FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund and HSBC present JUMPSTARTER 2020
Hong Kong, August 8, 2019 – Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, a non-profit initiative launched by Alibaba Group, announced today that HSBC will be the title sponsor of the third edition of its start-up event JUMPSTARTER, called Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund/HSBC JUMPSTARTER 2020 (“JUMPSTARTER 2020”).
For the first time, JUMPSTARTER will feature a global pitch competition that covers eight cities in premier locations worldwide. InvestHK, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX), Hong Kong Cyberport and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) will also partner with Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and HSBC to further promote the competition in local and global start-up communities.
Cindy Chow, Executive Director of Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, said, “the market in Asia for cutting-edge technology is booming. The region is home to over 4.5 billion people, presenting tremendous opportunities for young entrepreneurs to innovate and create. We are glad to leverage Hong Kong’s strategic position to create a springboard for top JUMPSTARTER companies and gain access to the talent, opportunity and funding critical to their success.”
Diana Cesar, Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC, said, “Hong Kong remains one of Asia’s economic and financial powerhouses with strengths in world-class education, professional services and international trade. It is also home to over 2,600 start-ups, which provide over 9,500 jobs. Over the years, we have been a trusted partner to small businesses. As of today, over 80 per cent of our new business accounts in Hong Kong are for start-ups with less than three-year in history. We not only see the value and potential of thriving start-ups, but also tomorrow’s unicorns. Together, we build a prosperous and sustainable future.”
As a leading trade bank, HSBC is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and innovative companies to flourish in its home market and globally. HSBC expands digital solutions, offers a wide range of banking services, as well as initiates financing support to high-potential, early-stage companies to help them sprint and grow in the new economy era.
JUMPSTARTER 2020 is going global, with a series of pitching events in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, London, the San Francisco Bay Area and Toronto, teaming up with key partners in each location. It will work with PKU-HKUST Shenzhen-HongKong Institution and 36Kr in China, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in Malaysia, Level 39 in the UK and Berkeley SkyDeck in the US.
JUMPSTARTER aims to build a global network that connects local and overseas start-ups, small businesses, larger companies and investors through the global pitch competition. The Hong Kong Grand Finale is scheduled for February 11-12, 2020.
JUMPSTARTER has pledged to invest as much as US$5 million in the winning start-ups, in addition to a total of US$100,000 cash prizes to the top five Grand Finale winners. In addition to the investment commitment, JUMPSTARTER winners will also get the chance to plug into the Alibaba Digital Economy, which will help them obtain valuable insights, experience and resources. As a part of InvestHK’s StartmeupHK Festival, JUMPSTARTER 2020 will also provide additional benefits to its participants, such as access to different ecosystems and international tech hubs.
JUMPSTARTER has drawn strong participation since its 2017 inception and has successfully raised public awareness of Hong Kong’s vibrant start-up community. JUMPSTARTER 2019 attracted over 10,000 attendees to its events and 600 proposals from 35 markets around the world.
Appendix 1 – Quotes from Global Co-organizer and Co-organizers of Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund/HSBC JUMPSTARTER 2020
Stephen Phillips, Director-General of InvestHK, said: “With the enthusiastic responses of global track applications of JUMPSTARTER last year, we look forward to welcoming more start-ups from diverse industry backgrounds to apply for the JUMPSTARTER Global Pitch Competition, and join us in the annual Hong Kong Fintech Week and StartmeupHK Festival. We also look forward to working closely with the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund to support start-ups and strengthen Hong Kong’s position as the leading international business location in Asia.”
Charles Li, Chief Executive of HKEX, said: “Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses are essential for the long term sustainability of a vibrant economy. They are also the big listed companies of the future. We are therefore very excited to be supporting JUMPSTARTER in helping them showcase quality start-ups and talent, and look forward to welcoming these young enterprises to Hong Kong, one of the world’s best locations for starting a new business. ”
Peter Yan, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Cyberport, said: “Cyberport is glad to be the co-organizer of JUMPSTARTER for the third consecutive year since its launch. This year we are delighted to take a step further to leverage our resources by co-investing with Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund in the outstanding start-ups. I would encourage Cyberport digital tech start-ups to actively participate in this global event and hope to see winners putting the entrepreneurial support to good use, and better capture the opportunities of digital tech wave through the international platform of JUMPSTARTER.”
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP, said: “Our support of JUMPSTARTER is part of our drive to fast-track innovative start-ups in Hong Kong by connecting them with investors and business partners, and transforming laboratory innovation into commercial success. Alibaba is a great partner – we are also working together to incubate AI-focused start-ups at the HKAI Lab. HKSTP is now grooming 250 start-ups at Science Park through a range of initiatives including our accelerator programmes LEAP and the Global Acceleration Academy (GAA). These initiatives are fuelling the growth and sustainability of Hong Kong’s vibrant I&T ecosystem and to co-organizing JUMPSTARTER will simply further consolidate Hong Kong’s unique position as an International I&T hub for global companies and talent.”
Appendix 2 – Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund/HBSC JUMPSTARTER Global Pitch Competition Timeline
All eight pitching events are opened for application now.
# When fintech start-ups apply for the JUMPSTARTER Global Pitch Competition, they will be automatically entered into the FintechHK Global Competition, which will have its final pitches in Hong Kong on Nov 6, 2019 during Hong Kong Fintech Week 2019.
About Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund
Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (“AEF”) is a non-profit initiative launched by Alibaba Group in 2015. To vitalize the development of innovation and technology, AEF’s mission is to help Hong Kong entrepreneurs and young people realize their dreams and visions for a Hong Kong that is vibrant and engaged regionally and globally. As part of its investment program, AEF provides Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs with investment capital and strategic guidance to help them grow their businesses and penetrate global markets, by utilizing Alibaba’s vast ecosystem. It also nurtures Hong Kong’s graduates and students at tertiary institutions by providing valuable internship opportunities at Alibaba Group and our affiliate companies. AEF has also funded the HKAI LAB which is a platform for bringing together academics, scientists, and entrepreneurs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) who are passionate about innovation and creating a better future. HKAI LAB is focused on advancing the frontiers of AI with cutting-edge technologies and expertise, and empowering start-ups to develop and commercialize their AI inventions and technologies. For more information, please go to the website: http://ent-fund.org
JUMPSTARTER is a not-for-profit initiative created by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund that provides a platform for all entrepreneurs and young people to jump start their dreams in Hong Kong. It is a first-of-its-kind start-up event focused exclusively on showcasing quality start-ups and providing high-impact networking opportunities. Its goal is to build, empower and boost Hong Kong’s start-up ecosystem and entrepreneurship by bringing entrepreneurs, corporates, investors and the public together, helping to transform Hong Kong into a leading hub for global innovation and technology.
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