The Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) 2019 kicked off with a successful opening day on Tuesday November 5 – there was standing room only for the main hall and other theatres and both floors in Cyberport were a hive of activity all day.
Many leading industry figures, investors, tech start-ups as well as the Cyberport community saw Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR officially open the forum in the morning.
George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport welcomed guests to the forum and expressed his confidence in the venture capital market in Hong Kong. “Despite the impact brought on by the macro environment, the rapid development of technology and digital transformation in Asia has not slowed down. The Cyberport Macro Fund has invested HK$106 million in 14 start-ups, and has brought in close to HK$500 million in co-investments since its launch. This brings the total amount of investments in start-ups to more than HK$600 million, which exemplifies the strength and potential of Hong Kong’s start-ups. Facing the challenges ahead, I believe Hong Kong’s development in innovation and technology will continue to march forward while seizing new opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area.”
Second Anniversary of CIN
CVCF also marked the second anniversary of Cyberport Investors Network (CIN) which has built a network of over 100 investors, including venture capital funds, private equity, angel investments and family investment offices. The forum celebrated CIN’s success in raising an aggregated amount of HK$360 million for the Cyberport community and successfully matching 26 partnerships.
Keynote Speakers and panels
CVCF provided a strong line up of speakers including Michael Zhu Managing Partner , Gobi Partners whose presentation in Mandarin ( with English translation simultaneously provided via headsets) provided interesting data on the China market and its technology investment growth. Chinese companies are now increasingly innovation driven and charts were provided showing the increase over the years in R& D investment. China now ranks number 2 in Ai patent filing.
He also noted how China is now a start up powerhouse rivalling that of the US with a mature start up ecosystem. It has a deep talent pool with service providers and diverse capital sources providing a large amount of high quality start ups. He went on to note that the next wave of innovation for China lies in the enterprise sector.
Dan Brody, Managing Director, Tencent Investment followed with a presentation of opportunities that the company was bullish about outside of China and international investements.
Exploring Corporate Venture Capital & Technology Investment
Josemaria Siota, Director of Research, Enterprise & Innovation Centre, IESE Business School from Barcelona, Spain spoke about the seven myths of corporate venturing and also moderated an interesting panel on steering growth and pioneering innovation with Aaron Tan from C Ventures, Austin Bryan, CLP Holdings, Jason Gao, PM Equity Partner and Tony Zhang, CR Capital Management. They explained what they were focusing on in terms of investment for the start up community and offered some good tips as well.
The CVCF was a hive of activity and one of the parallel tracks which Innovation Hong Kong also attended was a session moderated by Henri Arslanian, Chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Global Crypto leader & Asian Fintech Leader, PWC, on new fundraising avenues. This was a lively discussion with panel speakers Charmaine Lo, Actelligent Group, Johnson Chen, CapBridge, Karena Belin, AngelHub and Matthieu Forcioli, Moonfare providing insights into the different levels of raising money which was valuable for the startup community as well as interesting for regulators and other fintech community attending. Henri’s rapid fire questions to the panel provided some interesting answers and entertainment to cap off a strong session.
Other parallel tracks on dynamics in strategic investing had well attended audience wanting to glean more from the experts including a strong line up on Trends and Predictions with Venture Capital in 2025, which was moderated by Johnny Chan. It was interesting to learn what panellists Scarlett Chen, Prudential Corporation Asia, Wallace Lo, Global Value Chain Investement Corporation, Gakim Solomons, SC Ventures and Henry Lee, Hendale Capital Limited see as the focus of their future investment – you had to be there to glean these valuable insights.
Start up potentials showcased
The Innovator Showcase was an area especially set up to showcase some of Cyberport companies’ cutting edge solutions and facilitate investor matching services with more than thirty local start ups. The Founder Stage featured start ups inthe field of fintech, insurtech, digital entertainment, esports, and smart living where they were able to pitch their innovative projects to investors. One on one meetings were also pre-scheduled with an online investor matching platform between investors to match appetite and find raising discussion with start ups.
On the main stage was a panel with two investors and their start ups they have invested in and why. This was an interesting session moderated by Eric Ng, Cyberport with Cindy Chow, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund with Crystal Pang, Co Founder of Pickupp who they have invested in and Horace Chu, Gammon Construction Limited with Star Li, Dora Network ( who they invested in). There was valuable discussion on why these investors chose those specific start ups and we heard from the start ups first hand on the impact it has had to develop their business.
Watch out for more indepth interviews with CVCF speakers coming to the Innovation platform soon.