The Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF) on Monday announced the 10 finalists who will vie for two grand prizes totaling US$4 million in investment at the grand finale of its Jumpstarter 2021 competition.
The 10 companies still standing come from an initial applicant pool of over 2,000 startups from around the globe. Jumpstarter 2021, backed by the AEF, Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Ltd. and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp., kicked off the competition in July 2020. Grand prize winners are expected to be announced in late March.
In addition to the grand prizes, the judges’ choice of the top five startups in the competition will be eligible to participate in Alibaba’s Netpreneur Training program, which trains digital entrepreneurs. That opportunity is organized by the Alibaba Business School.
This year’s competition features startups in four categories: retail, fintech, smart cities and “deep tech.” Judges will grade the 10 finalists on innovation, market potential, capacity for development, their teams’ background and strength, their social impact and what they can bring to Hong Kong.
The 10 finalists include:
Founder: Ding Ke
The company is committed to manufacturing high-speed, high-definition 3-D visual devices. Its products are known for precision and are primarily used for robotic navigation and industrial inspection. It has successfully worked in several sectors, including food, electric appliances, ceramics and shipping and logistics.
iLoF – Intelligent Lab on Fiber
Founders: Luis Valente, Mehak Mumtaz & Joana Paiva
iLoF is working toward a new era of personalized medicine enabled by AI and the cloud. It provides screening and stratification tools to save up to 40% of cost and 70% of the time spent screening for clinical trials. The company is currently focusing on Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefit Vantage Limited
Founder: Harry Cheung
The company is improving mobile authentication and user experience without compromising security and privacy through IPificiation: mobile users can be easily authenticated via their Public IP address. The company also creates extra revenue for telecom partners and helps service providers win trust with safe and seamless authentication.
Founder: Zack Yang
The Singapore-based digital payment processing platform and digital banking solution provider enables digital transformation for banks, telecoms and brands in emerging markets spanning Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. FOMO Pay’s partners include Visa, WeChat, Grab, NETS, ICBC, OCBC, Citibank and SingTel.
Outpos Pte. Ltd.
Founder: Shariff Raffi
Outpos is empowering street food vendors to serve traditional foods with tomorrow’s technology. The company is using digital solutions to integrate vendors into a modern street food ecosystem at a fraction of the cost and time it takes to setup a traditional restaurant.
Founders: Sergiu Ardelean & Codin Popescu
This AR tool allows artists to link classical and digital art, opening doors to a whole new world of possibilities. More than 68,000 users are creating artworks with Artivive, while museums and galleries can offer an innovative way for their audiences to interact with exhibitions.
Rice Robotics Ltd
Founder: Victor Lee
Rice Robotics is building the infrastructure for corporations to deploy robot fleets. It has four robots: Rice for delivery, Jasmine for disinfection, Valencia for patrol and guiding and Waiter for food court delivery. Each robot is autonomous, navigating in crowded areas and charges itself without the need for assistance and operates via management software called “RiceCore.”
Lingxi AR Technology
Founder: Yu Zheng
By exploiting its strong optics technology and processing advantages, Lingxi AR is the first developer of the “waveguide” AR technology in China. Consumer electronics, smart-eyewear manufacturers and industrial enterprises use the company’s underlying optical solutions in their see-through wearable displays.
Founders: Jonathan Lam, Angues Chan & Jeffrey Ma
Butler is a monthly subscription service that provides an on-demand, personalized home-management service. It takes the stress out of running a home by creating a tailored luxury experience. The company provides hotel-grade, in-residence services by combining its digital home concierge and in-house trained specialists. Butler can provide everything from meal prep and grocery shopping to laundry and closet management, as well as housekeeping services.
Beijing Zhuoweizhi Technology Co., Ltd.
Founder: Feixiang Ren
ZWZTech provides digital retail solutions. The company has developed an unmanned smart cash register and cloud platform and a speedy device for handheld inventory checking. Its technologies support numerous methods of payment and are versatile enough to fit different industries.
The AEF began the Jumpstarter competition in 2017 in Hong Kong and opened it up to global entrants in 2019.
Headed by Managing Director Cindy Chow, the AEF was established by Alibaba Group in 2015. Through the end of March 31, 2020, it had invested $60 million in 41 startups, including the HKAI Lab. In the 12 months ended March 31, 2020, the AEF made 15 new investments and four follow-on investments. Its investment portfolio spans multiple areas, including green technology, educational technology, fintech, medical, healthcare, logistics and e-commerce.
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