The Winners of HKSTP’s EPiC Competition: Check Out Who Received HK$1 Million in Cash Prizesby Company Announcement November 11, 2019
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) concluded its annual Elevator Pitch Competition 2019 (EPiC), which saw 126 start-ups from 33 markets making the business pitch of their lives, vying for cash prizes of over HK$1 million. T
his 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.
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,”
List of winners
Tech Category Winner – Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
Tech Category Winner – FinTech
Tech Category Winner – Health Technology
Tech Category Winner – Smart City
My favourite Pitcher
Featured image credit: Guest of Honour Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR posed together with Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP and guests at EPiC 2019.