The Trends of Investing in Tech Startups

Wednesday, March 31st 2021

Online via Zoom

17:00 – 19:00 (HKT)

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In recent years, the number of start-ups in Asia has been increasing significantly. This webinar builds on the report, “Transforming Hong Kong Through Entrepreneurship” [Note 1], presented by KPMG China and Alibaba  Entrepreneurs Fund. Hong Kong is a leading innovation and entrepreneurship hub within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) in China.
The City has capitalised on the advantages under the “one country, two systems”, strategic geographical location, established legal system, robust protection for intellectual property, as well as highly efficient financial platforms and world-class universities. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong continues to make good progress in its journey to become a vibrant start-up and innovation hub.  Furthermore, start-ups like Uber, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb etc. have been scaled into technology giants.  Start-ups have the capacity to shape and change industries of the future, too. Big investment was the driving force of start-ups over the last decade. However, could the model be changing? What are the trends of investing in tech start-ups that will shape the next decade?

[Note 1] Transforming Hong Kong Through Entrepreneurship

Registration is FREE of charge.



Welcome and Introduction – Innovation Forum

Dr. Cecilia Tsui, Founder & Executive Director, Innovation Forum Hong Kong

Dr. Iwan Roberts, CEO, Innovation Forum


The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem of Hong Kong

Mr. Andy Wong, Head of Innovation & Technology, InvestHK


The Resilience of Hong Kong’s Venture Capital Landscape

Ms. Irene Chu, Partner, KPMG China


The Trends of Investing in Tech Startups

Mr. Tony Tung, Managing Director, Gobi Partners


Start-up-Corporation Collaboration – FansWifi

Mr. Timothy Tsui, Private Investor and Former CEO, FansWifi


Panel Discussion (Prof Shai Vyakarnam and Dr Cecilia Tsui)

Prof. Shai Vyakarnam, Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship, Cranfield University, UK

Prof. Dr. Tobias Gutmann, Assistant Professor of Product Innovation, EBS Universität, Germany

Ms. Irene Graham OBE, CEO and Board Director, ScaleUp Institute, UK

The discussion will centre on start-up-corporate collaboration, and the trends of investing in tech start-ups. 


Concluding Remarks

Dr. Cecilia Tsui, Founder & Executive Director, Innovation Forum Hong Kong

Dr. Iwan Roberts, CEO, Innovation Forum


Mr. Andy Wong is the Head of Innovation and Technology at InvestHK.  He leads a team of technology specialists with major focus on promoting and facilitating overseas investments in Hong Kong for setting up and expanding their operations in the form of sales and marketing, regional headquarters, R&D and/or innovation centre.  His key focused technology clusters include biotech/biomedical, medical devices, healthcare services, AI and robotics, microelectronics and environmental technologies.

Mr. Wong has wealth strategy consulting and business development experience in the technology sector.  Prior to InvestHK, Mr. Wong was a consulting director at PwC to provide a broad spectrum of multi-industry consulting services, covering business strategy, market analysis, due diligence, financial and business plan.  Prior to PwC, Mr. Wong was a strategy director at Cisco System where he led the Greater China consulting team to help MNC undertake business transformation through
applications of advanced technologies.

Mr. Wong graduated from the University of Birmingham, UK in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and has a master’s degree in accounting from the University of New South Wales, Australia.  Mr. Wong is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Certified Practicing Accountant, (CPA) Australia.

Irene is a partner of KPMG China in the audit practice and heads up the New Economy sector as well as Life Sciences industries for the Hong Kong Region. She started her career with KPMG in Toronto, Canada and has been working in Hong Kong for over 15 years. Irene works with multinational and Chinese companies in technology, consumer markets, healthcare as well as entrepreneurs and emerging companies in a variety of industries, including life sciences, robotics and e-commerce.

Irene is active in Hong Kong’s start-up community and connected with KPMG Global Enterprise Practice which focuses on serving fast growing private businesses and entrepreneurs. Irene and her team regularly collaborate with government agencies, start-up incubators, investors, universities and corporates to support Hong Kong’s innovation agenda and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Tony Tung is Managing Director of Gobi Partners, and currently focuses on building the Hong Kong and Greater Bay Area (GBA) start-up ecosystems, as well as Southeast Asia and the Middle East markets. He is part of managing the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AHKEF) for which Gobi is the exclusive General Partner (GP). Tony has accumulated extensive experience in growing high-tech businesses from his two previous start-ups related to FinTech and enterprise solutions in Big Data. Tony has received his B.Eng. in Computer Engineering and B.B.A. in Financial Engineering double degree programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Mr. Timothy Tsui has over 14 years of banking and investment experience at Goldman Sachs and UBS Wealth Management in the Private Banking sector. As well, Timothy was a senior member of the China Life Insurance (Overseas) Co. Ltd. Investment Dept. overseeing a portfolio of USD 13 billion. While at China Life, he led the company's investments in Fixed Income, Real Estate, Private Equity, Direct Investments and was in charge of Asset Liability Management for the Company.  

During 2015-early 2018, Timothy was the CEO of FansWiFi, a company specialising in WiFi social media login technology, and data analysis. Timothy helped grow company revenues by 3x in that period, and landed customers including PCCW HKT, LVMH Group, Loro Piana, Top Shop, Givenchy etc. Timothy has developed businesses in different markets, including the US, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan etc.  Timothy is now an active early stage start-up private investor. He has invested in some notable start-ups, such as and

Prof. Shai Vyakarnam has been passionate about entrepreneurship education and development for over 30 years. He is presently Visiting Professor at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University, having had the honour of being its Director for 4 years. Previously, for 14 years, Shai was the founding director of Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the University of Cambridge. His current role entails growing entrepreneurship education, mentoring and inspiring new generations of entrepreneurs.

Prof. Vyakarnam has published widely, including popular books, namely: (a) The Scale-Up Manual, (b) Camels, Tigers and Unicorns: Rethinking Science and Technology-Enabled Innovation, and (c) Unlocking the Enterpriser Inside. Shai is active in several stages of business development - from start-ups through scaleups, and growing businesses as educator, mentor, and coach. He is typically involved in strategy, boardroom dynamics, team building and assisting with getting teams ready to pitch to investors.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Gutmann is passionate about accelerating innovation and new business creation. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Technology and Innovation Management, as well as Strategy Consulting - focusing on emerging technologies, innovation management systems, processes, theories and governance, and structured problem-solving. His research interests centre around corporate venturing, emerging technologies and new product development.

Prof. Dr. Gutmann has served as an adviser to several multinational corporations, helping them to (re-)design their venturing programmes in order to achieve long-term business impact. Tobias has operated internationally at the cutting-edge of innovation, leading global growth projects for start-ups in a corporate venture capital portfolio. He has lived in Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA and is passionate about innovation and technology.

Irene Graham is the CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute. A former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank where she held both European and global managing director roles, she set up, ran and scaled several of the bank’s key client and product businesses across its corporate and institutional bank and led several global M&A activities.

Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was Managing Director at the British Bankers Association. She led a host of strategic work across the industry from the regulatory and business perspectives, including leading the Business Finance Taskforce set up by the CEOs of the UK banks which resulted in the creation of the BGF, the Enterprise Research Centre, the SME Finance Monitor, and Mentorsme as well as being responsible for new export and business policy initiatives including the Small Business Act, expanded UKEF products and Open Banking which Irene advised Government and industry upon.

She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and holds a variety of non executive director and advisory roles across the creative, business and finance communities.

Dr. Iwan Roberts is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge, researching cochlear implants. He has a master’s degree in Physics and a PhD in tissue engineering. Iwan has pursued multiple entrepreneurial interests, including competing in IMAGINE IF! prior to joining the Innovation Forum team. He has been an active member, becoming Manager of Innovation Forum Manchester, starting multiple initiatives, such as the Pitch in a Pub event series. Since 2019, Iwan has been taking a strategic role in global business operations of the Innovation Forum.

Dr. Cecilia Tsui is passionate about building and delivering value through innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and problem solving. Having worked for multinational corporations and the higher education sector, Cecilia is a senior executive and a Serial Entrepreneur. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Innovation Forum Hong Kong, which is a base for developing initiatives in Greater China / Asia Pacific for the Global Innovation Forum. In recent years, Cecilia has been serving as a judge and a mentor for universities’ innovation and entrepreneurship programmes. Also, Dr. Tsui is a mentor of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL’s) Accelerator Programme.

Dr. Cecilia Tsui has developed an MBA course on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technological Change with a leading American scholar. She is a Companion, and the Founder Chairperson, Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Hong Kong, as well as an Adviser (Management Education & Research) of the Peter Drucker Academy Hong Kong. Cecilia holds qualifications in various disciplines, including PhD in Quality Assurance in Higher Education (University College London, UK), MSt in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (Cambridge University, UK), MBA (Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales, Australia), MEd (The University of Hong Kong). Dr. Tsui is keen to promote youth entrepreneurship, to facilitate profitable growth of start-ups, and to enrich innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems for the greater good.


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