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- First-ever HKSTP-led Blockchain Accelerator Brings Tangible Benefits for Start-ups and Commercial Partners
Winner gains HK$1 million investment prize for business development
Peter Mok, Head of Incubation and Acceleration Programmes of HKSTP (first from the right) and Ellis Cheung, Executive Director of HBCC Investment (first from the left) congratulated the three finalists of Blockchain Accelerator.
Peter Mok, Head of Incubation and Acceleration Programmes of HKSTP was delighted that the Blockchain Accelerator drew a wide range of industry partners to share their expertise with acceleratees, showing broad industry interest in adopting blockchain technology for commercial applications.
Hong Kong, 25 January 2019 – The first-ever blockchain-themed accelerator, run by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) in partnership with Molecular Hub and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), has achieved unprecedented success. The programme winner is the first acceleratee of HKSTP-initiated thematic accelerator, Global Acceleration Academy (GAA), to gain a million-dollar investment prize since GAA’s launch in 2017, drawing an enthusiastic response from local and overseas start-ups.
The latest GAA programme, the Molecular Hub x HKSTP x ASTRI Blockchain Accelerator, is being held from November 2018 to January 2019. A total of 17 local and overseas start-ups enrolled in the 13-week training programme. The Accelerator culminated in a demo day today, during which seven shortlisted participants vied for the HK$1 million investment prize offered by the programme’s investment sponsor, HBCC Investment. The winner will be selected by a panel of investment sponsor, technology enablers and industry partners.
Support for blockchain accelerator reflects growing interest in the technology
The Blockchain Accelerator drew a wide range of industry partners to share their expertise with acceleratees – namely the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, China Life (Overseas), Deloitte China, Human Health and The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels – indicating broad industry interest in adopting blockchain technology for commercial applications.
The industry partners offered acceleratees insights for market validation and mentorship, as well as industry connections to help the start-ups explore and tap into blockchain-related opportunities.
GAA extends to eight vertical markets
GAA is an intensive business acceleration programme spearheaded by HKSTP to connect up-and-coming start-ups with world-class enterprises. The programme invites start-ups from around the world to Hong Kong to transform their technologies into practical solutions that have commercial value for Asia.
Peter Mok, Head of Incubation and Acceleration Programmes of HKSTP, said, “GAA offers comprehensive technical and business training to acceleratees enabling them to stay at the forefront of technology. In this blockchain-theme cohort, we organised training on topics ranging from fundraising, one-on-one pitching, cybersecurity, blockchain-related regulation to risk management.”
“Taking our accelerator experience to the next step, GAA will focus on eight industry verticals namely Real Estate, Travel & Hospitality, Logistics, FinTech & InsurTech, Consumer, Education, Smart City and Healthcare. We are going to organise no less than five cohorts on different verticals with leading partners for GAA this year. We welcome partners and start-ups to join the programme,” Mr Mok added.
Programme leads to strengthened blockchain R&D at Science Park
Ellis Cheung, Executive Director of HBCC Investment, said, “The quality of GAA start-ups is unquestionably high, especially the obvious alteration of seven shortlisted ones before and after such cohort. For meeting market needs, GAA has successfully shaped the positioning of each acceleratee so as to ensure its true value can clearly be reflected. HBCC Investment will invest in one of three finalists that has outstanding team credentials, practical technology applications and capacity for further market development of its business model. We are also proactively following up and considering investment in other potential acceleratees.”
Jacky Chan, CEO of Molecular Hub, said, “We believe GAA has pushed blockchain development in Hong Kong to the next level. Molecular Hub will continuously track the growth of the seven finalists to ensure they have access to the necessary services and global resources, such as supporting policies, marketing promotion and talent recruitment, whilst connecting them with suitable investment to allow them to further develop.”
Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said, “As a key partner in this initiative, ASTRI enhances the technological know-how of the programme participants - we have provided trainings on the ‘Technology’ and ‘Trust’ aspects of blockchain applications. This programme is part of ASTRI’s overarching role in facilitating robust FinTech development for Hong Kong. As a leading technology enabler, and an ‘innovation catalyst’ within the ecosystem, we deliver technologies, develop solutions and nurture talents. In partnership with HKSTP and Molecular Hub, the success of the Blockchain GAA programme proves that our efforts are paying off.”
Three Finalists of Blockchain Accelerator*
*The winner will be granted HK$1 million investment prize.