HKU Business School’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum Gathers Startup Founders to Nurture a Vibrant Startup Ecosystem

Over 20 startup founders and practitioners, together with alumni from a wide range of industries and business backgrounds, assembled in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum on October 10, 2020, to discuss on a heat topic for startups – venture capital financing and to respond to the HKU Business School’s call for establishing a startup ecosystem.

Amidst the backdrop of the challenging local, regional and global economy, startup founders are facing more difficulties to stand out from the crowd, meet the investors’ expectations and achieve success in venture capital financing. HKU Business School stepped up its efforts in nurturing a vibrant startup ecosystem and launched the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, aiming to share the best practice on how entrepreneurs and reputable investors worked together to turn innovative idea into good business. Being the Presidents of Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Mr. Vincent Chan, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia of Samena Capital, as well as Mr. K.O. Chia, Director of Grace Financial were invited to give out hints to the up-and-coming start-ups that may become the next unicorns.

“Make sure you have stable, trustworthy teammates who would be able to share all the ups and downs and go through the cycle of growth and development with you. This could also benefit your fund-raising process as the investors will consider everything about your product, your team and the track-record of your company. Do not be afraid of failure, but to learn from it and keep your passion.” Mr. Chan said.

Mr. Chia further illustrated that “People-centered management becomes a very critical element when you want to become an effective entrepreneur. Remember to keep evolving your business model over time, uphold the core of your business and leverage on technology as ancillary tool.”

One of the event participants, Ms. Yina Chan, Co-Founder of Bamboo Network, was inspired by the sharing from both of the speakers and found the Forum useful to transform her innovative idea into reality. “The speakers have highlighted some potential concerns from large corporates when they consider investing in a business, which startup founders may not be aware of before. For instance, how would the corporates evaluate the technology and the team structure of the startups.”

Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean of HKU Business School, also encouraged all stakeholders in the ecosystem to work together during a time of stark economic challenge faced by Hong Kong recently. He said in the welcoming remarks that, “A comprehensive ecosystem is necessary for further assisting Hong Kong to transform to a heart of global innovation, technology and entrepreneurship hub. As part of the ecosystem, HKU Business School will try its best to contribute to the local economy by nurturing innovative minds, promoting entrepreneurship spirits, building research facilities and reaching out to the society, China as well as the international community.”