Innovative technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in Hong Kong in the past 10 years.
According to figures from the Hong Kong government in 2015, Hong Kong's gross domestic expenditure on R&D increased from HK$7.1 billion in 2001 to HK$15.6 billion in 2013, representing an average annual growth of 7%. The latest Global Innovation Index by Cornell University and other organisations ranked Hong Kong the 11th most innovative place out of some 140 economies. The Policy Address 2016 also stated that, to encourage investment from venture capital funds in local innovation and technology startups, the Government will set aside HK$2 billion to set up an Innovation and Technology Venture Fund for co-investing with private venture capital funds on a matching basis. Technology development is definitely the “must-have” item in town.
DBS Foundation recently launched “DBS Social Innovators 2016” to engage and connect social innovators from different sectors, and to drive social innovation through the use of design and technology. We believe the new generation of social entrepreneurs will be tech-savvy social innovators who can apply and integrate design, technology and other professional expertise in their business for social good.
DBS Social Innovators 2016 includes two stages: “Pitchathon” and “Final Pitch”. During the Pitchathon, the startup participants will be guided through their business growth and development with the help of business mentoring from industry and business insiders. Participants will refine their business models within three months. The Pitchathon will conclude with a Final Pitch, where DBS Foundation and the panelists will decide which ideas to support with a granting fund for market launch in the second half of the year.
The programme kicks off with a series of Social Talks in collaboration with the SOCTECH series from January to February. Four Social Talks, namely, “Social Talks #1-4”, encourage the use of innovative technology to create social change, opening up infinite possibilities in people’s lives.
Social Talks #1-4 invites around 300 participants, including tech startups, IT professionals, designers, young entrepreneurs, social enterprises, NGOs and academics, to discuss current social issues and community needs, introduce innovative social tech projects and DBS Social Innovators 2016.