By : Khadija Azhar
April 16, 2019
Harbour Grand Hotel, Hong Kong
Organized by Brightway and China Internet Development Foundation, the 2019 edition of the Hong Kong International Entrepreneur’s Festival (HKIEF) invited various eminent speakers to discuss how technology can facilitate a transition into smart-living under the overarching theme of ‘Integrating Innovation and Technology into Daily Life.’ Over 1,000 attendees gathered to gain insight into the region’s involvement in the innotech scene.
Alex Yeung–Organizing Committee of HKIEF Chairman, Brightway Chairman, and Emperor Group Executive Director–kicked off the event with an address that highlighted the importance of sustainably harnessing Hong Kong’s growth potential. He cited Hong Kong’s strategic position as a global financial hub, bolstered by spillovers from the development of the Greater Bay Area, as the chief proponent of advancement within the region.
Fifteen representatives from some of the biggest global enterprises participated in four themed forums: How Innovation and Technology Rejuvenate Corporates, How Innotech Leads the Development of the Greater Bay Area, New Era of Esports, and Innovation in Daily Life.
The forums focused on how the burgeoning startup ecosystem can potentially translate the benefits of Hong Kong’s growth-oriented environment into innovative solutions that address everyday problems. They also touched on innovation from a corporate perspective.
Yeung, Stan Group Chairman and The STILE Initiative Founder Stan Tang, Head of Innovation Technologies Greater China at UBS Wealth Management Cat Rüst, and Head of PM Equity Partner Jan Honoré spoke on the ‘How Technology Rejuvenates Corporates’ panel.
This year, HKIEF named Nicholas Tse as the event ambassador. He participated in a panel discussion about his varied professional portfolio. Tse began his career as an actor and musician, but has since diversified into the culinary and entrepreneurial world. Drawing upon his extensive multidisciplinary experience, he shared his thoughts on the dynamic between technology and innovation: “Technology only brings you halfway; you have to walk the other half which is the true meaning of innovation.”
HKIEF also partnered with Hong Kong’s first residential startup incubator by Stan Group (HKIEF co-organizer), The STILE Initiative, which serves to support innovation within the region by connecting up-and-coming entrepreneurs with mentorship and business opportunities. More than 500 startups applied, and the five selected teams spoke at the event to share their experiences. They included Butler [getbutler.com], Butterfly FX [butterflyfx.co], Flow [flowtheroom.com], Liquefy [liquefy.com], and Portfolio.io [portfolio.io].
Tse’s stardom undoubtedly brought a large number of adoring fans, but the venue was still teeming with attendees excited to dive into the forums. Not only were the speakers engaging and insightful, but HKIEF also established itself as a champion for innovation through its support for youth involvement in the startup scene. –KA
Jumpstart is a co-organizer of HKIEF 2019.