June 17, 2016, Hong Kong – Google today brought together local business leaders to kick-off the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Program (EYE Program) 2016, aiming to boost entrepreneurship and inject new energy and ideas in Hong Kong. Themed “Innovation in Everyday Life”, the EYE Program is taking flight to a brand new horizon in better connecting leading corporates and startups, hence promotes “Collaborative Innovation.” In addition to the dedicated mentorship supported by distinguished industry experts and entrepreneurs, the program will offer participants Innovation Boost workshop and training, Insight Night, and Shadowing with Corporate Partners. This year’s program encourages collaboration and helps turn ideas into reality. The EYE Program 2016 received around 250 applications. Corporate Partners including Asia Miles, HKT, and New World Development Company Limited will work closely with participants to co-create products and solutions related to lifestyle loyalty programs, information and communications technology (ICT), and smart living.
Speaking at the EYE Program 2016 launch today, Dr. David Chung Wai-keung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of HKSAR Government, noted that Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem has rocketed in the past few years. He is confident in the continuing growth of the local startup community and delighted to witness the enthusiasm of our young entrepreneurs. He looks forward to joining hands with industry leaders, like Google, to provide more support to these creative innovators and enable success stories that inspire more entrepreneurs to think big.
“Google has long been associated with entrepreneurship and innovation. We want to empower young entrepreneurs and business owners to explore new opportunities in the digital era. We’re happy that Asia Miles Limited, HKT, and New World Development Company Limited will support this year’s EYE Program, and join forces with Google to positively impact the local market. Innovation is also about connection. Together, we can transform Hong Kong into a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Leonie Valentine, Director of Customer Experience APAC, Google.
Stephen S.Y. Wong, CEO of Asia Miles, said, “Asia Miles Limited is a firm supporter of innovating through partnership. We are always willing to trial new ideas and technologies, and this is why we work closely with startups and creative companies. Supporting the EYE Program is a new way for us to put this into practice as we help the local entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow.”
“We believe startups and entrepreneurs play an important role in the economy because they are major sources of creativity and innovation ideas. Digitalization is changing the industry and bringing new opportunities to our business. HKT is happy to work with Google and other partners to drive innovation. We look forward to working with startups to develop innovative services and solutions for our customers.”, said Tom Chan, Managing Director, Commercial Group, HKT.
Matthew Chan, Head of Digital, New World Development Company Limited, said, “Collaboration and co-creation are the keys to technology breakthrough in the smart-living arena, and we see endless possibilities and improvements ahead to provide our customers with a bespoke experience. New World is encouraged to find so many promising young talents in Hong Kong, with great ideas and passion. With Google, we hope to create something extraordinary and support Hong Kong as a burgeoning hub of innovation”
At the kick-off ceremony, Google announced the 30 teams that enter the first round of pitching on June 25, 2016. 15 teams will then be selected by the professional judging panel for dedicated mentorship, Innovation Boost training and workshop, and Insight Nights hosted by Corporate Partners. The top 6 teams from the Battle Day, which is the second round of pitching on August 20, will be invited to Shadowing with Corporate Partners, a trip to Singapore in September, and the Gala Event in October.
The EYE Program 2016 is supported by Supporting Partners including blueprint, Center for Entrepreneurship of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Cyberport, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, Hang Seng Management College – Executive Development Center, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – Institute for Entrepreneurship, InvestHK, Jumpstart Magazine, K11 Concepts Limited, Lan Kwai Fong Group, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The Wave, Uber, Visa Hong Kong Limited, and W Hub; Strategic Partner SLLN Consultants; and Overseas Partners including Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), DBS Innovation, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) – BASH, and Resort World Sentosa.
About EYE Program 2016 Think 10X, not 10%. EYE Program 2016 is found based on Google’s philosophy and empowers both entrepreneurs and corporates in Hong Kong by making collaborative innovation possible. The program serves as a platform for entrepreneurs, corporates, business executives, government and investors to collaborate, generate and implement innovative ideas that tackle everyday business issues and bring values. More on website: www.eyeprogram.org
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