Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2020 Draws to a Close With a Total of 97,000 Viewsby Fintech News Hong Kong November 13, 2020
Cyberport’s annual flagship tech investment two-day event, Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) came to a close and recorded a total of 97,000 views on its virtual event platform.
The forum also featured two international events – the inaugural Edventures Global Business Acceleration Summit and the Silicon Dragon HK 2020, gathering international venture capital experts, investors, innovative technology companies, as well as startups from the Cyberport community. Held in a virtual format for the first time, the two-day CVCF main forum attracted more than 1,700 participants this year since its launch on 21 October.
The forum also arranged one-on-one meetings between investors and startups, setting up a total of over 250 meetings to facilitate deal making efforts. Workshops held in the morning of the second day, invited a number of professional investors and experts to teach practical skills and give notes to startups looking to engage investors in the new normal, including how startups should highlight their strengths and agility, gauge market demand and validate their business models.
The workshop also discussed how startups can recalibrate operationally and psychologically in the aftermath of the epidemic in order to stay competitive and develop their ventures during a period rife with disruptions in global value chains and innovations in science and technology, rising tensions due to trade wars and increasing protectionism measures across countries.
One of the highlights of CVCF this year was the inaugural Edventures Global Business Acceleration Summit co-created with Esperanza, a non-governmental organisation founded by John C Tsang, former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong. The summit gathered renowned speakers including Richard Culatta, the CEO of International Society for Technology in Education; Kamran Elahian, Chairman and Founder of Global Innovation Catalyst; and Matt Greenfield, the Managing Partner of Rethink Education.
The trio shared their insights on areas including global trends in EdTech, demand within the education sector and corporate e-learning market, the development of China’s EdTech sector and its opportunities, and the role of Hong Kong in fostering cross-border cooperation.
The forum concluded with the release of key findings of the EdTech in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) report conducted by London-based SuperCharger Ventures, which shared on the regional investment potential and business opportunities of EdTech.
In the culmination of the Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship, the 10 fellows delivered their final pitches to compete for exclusive tailor-made business matching and consultation services to realise their global ambitions. CoderZ Technology, a virtual STEM and robotics learning platform, was selected as “Education Solutions: Greatest Growth Potential”; Cybint, a cyber security education company, won “Best Adult Learning Solutions”; MEL Science, a science education platform offering hands-on experiments and interactive simulations, was picked as “Education Solutions: Highest Potential Impact”; Mandarin Matrix, an online mandarin learning classroom from Cyberport Community, took the “Audience Favourite” award.
Peter Yan, CEO of Cyberport, said,
“In the past few months, we have seen the epidemic accelerate digital transformation in society, which has boosted the development of Cyberport community EdTech startups and the widespread adoption of its solutions, impelling the sector to become an anchor for the future of education. EdTech has also become an integral part of the smart living cluster at Cyberport and we are glad to have witnessed some of the brightest EdTech start-ups demonstrate their strengths and gain the opportunity to tap the international market. We hope to see more outstanding EdTech entrepreneurs join Cyberport to inject impetus and bring more innovative solutions into
the Hong Kong EdTech ecosystem.”
John C Tsang, Founder of Esperanza, said,
“EdTech is still in its nascent stages and requires close collaboration and mutual learning amongst multiple stakeholders as we seek to accelerate the transformation of the education ecosystem. We are happy to have Cyberport as our co-creator to work hand-in-hand in promoting 21st century learning solutions with global significance, and in unleashing the potential of Hong Kong as an education innovation hub in the Greater Bay Area.”
The Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship aims to assist promising local EdTech companies in capturing market opportunities and expanding their business operations across the global market. Awardees will have the option receive fast-tracked application into the Cyberport Incubation Programme if they decide to establish a presence in Hong Kong over the course of the 12-month Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship.
Once admitted, the awardees will be able to utilise the comprehensive entrepreneurship support platform at Cyberport and secure access to financial and go-to-market assistance, mentorship, business matching services, access to industry networks and further funding opportunities. Furthermore, the fellowship will help EdTech companies go global through access to the Greater Bay Area market.
Graduation of Three Flagship Entrepreneurship Programmes
During the first day of the forum, an online graduation ceremony was held for three flagship Cyberport entrepreneurship programmes including Cyberport University Partnership Programme (CUPP), Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF) and Cyberport Incubation Programme (CIP), to celebrate 300 startup entrepreneurs completing different stages of entrepreneurial milestones.
Eric Chan, Chief Public Mission Officer of Cyberport, said,
“There were more than 600 applications competing for a quota of 130 places in CIP last year, which illustrated the significant demand for relevant programmes from innovative technology start-ups. Beyond our key development areas of fintech, digital entertainment and e-sports, over 40% of the start-ups who graduated this year focused on smart living applications including areas such as e-commerce, IoT applications, EdTech and healthcare technology, which demonstrated the rapid development of the technology cluster over the past year.
“As the government looks to further Smart City 2.0, compounded by the increase in demand for solutions that help people adapt to a new normal driven by the epidemic, I believe the smart living industry will have even more potential for development.”
One-on-one Guidance, Macao and Overseas Market Links
Moreover, Cyberport has also introduced a mentorship programme for members of its entrepreneurship programmes in order to provide more comprehensive and targeted guidance. It has invited over 100 industry leaders, entrepreneurs and graduates of the incubation programme to offer advice on market strategy, fundraising and partnership opportunities for start-ups.
In order to strengthen the connection with the Greater Bay Area and further develop overseas markets, Cyberport has also announced a partnership with the Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre.
Both parties have signed a memorandum in end of October and will seek to cooperate in order to facilitate communication between start-ups, offer business cooperation and investor matching, which includes the provision of soft-landing support for start-ups at Cyberport and assist others with their plans to enter markets in Macao, Portuguese-speaking countries and Mainland China.
Featured image: Peter Yan, CEO of Cyberport