Asia Social Innovation Award (ASIA) 2018-19 Winners Announced

Pioneering Partnership with JUMPSTARTER of the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund

Hong Kong, 24 January 2019 – Asia Social Innovation Award (ASIA) entered its 10th year with a groundbreaking partnership with JUMPSTARTER, a startup platform and initiative curated by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. The Grand Finals was held last night with the Grand Prize awarded to Sense Innovation Co, a startup from Taiwan utilizing eye-tracking assistive technology to reinvent rehabilitation and learning for patients and caregivers.

The competition theme this year is “Impact of Things”, as inspired by the term “Internet of Things (IoT)”, signifying the connection between the social entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem, corporate and public sector in amplifying positive impact to the society. 

ASIA received hundreds of applications from 25 countries in the Asia-pacific region that propose innovative solutions to the more pressing social and environmental challenges. Among the 12 teams selected to present at the Grand Finals Pitch, 3 startups are based in Hong Kong, while others represent the Philippines, China, South Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries. Connecting themes include building pioneering platforms and innovative technologies to improve physical and mental wellness, promote medical and educational reform, and improve the quality of life for the underprivileged. 

After a thoughtful deliberation by the judges, Sense Innovation Co was awarded the Grand Prize Winner.Coeo Labs awarded the Health Impact Award, and Smart Air awarded the Learning Impact Award. Sense Innovation was selected because its invention benefits patients and the disabled across the world, with high scalability. Coeo Labs has a huge health impact because it provides an easy-to-use and effective product which would greatly support areas with a lack of medical resources. Smart Air is believed to bring a disruptive change because it educates the public to create low-cost DIY air purifiers,” said the Judging panels.

Winning teams Overview:



Award Name Origin Feature Price (HK$)
Grand Prize Sense Innovation Taiwan Eye-tracking assistive technology to the severely disabled 100,000
Health Impact Award Coeo Labs India Its product “Saans” utilizes a low-cost multipower neonatal breathing support device for low-resource settings 20,000
Learning Innovation Award Smart Air China Promotes affordable DIY air filters to deal with air pollution 20,000


For more information on the participating teams and the program rundown, please download materials via the following link:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0w89s1asiwd6pr/Bio%20of%20the%20Winning%20teams.docx?dl=0

Social Ventures Hong Kong Founder and CEO Francis Ngai, also serving as a judge of ASIA this year, shares, “ASIA is only a beginning, we hope to promote a culture of social entrepreneurship and “Business 2.0” strategy, encouraging all corporates to look beyond financial returns to bring positive influence to the society and the environment.  Eventually, the lines between startups and social startups will be blurred. As corporates, society and environment will all be winners.”

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