HONG KONG, CHINA, 22 March 2021
– JUMPSTARTER 2021 Global Pitch Competition (“JUMPSTARTER 2021”), the world’s largest online startup pitch contest organized by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, has concluded its Grand Finale. After a series of intense pitching sessions, Rice Robotics
, an autonomous robot company from Hong Kong, and Lingxi AR Technology
, an optical display and AR technology solution company from Beijing (in no particular order, see Appendix I below for details), were named as winners among the top 10 startups.
The two winning startups are entitled to an investment of up to US$4 million in total. Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (“Cyberport”) and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP”), co-organizers of JUMPSTARTER 2021, are also exploring the possibility of co-investments, so as to step up their support to the startups.
Due to the pandemic, JUMPSTARTER 2021 moved the entire contest online for the first time. It received an overwhelming response with over 2,000 applications from 100 countries and regions around the globe. Startups from Greater China and Asia Pacific are the most active among the applicants. With the support of collaboration partners, more than 220 semi-pitch sessions were held online, attracting more than 126,000 fans and supporters worldwide. The scale of the event was the largest since its inception, showing the passion of startups and their supporters, even amid the pandemic.
The competition has been opened to startups in the retail, fintech, smart city and deep tech industries. Among the top 200 finalists, retail startups made up a relatively high proportion of entries. The judging panel of JUMPSTARTER 2021 believes that due to the popularity among fintech in the last few years, participants in this area will face fiercer competition in the market. By region, startups in the Mainland are concentrating on deep tech such as biotechnology, while startups in Hong Kong are focusing on retail and fintech. Startups in Southeast Asia meanwhile are showing strong interest in the retail sector.
Cindy Chow, Executive Director of Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund
, said, “The Hong Kong and global markets have faced severe challenges over the past year. We are happy to see that many startups still hold on to indomitable, innovative and flexible thinking during their journeys. The support from enterprises is crucial to the growth of startups. With the help of Cyberport, HKSTP, as well as other sponsoring companies and institutions, we will have abundant resources to match startups with mentors to share relevant experiences in entrepreneurship and management.”
Peter Yan, Chief Executive Officer, Cyberport
said, “Under the new normal, innovative technology has become an important driving force for the global economy. In face of current challenges, I look forward to seeing more startups solve real world pain points in innovative ways to create value for society. We are committed to providing comprehensive support to promising startups, and will work with institutions and investors to promote the development of Hong Kong's startup ecosystem.”
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer, HKSTP
said, “Hong Kong is home to a diverse talent pool with direct access to the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asian markets, a diversified capital market and many factors to support startups. In recent years, the government, private companies and investors have strongly embraced the innovation and technology sector, making the city a great place for startups to develop their businesses. We have cooperated with Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and other organizations to create and nurture the innovation and technology ecosystem. We are confident in the startup development in Hong Kong.”
Lukas Petrikas, Head of Innovation and Data Lab, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX)
said, “We are excited to see the breakthroughs achieved by a growing number of Hong Kong startups. Hong Kong’s thriving corporate venture capital ecosystem bodes well for local startup success stories. HKEX looks forward to welcoming some of these home-grown startups to our world-leading equities market soon, adding more vibrancy and innovation to this international financial center.”
Apart from funding, the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund has increased the quota of participants for the “Alibaba Netpreneur Training program”, from the top five participants of JUMPSTARTER 2021 to the top 20, to further support startup in networking and a variety of resources through the Program.
The Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund believes that entrepreneurship can be cultivated at a younger age, allowing young people to discover their aspirations and interests earlier as well as recognize their goals and better equip themselves. In addition to tertiary students, JUMPSTARTER IdeaPOP! has broadened the eligibility of participants to include all secondary school students in Hong Kong this year (see Appendix II below for details). High-quality projects are seen in the tertiary students’ group, which is neck and neck to the open track. There are also a lot of innovative ideas in the secondary school students’ group. Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund aims to help young people to execute innovative ideas and inspire their entrepreneurial dreams through the event.
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JUMPSTARTER 2021 Winning Teams (In no particular order)
Best JUMPSTARTER – Smart City
Social Impact Startup Award
|Rice Robotics Ltd.
|Rice Robotics is building the infrastructure for corporations to deploy robot fleets. It has four robots: Rice (delivery), Jasmine (disinfection), Valencia (patrol and guiding) and Waiter (food court delivery), each of which are autonomous, navigating in crowded areas and charging without help, and run by the management software RiceCore.
|Hong Kong, China
Top Innovative Startup Award
|Lingxi AR Technology
|By exploiting its strong optics technology and processing advantages, Lingxi AR Technology is the first developer of the waveguide AR technology in China. Consumer electronics, smart-eyewear manufacturers and industrial enterprises will apply the company’s underlying optical solutions in their see-through wearable displays.
|Best JUMPSTARTER – Retail
|Outpos Pte. Ltd.
|Outpos is empowering street food vendors in serving traditional foods with tomorrow’s technology. The company is using digital solutions to integrate vendors into a modern street food ecosystem at a fraction of the cost and time it takes to setup a traditional restaurant.
|Best JUMPSTARTER – Fintech
|Benefit Vantage Limited
|The company is improving mobile authentication and the user experience without compromising security and privacy through IPificiation: mobile users can be easily authenticated via their Public IP address. The company also creates extra revenue for telco partners and helps service providers win trust with safe and seamless authentication.
|Hong Kong, China
|Best JUMPSTARTER – Deep Tech
|The company is committed to manufacturing high-speed, high-definition 3D visual devices. Its products are known for precision and are primarily used for robot navigation and industrial inspection. It has successfully worked with sectors including food, electric appliances, logistics, ceramics and shipping.
JUMPSTARTER IdeaPOP! 2021 Tertiary Students Winning Team
|Team / Product
|The Education University of Hong Kong / Bridge AI
|The Chinese University of Hong Kong / Lecopt Technology
|The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology / Breer
JUMPSTARTER IdeaPOP! 2021 Secondary School Students Winning Teams (In no particular order)
|Team / Product
|Queen Elizabeth School / Styrofoam Digester
|Best Presentation Award
|St. Paul's Convent School / LevelUp!
|Social Impact Award
|Carmel Alison Lam Foundation Secondary School / Sound Sensor
|The Most Creative IdeaPOP! Award
|Ko Lui Secondary School / Function 5 Easy Ride
|The Most Insightful Award
|Diocesan Girls' School / Decyclastic
|The STEM Award
|St. Paul’s College / studyaccelerator