JUMPSTARTER Global Pitch Competition Sparkles Online
Long-awaited event names five winning teams from 40 global finalists
After months of preparation, the JUMPSTARTER Global Pitch Competition took place online on Feb. 11-12, with five winning teams sharing US$5 million in investment and $100,000 in cash in recognition of their innovative businesses.
The event showcased 40 teams from all over the world, and in addition to the cash and investment, winners will be connected with influential individuals in Alibaba’s network to mentor them and help them with their business strategy, development and finding new – and potentially lucrative – leads.
The winners included:
- Asia Regenerative Medicine – A biotech startup researching and developing new technologies for repairing and regenerating internal organs
- Ecoinno – A Hong Kong-based startup using science and technology to engineer eco-friendly plastic alternatives
- Fano Labs – An artificial intelligence startup working on customer service solutions for the finance, telecommunications, and retail sectors
- Snipfeed – A U.S.-based startup using artificial intelligence to help creators distribute and monetize their content in different formats
- The Block Ledger – An Australia-based fintech startup designing solutions for financial institutions including loan documentation and credit scoring
Organized by the Alibaba Entrepreneur Fund and supported by the Title Sponsor HSBC, the event was originally slated to be held on Feb 11-12, 2020 at the annual StartmeupHK Festival alongside the JUMPSTARTER Global Startup Conference. Due to public health concerns from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the festival was postponed to later in the year. Rather than postponing the pitch competition, Alibaba opted to migrate it online, opening it up to public viewers and letting them vote in several award categories.
Despite the short lead time to publicize the virtual competition, the two-day event attracted 20,000 supporters and viewers from 100 countries and regions, making it the world’s largest online startup contest.
“With the support of different partners, we are delighted that JUMPSTARTER 2020 was hosted online successfully. The finalists came from over 10 countries and regions, and they had outstanding performance, showcasing forward-looking ideas to address market needs. I hope that all participants in JUMPSTARTER 2020 can benefit from the process and gain useful experience that can help them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Executive Director of the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund Cindy Chow.
The competition received over 2,000 applications from startups in 65 different countries and regions. Semifinalists were invited to pitch in one of eight different locations: Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur, London, the San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Semifinal pitches ran up to August 2019, with 40 finalists eventually selected to pitch on February 11-12.
Other awards included:
- Top Innovative and Audience Favorite–awarded to Privé Technologies, a Hong-Kong based fintech company (Top Innovative is selected and awarded by Alibaba Cloud. Audience Favorite is voted by the online audience)
- Environmental Champion–awarded to Canada-based cleantech startup Agora Energy Technologies
- IdeaPOP! Winning Team–Clearbot, a startup developing automated robot swarms that can clean the ocean