Cyberport & Alibaba HK Support Female Compete in Silicon Valley
Cyberport and Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund join forces with Young Makers & ChangeMakers to nurture Hong Kong’s future female tech talent to compete with world’s best in Silicon Valley.
TechnovationHK: #GirlsMakeTech is proud to announce that Hong Kong’s top Junior Division team from Diocesan Girls School (DGS) was selected as a finalist out of 1,100 teams worldwide to compete at the Technovation Challenge World Pitch Summit in San Francisco this August. Hong Kong’s top Senior Division team from St Paul’s Convent School was a semi-finalist and was also selected to participate as a Visiting Team, ensuring that Hong Kong will be well represented with two teams in Silicon Valley this summer. TechnovationHK:#GirlsMakeTech is a pilot tech entrepeneurial education programme launched by Young Makers & ChangeMakers (YMCM) in conjunction with co-organiser Cyberport and main prize sponsor Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.
Created by California-based charity Iridescent, Technovation Challenge aims to address the gender talent gap experienced in the technology industry and encourages girls aged 10-18 to create mobile app solutions in support of the United Nation’s global sustainable development goals. YMCM collaborated with the HKSAR Government, private industry, and the education sector to introduce and support this unique competition in Hong Kong for the first time.
To provide the girls with connected learning to real-world talent and opportunities in Hong Kong, YMCM augmented Technovation’s online curriculum with a series of training workshops and corporate visits to cutting-edge workplaces such as Google, Commonwealth Bank Innovation Lab, INFINITI Lab, and WeWork, as well as a bootcamp at The University of Hong Kong. In this way, the more than 290 girls from over 40 schools across Hong Kong benefitted from experienced practitioners as speakers, facilitators and mentors to learn to ideate, prototype, create an app solution (mainly using MIT’s AppInventor visual programming language) and pitch it over a three-month period.
Altogether, Hong Kong girls created and submitted 22 app solutions and pitches online that address local issues in education, environment, equality, health, peace and poverty, which culminated in the Hong Kong Pitch Finals and Celebration at Cyberport on 7 May 2017.
Maria Lam, Chief Corporate Development Officer of Cyberport said, “Cyberport is honored to co-organise and judge Hong Kong’s first Technovation Challenge to nurture young talents and empower female entrepreneurs. We were in awe of the outstanding presentations by the students and applaud their creative ideas which are so well articulated through the apps. I very much look forward to welcoming them to our community of digital tech start-ups at Cyberport.”
DGS’s Dementia Care Companion team impressed judges in Hong Kong and worldwide with their mobile app that provides personalised training to dementia patients through interactive games, at the same time as allowing caregivers to monitor their progress and location. In addition, Team SPCS from St Paul’s Convent School (SPCS) won the Hong Kong Senior Team Division with their ASAPHealth app that enables personalised and informed decisions during medical emergencies. Sponsored by Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, the SPCS team will participate in the World Pitch Summit as a Visiting Team, and will have the opportunity to pitch at Hong Kong’s RISE conference for tech startups in July.
Cindy Chow, Executive Director of Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund observed, “It is our Fund’s mission to inspire the younger generation to embrace technology and entrepreneurship for a good cause. We are therefore proud to provide them the opportunity to meet and learn from the world’s best teams in Silicon Valley. We are confident that they set great examples for more girls in Hong Kong to follow their track.”
Teams from across Hong Kong created many innovative technology solutions to address Hong Kong’s social needs. The other Hong Kong Award winners include:
- Runner-up Best Hong Kong Senior Team: Be Bold;) – teleEDU (Belilios Public School)
- Best Social Innovation: HKIS Dragons – Blackbox (Hong Kong International School)
- Best Presentation: THS Breaking Waves – Meetup CleanUp (MUCU) (The Harbour School)
- Best Perseverance: JQuery – Food Collector (Diocesan Girls School)
- Best Teamwork: Dynamic – 5G Redeem (Lok Sin Tong Ku Chiu Man Secondary School)
- Honourable Mention (Senior Division): T-time – WALKER (Good Hope School)
- Most Popular Senior Team (by vote of audience): DGS AppInventors – All Access (Diocesan Girls School)
- Most Popular Junior Team (by vote of audience): Snowdingcon – Snowdingcon (West Island School, Nord Anglia, St Paul’s Coeducation)