SCED's speech at 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme VIP luncheon (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme VIP luncheon today (November 10):
Fanny (Chairperson of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation, Mrs Fanny Law), distinguished guests,
Good afternoon! I am delighted to join all assessors, winners, speakers, judges, and support organisations for this VIP luncheon event of the 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme.
A warm welcome to all our guests from overseas, and congratulations to this year's winners. A very special "thank you" to all of our 46 assessors for their kind efforts in helping shortlist this year's winners of Invest Hong Kong's global competition. In view of the quality of our entries in both categories (early to growth stage ventures and concept/prototype stage), the assessors volunteered their time and energy sitting through several rounds of selection to choose the winners from among the 550 entries from 47 economies/cities. Without your involvement and contribution, this competition would not have been made possible.
This is my second time officiating a StartmeupHK event this year following the launch of the programme in June. I am very happy to see the programme gaining momentum and going from strength to strength attracting even more attention.
The programme includes a global competition, a week-long StartmeupHK Festival this week and a StartmeupHK Venture Forum tomorrow afternoon. Together they aim to highlight Hong Kong as the region's leading hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. I understand that all the winners gathered here today will be pitching tomorrow. I wish each and every one of you all the best.
The fact that you are all here means that you are all winners regardless of whether or not you win the grand award or a special sector award tomorrow. I am sure my colleagues at Invest Hong Kong have been urging you to set up a presence in Hong Kong if you have not done so already. Hong Kong is a renowned business capital with a range of enduring business advantages that have long made it a magnet for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In particular, the ease of setting up and doing business in Hong Kong, its proximity to regional and Mainland markets plus its strong rule of law and protection of intellectual property are key factors that attract an increasing number of overseas startups to our city.
Our city offers you the most exciting startup ecosystem. As you may have seen from our calendar of events this week, our support organisations, many present here this afternoon have responded to Invest Hong Kong's call in organising a record number of 45 events this week starting today running through to Sunday. Event organisers, I would like to thank you all for your efforts in helping make this 2014 StartmeupHK week a real success, creating a real buzz and excitement in the city and helping build a thriving startup ecosystem.
I appreciate Invest Hong Kong's timely recognition of this new driver for our economy. And I would also like to thank the programme's co-organisers, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks and Cyberport, and supporting organisations and key stakeholders present here today for your backing of the programme.
In closing, as we all embark on this very exciting week, I wish Simon (Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Simon Galpin), his team and all of you every success and a very enjoyable and fruitful week connecting and engaging with each other and the startup, investor and business community in our city. I look forward to meeting you all at the forum tomorrow.
Ends/Monday, November 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:40