HKSTP’s LEAP Connects Local Start-Ups With Industries For Successful Product Development And Commercialisation
Hong Kong, 13 February 2018 – Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) today announced the successful collaboration between local start-up Platysens Limited and La Salle Primary School as well as La Salle College in boosting the application of a groundbreaking audio swimming training technology for athletes and coaches. The successful collaboration was the result of HKSTP’s Leading Enterprises Acceleration Programme (LEAP), an initiative to help high-potential start-ups incubated at HKSTP achieve commercial success quickly.
Since its launch in 2014, the programme has called for submissions six times and 33 technology start-ups have benefited from LEAP so far, with total capital raised exceeding HK$150 million. The programme offered management guidance, sped up the commercialisation of their products or solutions, to enable them to seek new markets beyond Hong Kong.
Mr Albert Wong, CEO, HKSTP said, “Many of our start-ups are young engineers and entrepreneurs with great ideas. Often, they need business acumen and practical support to achieve their dreams. Over the years, HKSTP has been coaching them on running their business, helping them improve their business models, expanding their customer base, and realising their potential through breaking into the global market. All these support services are backed by the LEAP network consisting of domain experts, Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) counsellors and professional panels from various industries. I am glad to see the leading educational institute La Salle trial and apply our start-up’s technology. With the engagement and positive responses from different sectors, LEAP’s success has reached a new level.”
The training device, called Marlin, was developed by Platysens to monitor a swimmer’s performance and offer real-time audio feedback to the swimmers and coaches and La Salle has put the device on trial with its swimming team. Mr Tong Wun Sing, Principal of La Salle College said, “We don’t have professional equipment and facilities to quantify and measure the performance of the swimmers. With the Platysens devices, we could analyse the swimmers’ actions in the pool and give them real time feedback, greatly enhancing our training effectiveness.”
Besides improving the performance of the swimming team, La Salle has also been engaging in STEM education programmes to inspire students’ creative thinking and interest in innovation and technology. Mrs Chandni Rakesh, Principal of La Salle Primary School said, “The collaboration shows that Hong Kong can also match Silicon Valley in producing innovative products. Now our students have seen a practical example of an invention which can be used in their daily lives.
Our curriculum emphasises STEM education development and we are planning to open an IoT room in the coming academic year. Students are nurtured to think differently with this learning model. We hope this inspires our students not only to do well in swimming, but also to take up more STEM programmes and unleash their creativity.”
La Salle has provided Platysens with user feedback and data which helps improve the product and validate Platysens’ business model. The trial programme has enabled Platysens to collect better proof-of-concept data and refine the second-generation product, Seal, which will be tested by La Salle School’s swimming team in the second phase of the collaboration.
Mr Wong Cheong-yui, CEO of Platysens said, “Through LEAP, we have the opportunity to conduct product segment enhancement through trial programmes by high performance swimmers at La Salle. This school has one of the strongest swimming teams in Hong Kong Schools Tournament, and a very dedicated coaching team. Marlin has been launched in the market earlier but we know we can improve the product even more. The collaboration helps us collect real user feedback which we can’t obtain from lab tests, and thus work on a new and more scalable business model.”
The joint effort paves the way for LEAP participants to start working with various communities in Hong Kong. HKSTP is planning to explore more opportunities to line up start-ups with different sectors, to accelerate research and development of their innovative products.
About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.
Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long.
More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.