepreneurs and startups, especially to some sectors. StartmeupHK every year through surveys and research finds trend and sectors where the city and entrepreneurs can work together to bring advantages to make sure startups can focus on areas where Hong Kong has a real chance to compete globally.

FinTech startups settling in Hong Kong is a natural choice as the city is one of the main financial hubs in the world. The city is recognised by its know-how-to in finance industry and its constant reinvention to adapt to the evolving industry. FinTech startups are surrounded by a mature market and can benefit endlessly from its wide expertise.

The Next Money FinTech Finals 2017 (FF17) will enable 24 entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas with a chance at cash prizes for the winners.

The FinTech finals will be again powered by "Money Next"

The FinTech finals will be again powered by “Money Next”

IoT startups that settle in Hong Kong have the advantage of the city ease to set up business and it’s infrastructure, the legal expertise and IP protection combined with the proximity to Shenzhen, the biggest hub for manufacturing hardware. The sector will be showcased by “The connected city” conferences with examples of how IoT and data analytics can provide better liveability and sustainability.

Smart City Consortium will Co-organise the Smart city event with KPMG

Smart City Consortium will co-organise the Smart city event with KPMG

StartmeupHK found potential and a gap opportunity to commercialise all the data and medical research produced in Hong Kong by hospitals, universities, research centres, etc., that aren’t recognised on a global basis yet. All that knowledge and data have an unlimited potential in technology. Introducing HealthTech Asia 2017 another conference that will demonstrate new solutions and how the landscape of healthcare is changing.

In 2016 the event  350 delegates from the health industry, professional services, academia, VC/PE and the start-up world joined the forum.

In 2016 the event 350 delegates from the health industry, professional services, academia, VC/PE and the start-up world joined the forum.

New to the event, the festival will be show casting a long-considered Hong Kong economic pillar; retail. The retail sector is facing a transition to e-commerce and there is a gap of improvement and innovations. As more and more companies are less focused in revenue and more focused on growing customer experience and building and insight on retailing. The “Retail’s Cutting Edge” forum will discuss how innovation and technology are disrupting the industry.

Retail's cutting edge will be power by Inside Retail

Retail’s Cutting Edge will be powered by Inside Retail

Next year will be exciting times for Hong Kong with the upcoming Chief Executive elections; nevertheless the startup industry is only expected to keep growing, as it is a very pragmatic business community and a robust business centre. “I don’t think anyone could jeopardised that in any kind of way. If anything the Startup side will be more and more of a priority for the government like in places like US or Iceland where it is a employment driver,” said Chan.

More details about the Festival here.

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