Non-profit organization EntreLink’s Regional InnoTech Summit featured panel discussions, regional conferences, business matching sessions, eclinics, and pitching events.
Amid wide-spread global technological disruption, there is a need for Hong Kong to promote technology and innovation to remain competitive in the long run. Organizations across the city are taking note and stepping up to foster the development of Hong Kong’s new economy.
One such organization is EntreLink, a non-profit run by an association of local startup founders. Founded in 2018, EntreLink is a startup network fostering the technology and innovation ecosystem in Hong Kong. EntreLink is a global startup connector that connects startups with a global network of incubators, corporates, and public sectors, across Asia and Europe. The organization has startup members from different sectors, such as fintech, proptech, and edtech.
The first key focus of the organization is to advocate for policy changes. The second is to create outbound opportunities for startups, especially in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and ASEAN cities, says Chloe Lam, Co-founder and Director at EntreLink.
“Our mission is to make Hong Kong a technology and innovation hub, and to make the new economy sustainable with [the help of] different stakeholders in the community,” Lam tells Jumpstart.
Early-stage startups, Lam notes, need more support in terms of industrial connections with regional stakeholders and corporates to grow. Unlike existing incubators in the city, EntreLink is not only a think tank, but also a “do tank” that creates “actual opportunities” for early-stage startups, Lam adds.
EntreLink x HKPC Regional InnoTech Summit
EntreLink recently hosted its Regional InnoTech Summit. The online Summit aimed to promote promising Hong Kong startups, and connect them to key decision-makers across the technology and innovation ecosystem in GBA and ASEAN cities. It was held in partnership with the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), a multi-disciplinary organization set up to support Hong Kong enterprises.
The three-day Summit, held from April 28-30, featured panel discussions, regional conferences, business matching sessions, eclinics, and pitching events. A startup exhibition was also held, showcasing local startups across the fintech, proptech and edtech sectors.
During the opening session, Chief Digital Officer of PwC, Jim Woods noted that it has become crucial for Hong Kong to bolster innovation and collaboration with other GBA cities.
Woods further noted that while Hong Kong has many past legacies to boast of, including academics and research, it has to collaborate with smart GBA and ASEAN cities for future development.
The Summit provided a platform for both local startups and corporations to explore opportunities, seek consultations, and network with key players in the ecosystem. While industry leaders shared their insights during the conferences, business matching sessions connected around 25 startups with senior corporate management, Lam points out.
“On one hand, [it helped] the startups looking for direct clients and on the other hand, [it helped] corporates to identify new solutions to help them to digitally transform their whole organization,” Lam says.
The business matching sessions paved the way for several startups to build value-driven collaborations with a number of corporates. Thai conglomerate CP Group, for instance, is one among many companies that have reached out to featured startups, to help them introduce their solutions in Thailand, Lam adds.
“The Summit is only the start of connecting the stakeholders within the ecosystem,” Lam says. “Going forward, taking this opportunity from the Summit, we will try to connect more stakeholders together; not only within selected startups and corporates, but also wider audiences locally and regionally, to actually build a solid connection within the ecosystem.”
This article was written in partnership with EntreLink