StartmeupHK Festival 2022 concludes with global startup community ready to seize opportunities presented by metaverse, Web3 and sustainable innovation

StartmeupHK Festival 2022 officially came to a close on September 10 after a busy week of events and activities centred around start-ups, changemakers and emerging technologies. Organised by Invest Hong Kong, the week-long Festival drew over 20 000 participants from more than 100 countries and territories, comprising industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, tech enthusiasts and government officials. The Festival theme, "A Future Unlimited", could not have been more apt: 556 speakers from around the world spent six days celebrating the start-up sector's ability to embrace emerging technologies and innovate for a better tomorrow.

StartmeupHK Festival 2022 kicked off on September 5 with the GBA Innovation Summit 2022 organised by TusPark and the 1.5°C Summit - The Defining Decade for Impact with Tech, by Eureka Nova and New World Development. Speakers at the GBA Innovation Summit recognised the ever-evolving nature of consumer habits and commended the ability of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area's (GBA) to adapt, with the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Mr Paul Chan, urging in his opening remarks: "In the process of development, there are both challenges and opportunities. I encourage start-ups to seize the opportunities of development in the GBA -an important base for Hong Kong in innovation." Panel discussions at the 1.5°C Summit focused on the concept of creating impact through sustainability and accepting risk as an inescapable element of entrepreneurship. "There is no failure, only learning along the way," said the CEO and Co-founder of Intensel Limited, Dr Entela Benz-Saliasi. "Adapt, change and innovate as you move forward."

​On September 6, Brinc's Asia Healthcare Innovation Summit gave members of Asia's expansive healthcare ecosystem a chance to explore biotech, healthtech, medtech and blockchain adaptation. During the event, Egglogics, an "incubio" company based out of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, announced the launch of its new gene-based diagnostic platform that can scan and determine the health of eggs for IVF/cryopreservation. WHub's Scaleup Impact Summit - Universe x Metaverse explored the idea of Web3 and the metaverse, and the challenges and opportunities for scale-ups in this space from September 6 and 7. The Co-founder of Moment and the former Chairman of Pinterest, Mr Tim Kendall, shared his insights on scaling Pinterest from 15 to 2,000 people, saying, "If you are incredibly clear about what you're doing, and it's bold and mission-driven, people will be attracted to that."

A new addition to the Festival, MaGESpire's Game On! 2022, celebrated the essence of gaming, art, music and entertainment (GAME) on September 8 and 9. At the event, the Co-founder and Chairman of Animoca Brands, Yat Siu, had one key takeaway for the audience: "Do things with purpose. Think of things you can have an impact on, however small. If we do our part to make it work, grow the ecosystem, then as a whole, we will all better succeed" Investors, leaders and start-ups at the forefront of the proptech revolution came together at Asia PropTech Beyond 2022 by Asia PropTech to discuss the changing nature of consumer behaviour and how the traditional real estate industry is having to evolve as a result. "Physical stores are no longer just for transactions or selling. It's experiential. It's about meeting your consumers at every point of the consumer journey," said the Head of Publications, Retail in Asia, Ms Shireen Lee.

Rounding off the week was KMPG's Connected Cities Conference on September 9 and Global Citizen Capital's Young Pioneers forum 2022 on September 10. Panel members at the Connected Cities Conference debated the best ways that people and corporations can support Hong Kong's development as a connected, smart and ESG-led city. "There are six elements of smart cities," explained Partner, DLA Piper, Ms Susheela Rivers. "Mobility, living, environment, people, government and economy." At the Young Pioneers Forum, more than 500 teenagers from more than 30 countries came together to cultivate creative ideas and solutions for a better, greener future.

"This year's StartmeupHK Festival was packed full of insights. It was an inspiring week that brought together the brightest minds behind some of the world's most exciting companies. We all came together to explore opportunities, such as those presented by Web3 and the metaverse. There was also a strong focus throughout the week on sustainable innovation. Another significant focal point this year was the impact of increasing digitalisation on the wider society. Hong Kong has proven itself a key player in the innovation and digitalisation game, and the potential for growth is, truly, unlimited," said the Head of StartmeupHK at Invest Hong Kong, Ms Jayne Chan.


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