We were pleased to host the Ecosystem Summit 2021 as part of the StartmeupHK Festival on May 28. The pandemic has brought significant changes to the world we live in. While we are adapting to the new order, bolstering the health of our startup ecosystem is equally important so that we can emerge stronger from innovations.
Together with (from left to right) Ken Wong (Executive Director of Hong Kong Life Sciences Society), Karena Belin (Co-Founder of WHub) and Peter Yan (CEO of Cyberport), we began our first panel looking at talent development in Hong Kong. We are delighted to share our takeaways below.
Hong Kong is one of the most diverse hubs as Karena Belin, Co-Founder of WHub put it when she talked about the advantage of Hong Kong talent and the importance of harnessing that diversity. Peter Yan, CEO of Cyberport added that over the last three years, Cyberport community members have grown to around 1600 from less than 1000 – a strong showcase of Hong Kong attracting talent from different places.
Ken Wong, Executive Director of Hong Kong Life Sciences Society also mentioned that Hong Kong is excelling in biotechnology. Last but not least, the top universities in Hong Kong supply quality talent for fundamental scientific research.
To strengthen our advantages, Hong Kong needs to integrate into the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Hong Kong is positioned as the international innovation and technology hub in GBA according to the central government’s development plan. All panelists believe that more collaboration and exchanges of talent between Hong Kong and GBA are helpful for Hong Kong. For example, Cyberport and Hong Kong Life Sciences Society have already set up youth programs to encourage students to explore opportunities in GBA.
Peter Yan believes that there would be more opportunities post-COVID citing the emerging education and health tech trends. While new economy sectors underpinned by digital technology developed rapidly in China, GBA can be a reference for how Hong Kong’s pillar industries can integrate into the new economy.
That said, more still needs to be done to develop our future talent and entrepreneurs. Ken Wong believes that we should encourage young people to develop a passion in science and more undergraduate students to pursue a Ph.D. Talent development should start as early as secondary and even primary school students.
Academics aside, developing entrepreneurial soft skills is crucial so that young talent know where and how to start and grasp know-how such as commercializing their research and IP protection. This relies on favorable policies and systems that let our talent know they have plenty of choices in the wider business world besides laboratory research.
Ultimately, we need passionate talent who creates breakthrough solutions that adapt to the market needs.
We are very thankful to all of the speakers and participants who shared their thoughts. As one of the ecosystem builders, The Mills Fabrica is proud to join forces with our peers to promote Hong Kong as an innovation hub. Once again, a big thank you to our partners for this year’s event as well as everyone who has continued to support us.