On 9 October, fifteen Hong Kong-based start-ups pitched at Slush for a chance to win HK$4,000,000 in cash. The competition was open to early-stage tech start-ups with less than 3 years of operations and who have received less than HK$3million funding. Entrepreneurs had 3 minutes to explain their value proposition and faced a panel of 6 judges (including Ace & Company, Monk’s Hill Ventures and AngelVest) for a 5 minutes Q & A session. The finalist will fly to Helsinki for Slush 2014 on 18-19 November, a two-day event attended by 2,500 start-ups, 350 journalists and 120 Vcs.
Start-up demographics included 34% consumer products (consumer electronics and healthcare), 27% retail-specific products and/or services (including cleantech), 13% were web-based projects (including ecommerce), 20% were applications and 7% were affiliated to fintech.
Some investors were disappointed that fintech start-ups were under-represented while Cyberport announced in July it will be hosting the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific – a 12 week accelerator programme designed by Accenture and 10 top financial institutions (including HSBC, UBS and Morgan Stanley).
From this pitching exercise, entrepreneurs learnt it is crucial to know their market size and precisely answer this question as judges systematically requested this information.
After 3 hours of debate, Slush announced the Hong Kong winner: Bitmex, a Bitcoin derivatives exchange platform. Finalists included:
- Think Group Limited, real-time analytics for retail
- uHoo, air-quality wearable sensors that provides recommendations by associating local air quality and vital health signs
- Techpacker, a fashion app to easily build tech-packs
You missed it? Don’t worry: InvestHK is organising StartmeupHK on 10-14 November. This five-day competition will offer the 12 winners to pitch to potential business partners and investors.
by Audrey Reisdorffer
Slush is a non-profit event organized by a community of entrepreneurs, investors, students and music festival organizers. Although Slush has grown from a 300-person event to become one of the leading events of its kind in the world, the philosophy behind it has remained the same: to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward. More information here
BizSpark advertised at the event and is a free program run by Microsoft dedicated to support the startup community. It’s a 100% free platform that provides software and tools to build apps. More information here