Four Startups Granted Million Dollar Prize by DBS
Four Innovative Start-ups Granted Million Dollar Prize Contribute to the Community through Knowledge and Technology
DBS Bank has been promoting the development of social enterprises in Hong Kong through HK$ 6-million over the past three years. DBS Foundation kicked off the inaugural DBS Social Innovators 2016 (the Programme) this year. The HK$2-million Programme provides funding and incubation support to social innovators to solve various social problems through social entrepreneurship. The Programme consists of three phases; the 10 finalist teams first received an Acceleration Fund of HK$20,000 and 3 months of incubation support to develop their projects into concrete business models through prototyping, market research as well as product testing.
Today, the finalist teams compete for four Champion Prizes with a start-up fund of HK$450,000 each and one year of incubation support to implement their ideas. The Programme is managed and operated by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS).
As with previous years, the Fund was well received by sectors and attracted 150 entries. 10 finalist teams are well prepared to showcase their project plans and achievements before a panel of judges and over 120 sector representatives at the Final Pitch, which takes place at the Auditorium of the Duke of Windsor Social Service Building in Wanchai.
Upon two hours of intensive pitching, the judging panel awards the four champion teams – Heycoins, Longevity Design House, Rubber Boy Academy Animation series, and Wearable robotic device for Parkinson’s Disease.
The winning teams emerged from interdisciplinary fields, students, interior and animation designers and medical robotic engineers etc. They are committed to collaborate with local non-profit and charitable organisations and social enterprises to jointly carry out their projects, including coin recycling and spending platform, construction materials recycling for small home decorations, animations for sign language promotion and affordable and multipurpose exoskeleton device to facilitate people with disabilities, injured, and elderly.
Today’s ceremony was officiated by Mr. Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Bureau, Ms. Karen Ngui, Board Member of the DBS Foundation Limited, Mr. Alex Cheung, Managing Director, Head of Institutional Banking Group of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, and Mr Chua Hoi-wai, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
In his address, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, said, “The Government promotes innovation and technology not only because it can diversify our economy toward more high-value-added industries. Our focus is also put on tackling social issues, benefiting the community at large through the adoption of innovation and technology.” He hoped the awardees can put their ideas into practice and generate greater social benefits.
Karen Ngui of DBS Foundation said “DBS Foundation works with social enterprises and social innovators in Singapore, India, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong with programmes ranging from venture challenges, learning forums, intensive incubation, grant support, financing and skilled volunteer mentoring.”
Alex Cheung, Managing Director, Head of Institutional Banking Group, Hong Kong, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, expressed, “With your support, DBS Social Innovators is able to introduce innovative ideas to solve our social issues using technology, reflecting the DBS Foundation’s commitment to support the creative industry.”
Mr Chua Hoi-wai emphasised that cross-sector collaboration among different sectors is the key to success. HKCSS will continue to create favourable factors for social innovations.