It was all about science at the fifth Jumpstarter 2017 semi-pitch event, with twelve start-ups in the sensors and advanced materials sphere presenting spectacular and scientifically sound business ideas.
On a sweltering day at Hong Kong Science Park, clouds bubbled up into the burning sky like bright ideas destined for greatness. Inside the auditorium, the minds behind these ideas were presenting to a panel of seven judges. Selected from a pool of 50 applicants, representatives from each of the twelve start-ups revealed their vision of how science will change Hong Kong and the world as they competed for the judges’ approval.
During his introductory remarks, Raymond Wong, Head of Investment for Science Park, explained why science is so important: the use of sensors and advanced materials can “change traditional industries, allowing them to use new technology to reinvent themselves and find a new path.”
Each of the 12 high-quality pitches had a different vision of the future, but they all had the same end objective – creating science-based solutions to solve important problems.
Noise pollution was the problem addressed by Acoustic Metamaterials (AMC), one of the three companies advancing to November’s final round and the winner of the Most Innovative Startup Award. A self-described “smart materials and acoustic company”, AMC is using physics to change the way people interact with sound. By using a new type of metamaterial that targets specific sound waves, the company is developing products for the consumer electronics, power generation and HVAC industries.
Racefit International, another selected finalist, is looking to “redefine human motion” and address physical and psychological health problems through their wearable smart training suit. A network of motion sensors embedded in the suit’s fabric take 8,400 readings per minute, producing data which a mobile app summarizes to create health-giving plans and instructions for users.
Waste in the fashion industry and poor-fitting clothes are the twin issues that unspun – the third finalist – is seeking to address. Their pitch focused on the radical idea of getting rid of jeans made to standard sizes, and thus eliminating excess inventory, through made-on-demand jeans. Their process begins with a 3D body scan. A “fit learning” algorithm is then used to laser cut and detail the jeans which are then delivered in three days. Their ultimate goal? Using science to “mass customize” the clothing industry.
Finally, Eco Link Building Materials, the winner of the Most Favourable Startup Award as chosen by the audience, wants to solve the pervasive problem of air pollution. Their Nanofil air filter claims to “go beyond air purifying”. Using nanotechnology science, Eco Link’s R&D team has created a “net” with holes 1/1000th the width of a human hair to filter out the smallest germs and pollution particles.
AMC, Racefit and unspun will compete against 21 other finalists at November’s final pitch event, where the three winning teams will each receive up to USD one million investment from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.
Video of Jumpstarter 2017 Sensors & Advanced Materials Semi Pitch(5th)
Startup Pitch! (by the sequence of on-stage presentation)