Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) today successfully held its 7th Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC), naming Hong Kong startup, Skyland Innovation, as the overall 2023 champion, beating over 610 startups from 55 economies around the world. The signature event has partnered with the city’s leading corporations: Cathay, HSBC, MTR Lab, plus global accelerator Plug & Play, to become a true iconic mega event that has hit a global scale.
As Hong Kong’s flagship and largest pitching contest, 50 Grand Finale semi-finalists joined the city’s most eagerly anticipated pitch event this year at sky100 at the top of the International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon to re-create a real-life 60-second elevator pitch experience.
The EPiC 2023 judging panel of the region’s top entrepreneurs, investors, and innovation ecosystem leaders selected Skyland Innovation from Hong Kong, as this year’s overall champion. The winner of the grand prize of US$ 90,000, helps property owners and contractors to coordinate and communicate seamlessly on construction sites through the use of robotics and AI. The local proptech is also a spinoff from the Hong Kong Center for Construction Robotics (HKCRC) within the HKSAR Government-backed AIR@InnoHK research cluster located at Hong Kong Science Park.
Along with all 50 semi-finalists, Skyland Innovation also qualifies to be considered by the HKSTP Venture Fund for additional investment deals. If selected, each company can potentially receive up to a maximum investment of US$5 million.
EPiC 2023 competitors were split across the two themes of FinTech and PropTech with FinCrime Dynamics from the UK named as the overall FinTech category winner, and Skyland Innovation Company Ltd named the overall PropTech winner from Hong Kong. This year, Canvasland, a FinTech startup from Hong Kong was also voted by the public as the “My Favourite Pitcher" winner, taking away US$10,000 and 200,000 Asia Miles. The top 10 overall finalists also won US$10,000 each (Full winners and finalists list below).
Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong SAR, said: “Hong Kong has a strong, thriving startup ecosystem with 4000 startups, up more than 50% from 2018. Hong Kong is also a natural gateway to the GBA, which offers tremendous growth opportunities.
Successful products and services will surely have an edge in the GBA, the whole of the nation and around the world. I am truly excited to be here at EPiC 2023 where startups strive to make their 60-second pitch truly count. I congratulate all the EPiC 2023 winners and invite startups from all over the world to join us in Hong Kong where the future is built.”
Sunny Chai, Chairman, HKSTP, said: “EPiC 2023 showcases the most exciting innovations from the world’s star-studded next-generation global tech ventures. Together with the Hong Kong Government's solid commitment, as reinforced by the Hong Kong I&T Development Blueprint, our city provides the ideal platform to expand into the vast Asian market. Hong Kong is also Asia’s world city and a bridge between the mainland and the world, making us a magnet for global innovation talent and enterprises.”
Albert Wong, CEO, HKSTP, said: “This year’s EPiC competition features a record international turnout and shows Hong Kong is truly back with a strong show of unicorns and soonicorns from around the world among this year’s finalists. But EPiC is more than just a competition, it is a prime example of Hong Kong’s unique ability to help startups grow fast and go beyond by providing a network of global investment opportunities and innovation talent to turn cutting-edge science, technologies, and ideas into game-changing solutions."
A magnet for global investors and innovation talent
EPiC 2023 surpassed all expectations, attracting over 610 entries from 55 countries and cities across five continents. Over 75%of contestants come from overseas, a record high proportion of overseas contestants and economies participation since 2016. Startups joining EPiC 2023 can fully leverage the largest I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong and HKSTP’s direct connections to over 1,000 investors and more than 300 corporate partners.
In addition to the EPiC final pitching contest, the 50 semi-finalists have also taken part in the "Grow Beyond Hong Kong" Immersion Programme. This exclusive 2-day programme ran from 25-26 April, immersed the EPiC 2023 semi-finalists directly into HKSTP’s innovation ecosystem. Participants will unlock growth opportunities through educational talks, business matching and networking with leading corporate partners and investors in our ecosystem.