StartmeupHK Festival: Celebrating Hong Kong’s Vibrant Startup Ecosystem

Grace Lam

Last week, Invest Hong Kong’s second StartmeupHK Festival (January 16-20) drew well over 5,000 participants to events on subjects ranging from retail innovation and fashion technology to smart city, financial technology (FinTech) and health technology.

Two topics quickly became recurring themes across events, artificial intelligence (AI) and the value of a good ecosystem – which was touted as a prerequisite for further development of start-up sectors.


The festival kicked-off with the “Retail’s Cutting Edge” forum at PMQ, which looked at how disruptors are using technology in the retail space to grow brands, select products and make purchases.

The following day, “The Connected City” saw much discussion on the changing dynamics, demographics and growth of megacities, along with the need to make them sustainable. Key talking points included the Internet of Things, data analytics and the growth in renewable energy.


The centerpiece and highlight of the festival was InvestHK’s StartmeupHK Venture Forum in the evening of January 17, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Attended by over 1,000 delegates, the event combined talks, panel sessions, presentations and a touch of magic. Speakers included best-selling author and founder of the Moven mobile banking service, Mr Brett King; the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Dennis Lo; cyber illusionist, Mr Marco Tempest; Internet pioneer and Chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Mr Pindar Wong; and co-founder of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys, Mr Joseph Lubin.


On January 18 and 19, PMQ became the battleground for The Next Money FinTech Finals 2017 where 23 outstanding start-ups selected from around the world pitched their business plans to compete for the Best in Show Prize of US$10,000, as well as Best Early Stage, Best Growth Stage and Best Mature Stage Startups. The winners were Ayannah, Bambu, DarcMatter and BIMA.

The festival wrapped up with HealthTech Asia 2017, which offered a fascinating look at the future democratization of healthcare as new technologies and better processes bring down costs, making it more affordable for all.

Overall the StartmeupHK Festival was a resounding success in terms of attendance by participants, delegates and media. FleishmanHillard Hong Kong is honored to have provided media relations support for the weeklong event. With over 60 media attendees, 40+ interviews and top tier coverage, we played our part in InvestHK’s journey to further establishe Hong Kong as an ideal platform for local and international startups.

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