Maker in China: Fueling Hong Kong’s Startup Spirit

Maker in China Fueling Hong Kong’s Startup Spirit

Deal flows, patents and innovative technology underlined the “Maker in China” global contest 2021. Here’s a look at how the event unfolded.

On September 17, 2021, the “Maker in China” SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Global Contest 2021 Grand Final was held in Guangzhou, China. MAD Gaze, a Cyberport incubatee specializing in augmented reality smart glasses, was declared the winner of the championship.

I2Cool, a project of the City University of Hong Kong’s HKTech300, was the first runner-up. This startup promotes one-of-a-kind energy-free and environmentally-friendly passive radiative cooling paint to save energy. Ommo Technologies from Korea came third with its innovative position tracking technology.

This is the second time that a project from Hong Kong has won the championship since 2018. The contest saw the participation of 236 teams from 18 countries and regions. Of these, nine teams—three from Hong Kong—were selected as finalists.

“Maker in China”: providing a platform for SMEs and startups

“Maker in China” focused on nurturing innovation and ambition among start-ups. Zhou Jian, the Deputy Director of China Centre for Promotion of SME Development, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China, says, “Through ‘Maker in China’, we have brought forth new ideas and converged the entrepreneurial resources to create a positive atmosphere of ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’.” He believes that this initiative enabled small and medium enterprises and startups to demonstrate and exchange ideas, match with technology demands and incubate.

The brand director of MAD Gaze, the winning team, Chelsea Miu echoes this sentiment. She shares, “The competition has gathered so many top companies around the world. We are very excited and honored to be in the first place.” Expressing her optimism about the Greater Bay Area, Miu notes, “I believe that the national policy will be conducive to the popularization of AR technology and the application of smart glasses, and that domestic companies have abundant resources and cross-channel platforms to help us build a more prosperous ecosystem and industry chain.”

“Maker in China” brought together innovative technology, market-ready projects, marketized operations and government policies, and deal flows. The co-founder of I2Cool, the first runner-up team, Martin Zhu feels, “Through the competition, we also learned about the trend of energy saving in the Greater Bay Area, especially in buildings. This will help us achieve our goal of stationing at the Nansha District within this year.”

Cyberport’s Chief Public Mission Officer Eric Chan shares, “I am very pleased that both Hong Kong projects, among the 200 plus global projects, have excelled in the ‘Maker in China’ Grand Final.” For him, this success demonstrates the strength of Hong Kong’s science and technology development, and innovative capabilities. He believes that as more Hong Kong startups set up in the Greater Bay Area, “we can create stronger synergy to promote the development of the Greater Bay Area and Hong Kong as an international technology and innovation hub.”

The Hong Kong Chapter boasts patents, deal flows and investments

In image: Winners of the “Maker in China” Hong Kong Chapter – MAD Gaze (Left), I2COOL (Middle), Greater Bay Biotechnology (Right)

Winding back the clock to August, Cyberport had initiated over 100 patents and 50 deal flows at the Hong Kong Chapter of the “Maker in China”, ensuring that no participant goes home empty-handed. Miu reveals that the Hong Kong Chapter in mid-August has already helped MAD Gaze secure “nearly 10 potential deal flows”. Of the top ten finalists, half were from the Cyberport community. The contest gave startups a chance to access fund-raising opportunities. The Chief Executive Officer of Cyberport Peter Yan notes, “We were pleased to see a record number of participating companies, demonstrating the eagerness of local startups to expand to the Greater Bay Area market.” Yan further adds, “With more Hong Kong startups receiving investments from the Mainland and landing in the Greater Bay Area, this growing synergy within the region will further promote the development of the Greater Bay Area into an international innovation and technology hub.”

Competition and collaboration at the heart of Hong Kong

The Chairman of Angel Investment Foundation Ivan Shum, who judged the Hong Kong chapter of the contest for the third time, details, “I am happy to see that the contest has successfully attracted university R&D projects and excellent startups to cooperate with corporate investors to explore the Chinese market together.” He feels that this will strengthen the momentum of innovation at a national level and unveil infinite prospects for startups.

The Government Chief Information Officer Victor Lam lauded the contest in relation to China’s 14th five-year plan. The plan has boosted the city’s position as an international center of innovation and technology. He says, “I encourage all industry practitioners to actively participate in I&T competitions for the constant pursuit of innovation and excellence and make full use of the opportunity to connect with companies and investors of the GBA, thus making valuable contributions to Hong Kong’s I&T sector.”

Cyberport believes that startups in Hong Kong have immense potential and warrant a conducive environment. After the success of “Maker in China”, Cyberport, the digital community of over 1,650 startups, is set to give startups another boost with the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF 2021) on 2-3 November. Visit CVCF 2021 for more details.

Images Courtesy: Cyberport

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