The InnoVenture Salon will debut at next week's Asian Financial Forum (AFF), to foster start-up development.
The Salon will leverage the AFF to connect start-ups with more than 2,500 business leaders and investors, offering an ideal stage for start-ups to present innovative business concepts and take part in mentorship sessions and connect with potential investors and partners. This year's AFF takes place next Monday and Tuesday (15-16 Jan), organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
The InnoVenture Salon is supported by several start-up incubators and venture capital funds, including the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Nest Ventures, Hong Kong Startup Council, Hong Kong X-Tech Startup, SuperCharger, Cyberport Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks. Close to 20 local and overseas start-ups, which have been shortlisted from the nominations submitted by these organisations, will set up booths at the Start-up Zone under the InnoVenture Salon, on the second day of AFF.
AFF gathers accomplished investors from around the world, including those in venture capital and private equity, as well as high-net-worth individuals. To help start-ups reach potential investors, AFF will arrange one-on-one Investor Meetups for companies to introduce their projects in greater depth and answer questions from potential investors. Start-ups can also pitch their projects to a larger group of investors at the AFF Deal Flow Project Presentation session.
In addition, seasoned experts in the start-up field will feature at Mentor Hours, offering practical advice on setting up and operations, fundraising, marketing strategies for the Chinese and wider Asian markets, and pitching.
A diverse range of start-ups - from Fintech, HealthTech to Modern Agriculture
All of the participating start-ups have developed unique businesses that combine technology and new business models. Kami, a start-up nominated by the Hong Kong X-Tech Startup, specialises in artificial intelligence applications for the financial and banking sector. The company's chatbot technology remembers and understands the context of past customer conversations and extracts relevant information to formulate the most appropriate response for ongoing conversations. The company aims to leverage automated reasoning to enable the chatbot to understand the nuances of different conversations. The company has raised US$1.7 million in funding from SoftBank Corp's ARM Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator, the Tin Fu Fund, and the Hong Kong X Technology Fund.
For Kuaiwear, a start-up nominated by the Hong Kong Startup Council, its KuaiFit smart sport headphones offers real-time voice coaching based on data collected from a clinically validated heart-rate monitor and a speed tracker. Coaching content is provided by renowned coaches, including Olympic athletes. Apart from running, the KuaiFit Marketplace mobile app offers training plans for different sports, such as athletics, swimming and cycling. In addition, coaches can upload their own training plan for users to purchase. The product has already won awards at multiple start-up competitions, including the TiE Hong Kong Startup Competition, AIA Accelerator, and the Hong Kong Startup Council's STARS Pitch.