HKTDC Entrepreneur Day helps start-ups redefine industries

HONG KONG, Jul 15, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – In light of the COVID-19 situation, this year’s HKTDC Entrepreneur Day (E-Day) has undergone a transformation in terms of format and content, with a series of seminars being broadcast live on 16 and 17 July. The public can register for free at

For the first time, a futurist will speak at E-Day. The “T-Chat – Futurising Your Business: Renaissance from the Age of Digitalisation” seminar will address emerging issues in the post-COVID-19 era, with Gerd Leonhard shedding light on future trends in such fields as business, society and governance in the face of exponential technological progress.

HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Stephen Liang said: “Start-ups have been bearing the brunt of the unprecedented challenges, such as the impact on capital flow, brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the new normal has given rise to business opportunities through the use of pioneering innovative technologies.”

Mr Liang added that this year’s E-Day, under the theme “Revive, Redefine”, highlights the practical and inspirational aspects of start-ups that can help to ensure the survival, growth, transformation and sustainability of the current business ecosystem in the face of significant changes and challenges, while promoting the agility necessary to embrace future challenges. The seminars feature more than 30 heavyweight speakers from such fields as smart logistics, education technology and biotechnology to share how to deploy pioneering ideas and innovative technologies to disrupt existing industries and tap into new markets.

Insights into the future of entrepreneurship

E-Day will be joined by Gerd Leonhard, a futurist who will address the audience from Switzerland tomorrow (16 July) to shed light on emerging issues in the post-COVID-19 economy and future trends in such areas as business, society and governance in the context of exponential technological progress. Mr Leonhard will share how the future of jobs, work and commerce is being redefined amid the challenges and transformation brought about by the pandemic; examine the role of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in creating major breakthroughs in a technology-dominated future; and look at what start-ups and entrepreneurs can do to be future-ready. He will be joined by Karena Belin, CEO & Co-Founder of WHub, Dr Toa Charm, Associate Professor, Business School, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Herbert Chia, Venture Partner at Sequoia Capital China, to discuss how COVID-19 will shape decision-making for start-ups, incubators and venture capitalists in Hong Kong and Asia.

Another seminar tomorrow, titled “From Crisis to Chances” will examine how entrepreneurs are able to turn challenging situations into opportunities, offering inspiration to the audience. Highlighting Hong Kong’s research excellence and the city’s experience in containing the COVID-19 outbreak, Professor Yeung King-lun from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will share how his team reacted to the challenges presented by the global pandemic to develop a smart anti-microbial coating, the Multilevel Antimicrobial Polymer (MAP-1) coating, to control infectious diseases. Designed for use on different surfaces including wood, glass, metals, concrete, plastics, fabrics, leathers and textiles, the coating provides lasting protection and surface disinfection against microbial contamination for a period of up to 90 days. The smart coating has already been applied in more than 70 day-care centres, homes for the elderly, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools. In addition, Professor HC Man, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, will share on how his team launched the General Use Face Shield to provide enhanced protection for the public and minimise the risk of virus transmission within the community.

Business opportunities are also arising for start-ups in fields such as fintech, smart city and education technology. Katherine Cheung, Chief Marketing Officer of on-demand online tutoring platform Snapask, will share on how recent social distancing measures have unleashed opportunities for the Hong Kong-based start-up in both local and overseas markets. Founded five years ago, Snapask is now serving over 3.2 million students with more than 350,000 tutors across eight Asian locations – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Korea. The start-up has registered an increase of 1.3 million users over the past 12 months, including a big surge due to the suspension of classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Hong Kong, the platform currently has some 40,000 tutors and 200,000 active users, most of whom are high school students with a high percentage of them preparing for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examination. Some parents also seek advice while helping their primary school kids with their homework. Understanding the demand from students studying late at night, Snapask has pushed the boundaries of traditional tutoring to offer a 24-hour service. Apart from its app, Snapask is also developing business-to-business (B2B) solutions using AI technology to provide personalised learning resources through big data analysis.

Disrupting industries with pioneering ideas

At the event’s plenary session tomorrow morning, titled “Revive, Redefine”, William Ip, Managing Director of Carousell Hong Kong, and Crystal Pang, Co-Founder of Pickupp, will share how their start-ups are working to redefine their respective industries through pioneering ideas. Mr Ip will share how the company has promoted the concept of a “sharing” future through its customer-to-customer (C2C) marketplace. Ms Pang will introduce how the start-up is redefining the delivery industry and expanding its business in the Asian market. Pickupp also works with genetic testing and digital health company Prenetics to provide a door-to-door saliva specimen collection service for patients who need to undergo COVID-19 testing.

In addition, the newly launched Enterprise Connect series, featuring Arup, Epson and Fung Group, will showcase how enterprises can join hands with start-ups to create shared value and revive businesses across different industry pillars.

Representatives from the media are welcome to join the closed-door seminars, which will be held at S226-228 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Details are as follows:

16 July (Day 1)

Plenary Session: Revive, Redefine
Time: 11:30am-12:30pm
– William Ip, Managing Director, Carousell Hong Kong
– Crystal Pang, Co-founder, Pickupp
Language: English

From Crisis to Chances: Unleashing Opportunities in Challenging Times
Time: 3:15pm-4:15pm
– Professor Yeung King-lun, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering & Division of Environment and Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
– Professor HC Man, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
– Katherine Cheung, Chief Marketing Officer, Snapask (Holdings) Inc
Language: English

T-Chat – Futurising Your Business: Renaissance from the Age of Digitalisation (Exclusive online broadcast session)
Time: 4:30pm-6pm
Speaker: Gerd Leonhard, CEO, The Futures Agency
– Karena Belin, CEO & Co-Founder, WHub
– Dr Toa Charm, Associate Professor, Business School, Chinese University of Hong Kong
– Herbert Chia, Venture Partner, Sequoia Capital China
Language: English

Please click here for details of all seminars over both days of E-Day.

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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

Please contact Creative Consulting Group or the HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department: Creative Consulting Group Wendy Chan Tel: +852 3159 2962 / +852 6758 4869 Email: June Wong Tel: +852 3159 2909 / +852 6986 5822 Email: HKTDC Leslie Ng Tel: +852 2584 4239 Email:

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