Editor’s note, 10.08.20: The article has been updated with clarifications to the competition’s prizes.
The Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund on Tuesday called on startups from across the globe to innovate solutions for positive social change, as registrations opened for its annual Jumpstarter Global Pitch Competition.
The fourth edition of the startup contest will take place predominantly online and is set to be the largest event of its kind, with 200 one-on-one online pitches expected, according to AEF. Following the preliminaries and semifinal pitches, five finalists will be named at the Grand Finale next March and will be invited into Alibaba Group’s eFounders Fellowship program, which supports entrepreneurs and the development of the global digital economy. The final winner will also be awarded up to $1 million in investment commitments.
In a statement announcing Jumpstarter 2021, the organizer said this year’s competition not only focuses on business success but also encourages young entrepreneurs to create positive change in their local communities.
“We encourage startups to give back to society and become socially responsible companies,” said Cindy Chow, AEF’s executive director, adding that awards for innovation, social impact and women and entrepreneurship will be introduced to Jumpstarter for the first time to recognize those making meaningful contributions in such areas.
Chow also explained that this year’s event would include more initiatives to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs, including an expanded IdeaPop! startup experience program that will be open to high-school students for the first time.
Since launching in 2017 with the aim of invigorating Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem, Jumpstarter has become AEF’s signature event and has evolved into a platform that supports entrepreneurs from all across the globe. The 2020 Grand Finale, which was moved online due to Covid-19, drew close to 20,000 viewers from 100 countries and regions.
“Hong Kong and other markets across the globe have faced highs and lows over the past year. We have seen many startups continue to progress with innovative and flexible thinking. Some of them have also been active in the fight against the virus. It’s important to note that Covid-19 hasn’t curbed the support given to startups by the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund,” said Chow. “Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on cultivating the startup landscape, fostering entrepreneurial thinking amongst young people and partnering with like-minded organizations to provide support.”
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