In 2014, Dr. Cecilia Tsui had the opportunity to attend the Enterprisers, a foundational entrepreneurship course offered by Cambridge Judge Business School in the United Kingdom where she met Dr. Ajoeb Baridi, one of the founding members of the Innovation Forum. The following year, the Forum’s Founder Dr. Marek Tyl, and his family met with Dr. Tsui during their visits to Beijing and Shenzhen, China. Impressed by the entrepreneurial passion of the organisation’s founding members, Dr. Tsui became committed to spreading the Forum’s vision and mission of supporting science entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, Greater China, and the Asia Pacific while making a positive socio-economic impact on society.
Inaugural Event: “Life Sciences Entrepreneurship in Asia: What Works, What Doesn’t, and How to Improve It?”
In early 2016, the Innovation Forum Hong Kong hosted its first event, attracting 150 participants and support from distinguished speakers. This successful launch was a proud moment for the organization.
Think Tank Activities and Focus Areas
In recent years, the Innovation Forum Hong Kong has held think tank activities with prominent speakers, primarily focusing on life and health sciences to contribute to the development of Hong Kong into a biomedical hub. The organization also promotes sustainability and green living to fight climate change, discusses investment trends in tech startups, and facilitates growth and development through partnerships with corporations. Workshops have been conducted to understand the comparative advantages of Hong Kong and benchmark against other innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, such as Israel and the Greater Bay Area in China.
Support and Mentorship
The Innovation Forum Hong Kong has received generous support from major universities, professional associations, and government agencies in Hong Kong and the UK. The organization is grateful for its Board of Advisors, who are seasoned experts in both regions, and IMAGINE IF! mentors and judges who provide guidance and support to nurture science entrepreneurs.
IMAGINE IF!: Global Pre-Accelerator
To date, the Innovation Forum Hong Kong has organized 4 cohorts of IMAGINE IF!, a global pre-accelerator program, with teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shenzhen, China. The program has produced four IMAGINE IF! champions: Novus Life Sciences, HandyRehab, Lifespans, and Senior Deli. These startups have been making significant progress and impacts, with Novus Life Sciences establishing an office in Guangming Science Park in Shenzhen, HandyRehab’s CEO listed on Forbes 2021’s 30 Under 30 – Asia – Healthcare & Science, Lifespans selected as one of the “top four” companies by Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to receive the 2022 Technological Achievement Award, and Senior Deli being a nominee for the Spirit of Hong Kong Awards 2021.
Collaboration for Impact
As a think tank, the Innovation Forum Hong Kong aims to build competencies and advance knowledge and practices in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. The organization collaborates with entrepreneurs, investors, universities, government agencies, and stakeholders to promote cross-generation and cross-disciplinary collaboration and drive positive impacts in the areas of life and health sciences and sustainability.