ii | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER, SMARTER By Glen Watson
HE WINTER OLYMPICS take place in South Korea in February, so I’ve been thinking of the Olympic motto Faster, Higher, Stronger recently. Then I saw a Hong Kong tram covered in advertising for Alibaba Cloud, which happens to be a sponsor of the PyeongChang Games. In huge letters across the side of the tram were that motto, with a word added at the end: Smarter. There’s no doubt that technology rules our lives today. It also rules our cities, and many companies providing Smart City products and services are starting up. One reason why our cities need to be Smarter is that with so many people living in them – an estimated 70% of the world’s population by 2050 – that we need to figure out a way to make these cities operate smoothly and the citizens happy with their homes, lives and families. Now. We’re seeing cities like Barcelona, Singapore, Shenzhen and London do marvelous things with cutting-edge technology and data collection/analysis. Entirely new cities and communities are popping up, or being planned, that make use of the latest in Smart City applications. Former warehouse or industrial areas are being redeveloped into high-tech hubs. It’s all very exciting. It’s also a little bit scary, in an Orwellian way. There are privacy concerns, especially with sensors in homes and large-scale communication gathering. I get uncomfortable at the thought of someone tracking my internet searches and websites visited. This issue is about Smart Cities, and we’ve gathered contributions from around the region to discuss various aspects of what’s happening now, as well as in the future. An article from Singapore discusses using sensor technology to keep an eye on the elderly. In Hong Kong and beyond, the FinTech startup TNG Wallet is making waves, attracting investment (US$115 million Series A), and extending its reach across Asia and beyond. I had the pleasure of interviewing TNG Founder and CEO Alex Kong recently, and so I installed the TNG app. The UI is very good, but I hesitated when trying to upgrade from the basic plan when asked to provide a photo of my Hong Kong ID card and a bank statement. When I mention this to Kong, he admits it’s more difficult for highly educated people to get past that stage of what is otherwise a very simple signup for a very useful financial app, but they weigh benefits/ concerns and soon proceed.
On the other hand, there is a Guest Column about why cash is king – especially in Asia. There’s also a column about using AI in transactions, and another about how retail is using technology to offer discounts and reward loyalty. In the Features, we find out how we’re going to get food in all of these Smart Cities when hardly anyone will be living in rural areas to farm what land is fertile (and unpolluted). From Indonesia, a startup is working on disposable food packaging that’s made using seaweed – not only helping save the environment, but also the livelihoods of the seaweed farmers and their communities. The cities of the future seem like they will be great places to live, work and play. Yet I’m concerned that they will be incredibly sterile and lack human contact. I hate to think we’ll subsist on prepared food that will be delivered rather than cooked at home from scratch. Let’s hope that our Smart Cities are more like Star Trek, not 1984. Update On Jumpstart Market Expansion The past few months have seen great results in the ambitious plan to expand the reach of Jumpstart Media in print, as well as online. Starting from this issue, the magazine is available for FREE at 1,500+ locations in Hong Kong, 26 cities in China, Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Melbourne, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. By March, distribution will expand to include Jakarta, Manila, New York City and Silicon Valley. As the print version expands in distribution and coverage, we’re noticing a healthy uptick with the digital platform including website, Facebook, and EDMs. We’re receiving a lot of compliments for the updated magazine, as well as some criticism. We welcome it, as well as editorial contributions from across the region and elsewhere. Wishing you all the best in 2018, in whichever Smart City you live.
Glen Watson firstname.lastname@example.org 1
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2 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
JUMPSTART magazine JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 1 EDITOR’S NOTE GUEST COLUMNS 7 China’s Smartest City 8 Learning Together 10 Why Cash Is Here To Stay 11 City Brands In Age Of Smart City 12 How To Innovate Like A Kid 13 Shifting From Traditional To Smart Retail 14 A Whole New World 15 NEWS COVER STORY 20 LIFESTYLE | Products 22 LIFESTYLE | Travel LIVING IN SMART CITIES Asia leading the move By Glen Watson, Editor-in-Chief of Jumpstart
INDEPENDENT, SAFER LIVES FOR OLDER ADULTS Digital connectivity provides peace of mind and notifies caretakers in case something goes wrong By Daryl Arnold, Founder of Connected Life
MAKE IT SO TNG Wallet gives the unbanked a viable financial services option By Glen Watson, Editor-in-Chief of Jumpstart
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING Edible wrappers revive Indonesia’s seaweed farming industry By Edwin Aldrin Tan, Co-founder of Evoware
30 THE DIGITAL NERVOUS SYSTEM 34 A LIVING LAB 36 FARMING IN URBAN AREAS 40 RENOVATING THE REAL ESTATE MARKET 41 BOOMING HUB FOR E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS 42 CAUSING A FLAP 44 Events | Preview 46 Events | Review 3
GUEST COLUMN 4 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
ISSUE 19 January/February 2018 Managing Director James Kwan Editor-in-Chief Glen Watson Associate Director of Content Development Chloe Wong Associate Director of Content Operations Tiffany Wong Graphic and Digital Marketing Specialist Eugenia Mok Director of Community Engagement Anita Chan Director of Product Development Maggie Lau Community Evangelist (Silicon Valley) Li Xing Chang Founder/Advisor Yana Robbins Advisors Shitiz Jain Leo Ku Derek Kwik Contributors Paul McComb Daryl Arnold Thanawat Malabuppha Keina Chiu Denis Nemtsev Jonathan Cummings Bradly Ng Steve Gleeson Johan Nylander Elisa Harca Divya Samtani Craig Hurst Hari Sivan Mohd Najib Ibrahim Edwin Aldrin Tan Eugene Lai Jessie Yang XT Khaw Dr Zheng Zhibin Alex Kong Special Thanks Joyce Ngo
Jumpstart is available at over 1500 locations in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, China, Ho Chi Minh, Sydney and Melbourne. Follow us on
Copyright ÂŠ 2017 Jumpstart Media Ltd. The contents of the magazine are fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted without permission. The publisher and editors accept no responsibility in respect to any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue or for any errors, omissions, or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. The mention of any specific companies or products in articles or advertisements does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by this magazine or its publisher in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentioned or advertised. Published articles do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Jumpstart magazine.
CHINA’S SMARTEST CITY
NEW E-BOOK ABOUT CHINESE STARTUPS AND INNOVATION RANKS SHENZHEN NUMBER ONE BASED ON ITS ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP AND CUTTING-EDGE TECH COMPANIES
By Johan Nylander
HEN I FIRST MOVED to Hong Kong in 2011, I only knew Shenzhen by its tarnished reputation as a dirty factories town. In fact, many of my new friends in Hong Kong warned against going there. It was, they said, a shithole. Indeed, my first encounter with the city was less than charming. From the hotel window I could see dozens of rats run up and down the facade of a residential building – and into occupied rooms through broken windows. It must have been delightful for the rats, because I also saw residents throwing garbage from their balconies onto the street below. As I started traveling to the city more regularly – and began finding my way around the downtown entertainment and shopping areas and the main technology parks – I started to grow a liking for it. Today I go there often, mainly for journalistic work and stories but often just to hang out with friends at any of the many craft beer bars or excellent local restaurants. Over the years, I have witnessed an almost mind-blowing transformation. Whole neighborhoods have become unrecognizable, with skyscrapers shooting up like bamboo groves and new shopping malls spreading like wildfire. Rusty old trucks have given way to comfy electric cars and colorful bicycles
from the many bike-sharing companies. Walking down any of the city’s tech parks or finance districts offers a glimpse into a future economy. “The dirtiest factories have left Shenzhen. Today, the city is built on high finance, high tech and creativity,” Phoebe Chen, CEO of startup wealth management company Harmony Family Office, says in my new Kindle e-book Shenzhen Superstars – How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley. According to a ranking by global management consultancy McKinsey & Company, Shenzhen is the most sustainable city in China. It also tops a report by PwC in terms of sustainability and natural environment. The consultancy firms highlight how technological innovation and balanced development are the keys to building “cities of opportunity” and hails Shenzhen for its advancements. Since I first set foot in the city, areas like livability and lifestyle have undergone an enormous change – adding new parks and restaurant areas, better housing and improving air quality. For example, the city is rolling out the world’s largest metro line system and will soon have the world’s first all-electric public bus fleet, according to government plans. It also aims to have 80 percent of its new buildings green-certified by 2020. However, when I talk about Shenzhen being a “smart city”, I don’t only focus on green issues. The city once known for copycat products has emerged as a world-class cluster of innovation. Almost half of China’s international patent applications are filed by Shenzhen companies. In fact, firms in Shenzhen file more international patents – which are mostly are of higher quality compared to other Chinese ones – than those in France or Britain.
Innovation-driven sectors such as biotechnology, ICT and new energy represent 40 percent of Shenzhen’s economy, higher than any other city in China. Shenzhen is ranked by PwC as number one in China in terms of technology readiness, economic influence and ease of doing business. During the course of several trips to Shenzhen, I asked residents both young and old what was driving the city. What is the key to its success? Everyone gave me the same answer: an unabashed spirit of entrepreneurship. Rather amusingly, at the entrance of SimplyWork, a co-working office in one of the city’s buzzing high-tech parks, a sign says “No stupid people beyond this point”, and I can’t help but think that the same sign might just as well have been placed at the city border. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Johan Nylander is an award-winning author and freelance China and Asia correspondent. He is frequently published by CNN, Forbes and Sweden’s leading business daily Dagens Industri. The title Shenzhen Superstars – How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley is the first in a series of short Kindle e-books, which can be downloaded on Amazon. www.johannylander.asia
HOW SMART TECHNOLOGY
CAN MAKE CITIES GREAT
ITIES MATTER more than ever. The majority of the human population is now living in urban areas for the first time in history. By 2050, cities will be home to 70% of the world’s projected 9 billion people. As such, cities are having an unprecedented impact on the economic and social development of nations. However, rapid urbanization is not without its challenges, from consuming 75% of the world’s resources to generating 80% of greenhouse gases. As cities become ever more populous and complex, there is a pressing need to identify new solutions to ensure sustainability and efficiency. In other words, they will need to get better as they grow, in the way they manage resources and stresses. One answer is the Smart City. UK engineering firm Arup – appointed to consult on the development of the first Smart City district in Hong Kong – estimates that the global market for smart urban services will be US$400 billion per annum by 2020.
Great Cities For All
By Paul McComb abundant. While their populations number no more than several million, their influence is global. From ID systems to aviation hubs, they undoubtedly rival far bigger states in influence, and in domestic challenges and services. Hong Kong is responding. In her maiden policy address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced a HK$700 million investment in projects to develop the territory into a Smart City. The city is well positioned, owing to its ICT infrastructure and existing commitments, such as expansion of its free WiFi coverage. However, Hong Kong can also learn from other experiences around the world.
Thanks to a growing ecosystem of technology companies, the UK has some of the most-advanced Smart Cities in the world. Peterborough, for example, beat Dubai and Buenos Aires to win the Global Smart City Award in 2015 at the Global Smart City Expo in Barcelona. Smart City expertise is focused around the convergence and integration of healthcare, transport, education, energy, smart grids, the built environment and digital media. Some UK cities focus more on opendata driven initiatives, some have become pioneers in eGovernment, and others have highly developed sensor/IoT initiatives.
technology continues to evolve. Cities across the world also have their unique challenges and cultures, suggesting an imperative to learn from each other. From March 21 to 24, some of the brightest innovators from the UK and Asia will share their expertise at the GREAT Festival of Innovation, to be held at Asia Society Hong Kong Centre. Part of the UK Government’s globallyrecognized GREAT Britain campaign, the Festival will explore how the latest technology and innovation will impact our future lives. Industry leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives will dive into the future of Smart Cities. Discussing how AI, big data and complex simulations are already changing the way people interact with the built environment. Attendees will discover how creativity and gaming technology can be applied to develop smarter cities, and will learn how cities – like London – are already taking real-world steps towards powering the evolution of affordable and equitable living environments. The Festival will provide a platform for connecting minds, creating new partnerships and strengthening relationships between British and Asian innovators and international business leaders and investors. This will lead the way for collaborative innovation and lifelong partnerships for the decades to come.
In short, smart technology – from the Internet of Things (IoT) to software and hardware design – can make cities run better and contribute materially to the wellbeing of citizens. The results are economic, social and environmental benefits for all. In practice, this can mean using Smart Networking sensor networks and analytics software While we’ve embarked on the journey to monitor city performance and to making our cities more intelligent, overcome bottlenecks, or prevent cyberattacks that can hamper the lives of ABOUT THE AUTHOR citizens. There are government benefits, Paul McComb is the Director General, Trade & Investment for Hong Kong too. As cities become more devolved and and Macau at UK Department for International Trade (DIT), having led the self-sustaining, smart technology can take establishment of DIT as Transition Director in London. From 2011 to 2016, he the burden away from central government. was the Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions In Asian world cities that function (DWP), where he was integral to the biggest reform of the Welfare State in 60 years. as city-states, such as Hong Kong www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-hong-kong and Singapore, the opportunities are www.events.trade.gov.uk/the-great-festival-of-innovation-hong-kong-2018 8 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
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WHY CASH IS HERE TO STAY
E-PAYMENT OPTIONS MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL EXPENDITURES
By Hari Sivan
E LIVE IN A WORLD where many payments can be made without cash. If you need a ride, hail an Uber and pay with the card linked to your account. Go on a grocery run and leave your wallet behind, just pay with your phone’s mobile wallet instead. While there’s a constant push for us to adopt ‘cashless’ payment methods, the eventual results may not be as rosy as they are made out to be. What impact will the transaction costs have on our living costs? How do we ensure that our data security is not compromised? Would the money spent on creating the infrastructure justify the benefits promised for the common man? Although we may eventually operate in a global ecosystem where all payments are processed electronically, according to PwC cash still accounts for 85% of transactions worldwide, with 60% of their value corresponding to hard cash. For us to go cashless, financial infrastructures need to shoulder massive transaction volumes seamlessly. Simultaneously, consumers and businesses need to see how they can benefit from going cashless; as many still choose cash for its immediacy and convenience.
In Asia, Cash Is Still King
While the US and Europe are moving towards credit driven consumption, the Asia-Pacific region still prefers to use cash for everyday transactions. Although many growing Asian economies are still developing their financial infrastructures, what’s interesting is that even in Asia’s leading financial hubs, Singapore and Hong Kong, there’s still a strong preference for cash. Despite the availability of e-payment options – such as TNG Wallet, PayMe, Alipay and Samsung Pay – they may not be suitable for all expenditures. A hawker today may still get confused if you ask to pay for the meal with your phone. Moreover, while governments in Asia are pushing for development in their internet and mobile banking spaces, banking access remains an issue as only an estimated 27% of Southeast Asia’s 600 million people have a bank account. Thus, a cashless evolution is not on the cards yet. At 98%, cash remains the dominant form of payment in developing Asian markets.
Getting Businesses On Board
Many small businesses in Asia have shied away from implementing e-payment services as electronic transactions often lower their margins and increase their business costs. This may result in them raising the prices of their goods and, in turn, could cause them to lose their customers to their competitors.
In Singapore, despite the availability of cashless solutions, merchants still prefer cash. This is especially so for Singapore’s SMEs, who are major contributors to the national income but may not have the same amount of capital as multinational corporations. Even when we consider the exponential growth of Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector, cash-on-delivery (COD) today still accounts for 75% of these transactions.
Why Smart Nations Still Need Cash
We need to recognize that cash does not conflict with the goals of building a Smart Nation. Cash is just a payment instrument like any other alternative. It just happens to be free and efficient in many scenarios where the alternative modes increase business costs and restrict cash flow of businesses. Even with the rise in cashless options, cash circulation in Singapore remains at 8.8% of the national GDP and growing at 7% Compund Annual Growth Rate, compared to 4.4% in Australia and 2.12% in Sweden. Unlike conventional cashback options, customers using soCash can collect their money from vendors as they would at an ATM without purchasing anything – with merchants being paid electronically from the customer’s bank account through soCash. Using technology, we are converting cash into a commodity that they sell and earn revenue. Instead of getting carried away by profit-motivated evangelization of cashless payments, we’re working towards building an intelligent future where we have easy access to multiple payment options – be it cash or otherwise – at our disposal. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hari Sivan is a former banker with more than 12 years of experience working in global financial institutions. During his time as a banker, he realized that cash circulation remained a significant challenge for many financial institutions – with uncirculated cash being locked away in ATMs which were placed in locations with low footfall – and decided to start soCash. www.socash.io
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CITY BRANDS IN AGE OF SMART CITIES
INITIATIVES COULD BE MAJOR OPPORTUNITY FOR SMALLER URBAN AREAS TO RAISE PROFILE AND STATUS
T’S WELL DOCUMENTED that we’re seeing the highest levels of mass urbanization in history, with the United Nations predicting that 86% of the developed world and around 64% of the developing world will live in urban areas by 2050. While we’re seeing the development of megacities that are home to more than 10 million people, smart city initiatives could become a major opportunity for smaller cities to raise their profile and status – to develop their brand to new levels. There are many measures of the strength of a city brand. The Globalization and World Cities Network has long ranked London and New York in a league of their own as the only two Alpha++ cities, with the likes of Hong Kong, LA, Singapore, Paris and Tokyo coming in the next tier. That ranking is based predominantly on financial strength, but also incorporates other factors and I think it’s fair to say that they are the two most complete cities in the world, if not even close to being the largest by population. Melbourne, Stockholm, Vancouver and others consistently sit at, or near the top of rankings that look at the most liveable cities. We’ve seen the likes of Shanghai, Dubai and Shenzhen developing infrastructure at a pace and scale that the world has never seen before. Other somewhat smaller cities including Barcelona, Dublin and Columbus have endeavored to position themselves as smart city pioneers – a position that arguably can only be temporary, like any pioneers, until others catch up and even move beyond. But will they be trend-setters in positioning smaller cities and towns as smart alternatives to the traditional and new megacities? Can smart city philosophy change the way we view a city and ultimately where we want to live and work? Most of us now live in a connected world. For relatively low cost, we can connect by video or voice to anywhere in the world with decent quality. We can shop for pretty much anything from wherever we are and expect rapid delivery to our door. A
By Jonathan Cummings combination of ever-increasing (and lower-cost) flight options, high-speed rail and, looking into the future, hyperloop-type transport options make traveling for business or leisure simple, fast and cost-effective. Therefore the traditional ‘connectivity’ benefits of the megacities are starting to lose ground – especially while (at present at least) pollution and traffic problems are getting worse, rather than better. We have an increasing focus on health and wellbeing, making livability a bigger consideration. For leisure, the exponential growth in the cruise market in Asia is bringing more people to coastal cities – reinvigorating once-thriving ports that had lost ground in recent decades. Added together, the way that we look at a city brand in terms of where we’d like to live and work is changing – creating huge opportunities for smaller cities to provide a smart alternative. They’re putting pressure on megacities to combat their challenges of congestion, pollution and safety. All cities around the world should be considering their brand more than they have ever done before, and they should be embracing entrepreneurs both locally and from further afield– giving them a canvas to create the perfect city of the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR FITCH Chairman HK and Group Business Director Jonathan Cummings is a leading authority in the Future of Retail conversation in Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong for the last 10 years, Jonathan leads regional business for FITCH and has been defining, launching and growing brands throughout Greater China since 2007. He has worked closely with government bodies such as InvestHK and Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI), representing Hong Kong’s creative industry locally and internationally. In 2009, Jonathan established retail consultancy StartJG in Hong Kong, which was incorporated into FITCH in 2016. Widely acknowledged as a leading brand consultancy within the Asia-Pacific region, Jonathan and his handpicked team of 45 won Brand Consultancy of the Year awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016. www.fitch.com
creative adult “is aAchild who survived
– Ursula K. Le Guin
Innovate Like a
THE CRITICAL INGREDIENTS FOR CREATIVITY ARE LOST SADLY IN ADULTHOOD
HE NEED FOR CREATIVITY in today’s world is a given. But with everyone from bankers to brain surgeons striving to be more creative in the workplace, it’s become clear to me that what adults are so eagerly looking to attain, is something that kids already possess in spades. Kids know how to have fun. They laugh, they play, they’re fully present in the moment, and they embrace life to its fullest. These are all critical ingredients for creativity that are lost sadly in adulthood, but are in fact more needed in our work today than ever before. So regardless of what you do or where you’re from, here are my Top 5 tips from kids to kick-start those creative sparks.
1. Just Imagine
What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to kids? For me, it’s their sheer ingenuity and resourcefulness. It’s their inventive ability to turn dirt into gourmet goods, furniture into dramatic fortresses, and even themselves into elaborate products of their own imagination. They see the miraculous in the mundane, crafting extraordinary scenarios and connections in a way that allows them to flex their creative muscle on a daily basis.
2. Get Messy
If there’s one things kids thankfully don’t have, it’s the futile desire for perfectionism that adults foster as they grow older. Without the neat, rigid mental structures to hinder their 12 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
By Divya Samtani creative flow, kids are free to discover the world through random sources of inspiration and an uninhibited passion for play. Their eagerness to explore divergent and original ideas without judgement is what cultivates the essence of their creativity.
3. Be Simple
Kids say the darndest things. Their simple yet perceptive attention allows them to see the world as it is, and to reflect back precisely what they see. In doing so, they often hit on core truths and assumptions that we have come to accept or ignore, forcing us to evaluate our own long-held belief system through fresh eyes. This return to ‘first principles’ and experiencing life ‘as a beginner’, as Steve Jobs would say, is critical for not just creativity but true innovation.
4. Become A Learning Machine
It’s a fact that kids are powerful learning machines. They have agile, rapidly expanding brains, and are not afraid to use them. With eyes and ears wide open, they absorb information from almost everywhere, are keen to question practically everything, and thrive in a continuous state of neverending iteration and experimentation that allows them to grow, adapt, and flourish in any situation. Their humble willingness to learn continuously, fail fearlessly, and improve endlessly is exactly the kind of mindset that is critical to successful innovation today.
5. Feel Wonder
Kids are alight with unbridled curiosity and fascination. As creative thinkers and playful tinkerers, they find joy and amazement in the smallest things, and are fueled by a joie de vivre that is contagious to all those around them. By practicing our ability to be present, mindful, and receptive to moments of awe and inspiration, we open ourselves to the ‘peak experiences’ that the creative process fundamentally relies upon. Not only that, but we also breathe life and excitement back into our spirits, rekindling the creative flame that already exists dormant within all of us. So next time you need to turn the creative tap on, don’t forget to channel that 8 year old inside of you. It may feel odd at first, but when your heart starts opening and those juices start flowing, you’ll be all the more thankful that you did.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Divya Samtani is a programmer, storyteller, and communications specialist who has worked with some of the world’s largest financial and tech organizations, helping them to define their digital media and marketing strategies. Divya is currently Head of Content and Partnerships at Mettā where she focuses on the education and empowerment of the global innovation community. www.metta.co
HOPPERS TEND TO DO research via smart phone prior to any purchase or visit to a physical store. How does a small to medium enterprise (SME) stand out from the competition and bring shoppers to the stores via mobile devices? The first prong to a company’s success is having a great product. The second prong – and perhaps arguably the most important one – is that consumers react positively to the great product or effective promotion. The key to converting shoppers into buyers goes beyond just selling. The third prong involves delivering the right messages to the shoppers at the right time. What if the SME can engage with shoppers before buying decisions are made? How can a SME retain shoppers with limited resources?
recommendations so that the targeted shoppers can select all of the loyalty programs and e-coupons created by the SME in the LOOP platform. The unique part of LOOP is that the SME and shoppers do not have to download any mobile APPs to operate. SMEs can provide loyalty programs without integrating to any point of sale (POS) system, and shoppers can collect e-coupons and loyalty point cards in their e-wallet without using apps. All promotion and loyalty program will be updated instantly via cloud platform and messages will be pushed to the shoppers’ personal e-wallet to create a unique smart shopping experience.
online to offline (O2O) experience and best of all, it allows SME to advertise within their shop’s proximity at low promotional costs while generating effective results. LOOP is able to help SME evolve in the digital age and enhance business/ shop into a data-driven media channel that not only fosters loyalty but empowers SME on how to better serve their customers. Through its data and analytics, SME can evaluate and identify market trends, patterns, and consumer behaviour. It provides a holistic perspective as enterprises can better understand its customers, determine how to reduce market costs and boost sales. A company or a brand can have a great product, but be irrelevant without consumers. Technologies such as LOOP are the answers to effective SMEs ARE THE BACKBONE OF digital marketing TODAY'S GLOBAL ECONOMY, solutions as well as HOWEVER 45% OF THEM retaining consumers efficiently and ARE NOT CONNECTED DIGITALLY affordably.
SHIFTING FROM TRADITIONAL TO SMART RETAIL
Smarter Retail With Proximity Marketing
SMEs can now be connected with shoppers via any mobile devices through technologies such as LOOP – one of the first digital activation platforms for SME merchants to create their own mobile marketing campaigns by uploading their logo and content to the platform within 3 minutes. During campaign creation, LOOP will generate a unique QR code and URL for the SME to distribute e-coupon and loyalty points card via internet and social networks to recruit members. The unique QR code and URL act as a media channel to connect with shoppers once the code is scanned via any QR code scanner. After the SME creates and uploads the mobile campaign to the platform, LOOP’s proprietary technology and algorithm will list out all the
OR HAVE THE RESOURCES TO IMPLEMENT LOYALTY OR CRM SOLUTIONS By Bradly Ng
High-Level Digital Engagement
In order to engage shoppers anytime and anywhere, LOOP also provides a distribution channel for SMEs to promote digital campaigns over 2,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots with a monthly reach of more than 2.5 million targeted Internet users. This can help an SME to create trust and dependability within the micro-moment and deliver the right message at the right time to the shoppers. Accessing specific shoppers in designated districts will bring a true
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bradly Ng is the CEO & Co-Founder of Sky Matters. He has more than 20 years of experience in mobile interactive marketing solutions and has worked with major brands like Samsung, Chivas Regal, Disney, and HSBC. Prior to founding Sky Matters, Bradly co-founded the first digital content exchange platform in Hong Kong to exchange digital contents between China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and the US – including providing digital music to iTunes. www.loop2x.com
Mining this data and putting it to work will be central to smart city planning, and will affect strategies not only for retailers but for the entire smart city infrastructure – from public buildings and education to private housing, entertainment and communications. AI will be at the heart of a new relationship between citizens and smart city infrastructures. Instead of remaining dormant until activated by user requests, ‘always on’ smart devices throughout the environment will learn from individual activity to form a picture of their wants and needs which will become clearer and more detailed over time.
What This Means
SMART CITIES WILL RUN ON AI TRANSACTIONS By Elisa Harca and Eugene Lai
Image Credit: Freepik
OR SOME TIME NOW, AI has stimulated press coverage from all angles – how it will save us from more mundane tasks, how it will change the jobs of retail and service staff, how the advent of machines that can learn will herald a fundamental shift in how we exist in the world as we know it. Predicted to increase global GDP by 14% by 2030 (the equivalent of US$15.7 trillion), it’s a technology that will underpin all serious moves towards the development of smart cities that strive for a successful long-term future.
Early Adopters Lead The Way
Asia is set to lead the world in this particular tech revolution. Right now, of the more than 1.4 billion mobile chat app users in the world, 805 million are based in Asia Pacific – and chat apps are where chatbots and AI functionality ‘live’. From carrying out bank transactions to ordering food, users are happy to interact with virtual assistants – from WeChat’s WeSecretary and Baidu’s Duer to JD.com subsidiary LingLong’s Amazon Echo challenger DingDong. The level of commitment in Asia to building smart cities also leads the world – China alone is running 285 pilots, and Singapore has stated its aim to become the world’s first smart nation. Couple this with user enthusiasm for conversational commerce and virtual interactions, and there’s a huge opportunity to take AI to an exciting new level – one that leaves simple transactional functionality behind and begins to actually work out and deliver what users want.
Virtual Assistants Will Be Lifestyle Facilitators
Tomorrow’s virtual assistants and chatbots will become fully connected lifestyle facilitators that will not only act on orders, but will use machine learning to anticipate needs. This is because they will have access to millions of datapoints generated by users who have already taken advantage of AI through messaging platforms, smart speakers and any number of lifestyle apps that rely on personal information. 14 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Elisa Harca is Regional Director and Co-founder of Red Ant Asia – a digital partner for retailers, providing connected mobile, digital and social experiences for their customers as well as unique insights, expertise and execution in the Asian digital landscape. Eugene Lai is Senior Technical Client Partner, providing technical expertise and leadership on AI and machine learning projects. www.asia.redant.com
Image Credit: Raymond Ng
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
Users and service/product providers will be able to set parameters for intelligent transactions, based on recognizing user patterns for purchase and consumption: ▪ automatic ordering of standard purchase items, prompting for less regular purchases and promotion of related/abandoned basket items; ▪ pre-scheduled services such as appliance and building maintenance, even health and education checks; ▪ ‘smart’ monitoring of utilities, with user-focused facility management based on actual rather than predicted behavior, reducing waste and increasing efficiency; ▪ better asset management through connected buildings which have the ability to ‘talk’ to each other, as well as improved safety through automated processes and reduced downtime. Retailers will no longer be limited to either physical stores or websites: ▪ every screen and device will be a potential personal shopping outlet, activated by user proximity and opt-in mobile services such as GPS, payment facilities, accelerometers, past purchases and profiles; ▪ strategists will need to develop processes for cashless, contactless, intelligent shopping via non-standard outlets from bus stops to billboards and entertainment venues; ▪ ads will be hyper-personalized because every outlet/datapoint has the potential to know and learn from a user’s shopping history as they pass by with a smart device; ▪ interactions will be permission-based – users will agree to sharing their details in advance for a range of services, so that the promotions and information delivered to them will be specifically tailored to their needs and will only appear on user-approved screens. Those behind smart city development will need both the vision and the conviction to see beyond the headlines and recognize the potential that machine learning and cognitive computing have to change our lives and our relationship with technology for the better.
JUMPSTARTER CROWNS THREE WINNERS IN HK The Grand Finale of JUMPSTARTER 2017 – a start-up competition organized by the Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (the “Fund”), a not-for-profit initiative run by Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), in conjunction with Hong Kong Cyberport Management Co and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp – was held in November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Of the 2,000 applicants from the 2017 competition, three teams were selected as the winners: En-trak Hong Kong focuses on sustainable Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for commercial buildings; CuttingEdge MedTech designs and manufactures specialized surgical robots through artificial intelligence; and Farm66 Investment Ltd provides people with clean and fresh food using sustainable technologies.
Each company will receive up to US$1 million in investment from the Fund to further deliver on their business vision. Launched in April, JUMPSTARTER is a unique initiative in providing a platform for young dreamers in Hong Kong to promote their ideas, network and share knowledge. The importance of JUMPSTARTER was highlighted by the range of VIPs from industry and business leaders to entrepreneurs who delivered insights at the Grand Finale. The keynote of the event was a fireside chat between HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma when they discussed the Hong Kong start-up scene and the need to support entrepreneurs. www.jumpstarter.hk
NEWS UWATERLOO TO BUILD AI CENTER IN HK The University of Waterloo – Canada’s most innovative university as ranked for 26 years – is extending its research prowess into Hong Kong. In addition to signing a historic agreement with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to develop teaching, research and experiential exchanges, the University is engaging in industry and government discussions on its cutting-edge operational artificial intelligence concept: Waterloo.ai Alpha. Over the next two years, UWaterloo will work with business organizations and government partners hoping to create an artificial intelligence research center in Hong Kong centered around three themes: the AI School, translational research, and AI entrepreneurship. This will complement and accelerate Hong Kong’s drive into the AI arena, fuelling initiatives across spectrums of key importance such as healthy aging, robotics, smart cities, and other exciting applications. In November, several startups from UWaterloo’s Velocity entrepreneurship program – the largest free startup incubator in the world – visited Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Shenzhen, for fact-finding and pitching to potential investors. During their visit, more than 600 guests including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam helped UWaterloo celebrate its 60th anniversary in the SAR. www.uwaterloo.ca velocity.uwaterloo.ca
ALIBABA PUTS SMILE ON SENSETIME’S FACE Alibaba Group Holdings was expected to complete a deal worth RMB 1.5 billion (US$277 million) by the end of 2017 to become the largest backer of Chinese facial recognition startup SenseTime Group – giving the Hong Kong AI company an estimated value above US$3 billion. SmartSense has more than 400 clients and partners including Qualcomm (also an investor), chipmaker Nvidia and smartphone maker Xiaomi. In July, it raised US$410 million in a series B round. www.smartsense.com
SHENZHEN’S MAKEBLOCK DIY ROBOTS GET AROUND Shenzhen-based Makeblock’s DIY robotics kits are being used
KLOOK’S SERIES C BRINGS IN US$60M
Eric Gnock Fah’s Hong Kong-based travel activities startup announced in October its largest round of funding – a US$60 million series C investment co-led by Goldman Sachs and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, according to Tech In Asia. Before this round, the startup raised US$37 million since launching. www.klook.com
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in more than 20,000 schools around the world, the SCMP reports. Makeblock’s products are sold in over 140 countries and sales have surged from US$435,000 in 2013 – when it began production – to US$18 million in 2016, according to the company. Of that, 70% is derived from overseas markets. Makeblock raised RMB 200 million (US$30.3 million) in a series B round in March and plans to close its next round of financing early this year. www.makeblock.com
NEWS CYBERPORT INVESTORS LAUNCHES CATHAY PHOTONICS WINS NETWORK Cyberport launched a key initiative during November’s HKSTP’S ELEVATOR PITCH
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) recently held the Elevator Pitch Competition 2017 (EPiC) – a leading annual event for the increasingly important HK startup industry – at the iconic International Commerce Centre (ICC). After seven months of intense competition, Cathay Photonics beat 99 other finalists from across the globe to be crowned champion and claimed an investment prize worth US$140,000. Cathay Photonics is a Hong Kongbased company founded in 2014 by a group of physicists and engineers that engaged in research and development of specially-coated glass and ceramic products. www.hkstp.org
Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2017 (CVCF) in Hong Kong. The Cyberport Investors Network (CIN) is a structured platform that engages worldwide investors of leading venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity funds, to enhance the fundraising and deal-making capabilities of Cyberport startups. CIN comprises over 100 investors of different categories including Angel, Pre-A and Post-A rounds who are interested in new economy opportunities. In addition to the launch of CIN, Cyberport announced a strategic partnership with the China Mergers and Acquisition Associations of Hong Kong. This non-profit and non-government organization is committed to establishing strategic alliance with the elites with all industries and promoting the M&A market in Hong Kong. www.cyberport.hk
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Your Business Launchpad fitzgeraldlawyers.com/startup 17
NEWS 10 ASIAN STARTUPS JOIN GOOGLE LAUNCHPAD There are 24 entrants to the 5th Google Launchpad, the sixmonth acceleration program that matches top growth-stage startups from emerging ecosystems with the best of Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies – to help scale their products. Ten are from Asia: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. www.developers.google.com/programs/launchpad/accelerator/
STARTUP MUSTER 2017 OFFERS INSIGHT TO OZ The 2017 Startup Muster report is the fourth annual report from Startup Muster, highlighting the developments in the Australian startup ecosystem. The insights in the report come from the Startup Muster 2017 online survey collection, which was available to complete by the community nationwide, throughout July and August 2017. In total, 2,214 respondents took part and the final statistical sample consisted of 567 verified startup founders, 226 future founders and 452 startup supporters. The report says 36% of founders in Australia were born overseas, while the top three industries were FinTech, EduTech and IoT. www.startupmuster.com
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DRAGON LAW NOW CALLED ZEGAL Asia Pacific’s leading cloud-based legal software company Dragon Law rebranded on Dec 1 to become Zegal, emphasizing its global expansion strategy. As the company expands beyond the Asia-Pacific region into its first European country, the rebrand to Zegal combines the company’s success to date, with its vision of a world where the law works for everyone. The name Zegal comes from a combination of zero and legal. It was borne out of the notion that as a company, it has taken Legal Tech from zero to one. “For me, Zegal represents the journey that we have made over four years. We focus on the small and medium-sized business segment (not a small one – it makes up 85% of most national markets),” says Zegal CEO Daniel Walker. “The economics for legal practitioners in this space are broken, and this means that smaller businesses receive little to zero attention. Zegal’s vision is to make the law work for everyone. Our mission is simple: Connect businesses to their advisors with technology that makes them thrive.” The company’s launch in the UK marks a major expansion into Europe. The office in Manchester will be headed by Cofounder Chris Sykes. The initiative is an ambitious one, and it will help Zegal to offer its cloud legal software to a larger user-base of SMEs and grow its lawyer ecosystem to a new global audience. The expansion will also better assist its Asia-Pacific user base looking to do business in the UK. www.zegal.com
LIFESTYLE | PRODUCTS
ELECTRIC VIOLIN FROM TRASH TO TREASURE Fashion and CO2 have something in common – they are both the world’s biggest environmental polluters. BYT is a designer brand that eagerly wants to prove one point – that fashion can be a force for good. Based in Hong Kong, BYT upcycles waste materials from luxury brands which were destined to be dumped and transforms them into beautiful, enduring designer pieces. The inaugural collection is available at Barneys New York and Lane Crawford as the brand hits the world’s most prestigious retail rails – they don’t do things by half, as you can see. www.bytlife.com
Meet the YEV series, Yamaha’s latest electric violin invention. It is a manifestation of cross-field synergy, and inspired by the organic beauty of wood and the simplicity of clean lines. It combines ergonomic design, the analysis of acoustic sound of prototypes and different materials to create this revolutionary instrument. Yamaha was able to pinpoint the essential elements for functionality and playability, and restructure the composition in a violin that eliminated the instrument’s resonance chamber. *Winner at the DFA Design for Asia Awards 2017. www.yamaha.com/us/promo/YEV_Violin/
Edited By Chloe Wong
JONAS THE SMART BROLLY
We’ve got smartphones and smartwatches. Now meet Jonas, the smart umbrella developed by OPUS ONE. Don’t be distracted by its cute little mustache, Jonas is very multi-functional. It is equipped with a weather forecast, phone tracking and incoming call/ message notifying function. Its red LED light will turn on if rain or snow is detected. You’ll also be alerted when you leave your phone behind – shake it a few times and your phone will ring. It resembles the invincible umbrella in Kingsman, but a cuter version. www.opusone.com
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DRINKS ANY TIME AND WHERE
We’re all kinda used to delivery of pizzas, burgers, sushi and groceries. But wine? Now you’re talking! BottlesXO is an app that delivers high-quality boutique wines and cold craft beers within 60 minutes, with no minimum order or delivery fee. Whether you run out of drinks at a dinner party or the beach, need refreshments at a picnic in the park, or just need a great bottle at a restaurant, now you can get a good bottle exactly when and where you need it. Sounds like a solution to our Monday blues and TGIF hype. Way to go BottlesXO! www.bottlesxo.com
The Vibram Furoshiki Wrapping Sole is revolutionary footwear – it wraps around your feet. The designers drew inspiration from furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport bento boxes, gifts for loved ones, or even commercial goods. Made with Italian-designed Eurojersey elastic fabric strips, it ensures comfort and support while providing the most anatomically tailored fit and support possible. *Winner at the 2017 DFA Design for Asia Awards 2017. us.vibram.com
LIFESTYLE | PRODUCTS
ALL AROUND YOUR FEET
DELIVER US FROM LENTIL
Grocery shopping is not going to be a hassle anymore! honestbee is an online grocery concierge service providing a one-stop shop for meals and groceries, readily available in one app. Choose your favorite grocery products from a wide selection of well-known supermarkets as well as specialty stores in one cart. Voila! Your favorite products will be delivered to your doorstep, on the same day! There’s more good news – honestbee doesn’t just do grocery shopping. honestbee FOOD offers a wide selection of favorites chosen by foodies, and will deliver your top meal picks hot and ready to eat. www.honestbee.com
JUST RIGHT FOR YOU
Now you can have a smart home experience while saving energy at the same time. Ambi Climate is an AI-powered air conditioner accessory offering personalized comfort. It detects and analyzes how weather, sunlight, temperature, and humidity affect your comfort via several built-in sensors. It also learns from your feedback to automatically adjust the AC, creating the best home climate for you. With the smartphone app, you can monitor and control your AC anywhere, anytime. It also saves energy by up to 30% through minimizing overheating and overcooling – making it perfect for eco-conscious users, pet owners and parents. www.ambiclimate.com
| TRAVEL | PRODUCTS LIFESTYLE LIFESTYLE
EDIBLE BUSINESS CARD
Don’t just eat seaweed, introduce yourself with it. An awardwinning ad campaign by Geometry Global Japan about seaweed from Saga Prefecture featuring edible business cards proved so popular that you can now order them when you visit Saga City next time you’re in Japan. Near Fukuoka, Saga is the country’s center for seaweed aquaculture – plus there’s the UNESCO World Heritage Mietsu naval facility site. Saga is also one of the most famous areas for Japanese pottery, and there are good hot springs. We’d love to get some of those edible business cards… Hi, nice to meet you. Nom nom! *Winner at the DFA Design for Asia Awards 2017. Ad on YouTube (English subtitles): http://fal.cn/tIei www.geometry.com/jp
Edited By Chloe Wong
TRAVEL WITH EASE Good news for all jet-setters. The EZ_Duffle from Torba is a versatile bag for travelers and commuters to organize their gear and keep everything in place. With 22 purpose-built compartments, you can quickly retrieve what you need. It offers three distinct carrying options – by the top handles, thrown over the shoulder, or worn as a backpack. It can also be purchased with an optional 10,000 mAh battery, featuring Quick Charge, universal compatibility (USB-c, lightning, micro-USB) and a toiletry pouch. Bon voyage everyone! www.torbagear.com
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BOOK IT YOURSELF
Dutch startup TRVL launched recently in HK and is a peer-topeer booking platform that gives everyone access to the travel agent world. You can get a commission on every booking you arrange! Even better, you also can have access to industry deals with discounts of up to 65%, and get personalized advice from other travelers who’ve experienced a destination first-hand. Thanks to TRVL, you get to see behind the travel industry curtain while saving (and earning) some money! It’s gotten good coverage from the media, including Bloomberg and TechCrunch, and last year it got US$2.7 million from angel investors. www.trvl.com
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
The Entertainer is a lifestyle app in use across Asia and elsewhere that’s packed with thousands of buy-one-get-one offers and 50% off deals from top merchants in dining, beauty & fitness, retail, services, and leisure & attractions. It also features a travel category with up to 40% discounts from over 550,000 hotels worldwide. This iOS/Android app keeps on giving 7 days a week, all year long. In Hong Kong, you can get an annual membership for HK$495. www.theentertainerasia.com
CHARITY RIDE OFFERS RARE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE COUNTRY AND HELP CHILDREN EACH YEAR, THE Hong Kong-based Tsolmon Ireedui Foundation (TIF) arranges a cycling tour in Mongolia to raise funds for the charity, which operates a free kindergarten for underprivileged children in the suburbs of the capital, Ulaanbataar. The 2018 tour will be held June 30-July 1 and includes two days of cycling. The third edition of the charity’s major fundraising event mixes fun, adventure and team spirit in the splendid Mongolian countryside. The participants will stay in traditional Mongolian ger camps, enjoy the delicacies of the local cuisine, and discover the Terelj National Park on mountain bikes. A traditional dance, song and contortionist show will be performed at the camp.
LIFESTYLE | TRAVEL PRODUCTS
CYCLING IN MONGOLIA
In a unique opportunity, the participants will also visit TIF’s kindergarten and meet with the staff and kids. This type of visit is quite rare for a fundraising event for charities in general, but the participants of the previous editions agreed that it added an enormous value to their trip. All the donations raised for the bike ride will be dedicated to TIF in order to fund its activities for poor children in Mongolia, and in particular the free kindergarten. The event is organized by TIF and participants will be provided with transportation, accommodation, food and of course the bikes. The ride is managed by a professional organization. With only 100 spots available, it’s best to book now through the charity’s website. For those who cannot join the ride, private donations and corporate sponsors are welcome. The charity has also partnered with Hong Kong photographer Paul Cox, who has visited the country often and his images in The Red Hero Collection are available in limited editions of 8 signed prints, as well as artist proofs.
LIVING IN SMART CITIES ASIA LEADING THE MOVE By Glen Watson
AKE A LOOK at the many lists of the world’s best Smart Cities, and usually Singapore is at or near the top along with Barcelona and London. Several Chinese cities (Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Shanghai) are usually up there, too. Places in Japan and Taiwan often make the grade. Hong Kong, well, not so much despite a stated desire by politicians and business people to make it so. Jakarta also seems to be climbing the lists quickly. There are almost as many definitions for Smart City as there are cities in the world. In very basic terms, it means using technology and data to enable the cities to run smoothly and provide citizens with a high quality of life. This can be broken down into six general areas: Transportation, Living, Government, Environment, People and Economy. There are several types of Smart Cities. Existing cities are called brownfield, while entirely new ones – like the proposed US$500-billion megacity NEOM in Saudi Arabia and Bill Gates’ recent US$80-million purchase of land in Arizona to build a smart city from scratch for more than 100,000 people – are called greenfield. In places like Hong Kong, there’s a bit of a mix or hybrid of both. Kwun Tong is an existing area that is being redeveloped within a Smart City.
Singapore’s rise to the top of the Smart Cities list has a lot to do with geography and history – much has happened on this tiny island over the past 50 years or so. Plus, Singaporeans seem to adapt quickly to new technologies. The Smart Nation goal is admirable, as long as it’s done right. Cities and citizens around the world are taking notes, as are startups who have something to add to the Smart Cities ecosystem. Yet according to this writer for Wired UK,it isn’t as rosy as those in the Lion City would like outsiders to believe. “From New York to New Delhi, few ‘smart cities’ can match Singapore’s commitment to experimentation,” writes Sara M Watson for Wired UK (July 2017). “A state rich in capital and without lobbies to block pilot projects, when Singapore decides to implement, it does so nimbly and quickly… In Singapore, it’s called Smart Nation, a master plan for development to make the ‘little red dot’ a global technology leader. “Yet even in this efficient, technocratic island paradise, not everything runs smoothly. Delays to the Smart Nation plan have triggered at least three different government reorganisations in as many years, with Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong admitting that the programme is ‘not moving as fast as [it] ought to’. Rich data from an expansive sensor network has yet to be integrated across government. Plans for interoperable 24 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
cashless payments fight against proprietary banking systems. “At times, Smart Nation seems like little more than a branding campaign – buzzwords deployed as a rallying cry to coordinate ministries and draw attention to the country’s advancement… To preserve a sense of privacy, older participants in pilot smart flats cover motion sensors with towels, putting in sharp focus what it’s like for a human to make this so-called living lab their home. Local sceptics ask, ‘For whom is this nation smart?’” Perhaps Singapore is a model for what happens when Smart Cities go to far, or too fast. Yet in his article for this issue of Jumpstart mag, ConnectedLife Founder Daryl Arnold writes that the technology is meant to reduce stress and anxiety. “Smartness is simply not about how advanced or complex a technology is, but how well technology is used to solve problems and address challenges. A smart city must use technology in ways that make a positive impact in the lives of its citizens,” Arnold says. “ConnectedLife believes that this means putting the human back into the centre of attention, rather than technology itself. It’s only when we put our solution into the hands of our older adults do we really start to understand how it can of a great benefit to them.”
Asia Loves Cash
In this issue’s Guest Columns, soCash Founder Hari Sivan in Singapore argues that cash is still king in Asia and is here to stay. “In Singapore, despite the availability of cashless solutions, merchants still prefer cash. This is especially so for Singapore’s SMEs, who are major contributors to the national income but may not have the same amount of capital as MNCs. “Even when we consider the exponential growth of Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector, cash-on-delivery (COD) today still accounts for 75% of these transactions… We need to recognize that cash does not conflict with the goals of building a Smart Nation. Cash is just a payment instrument like any other alternative.” Some might call what’s happening in Singapore teething problems, or lessons to be learned, but as far as Smart Cities go it’s leading the pack – we’re just not exactly sure where.
Wake Up, Hong Kong
Sometimes, Hong Kong gets wrapped up in its own vortex and doesn’t notice what’s going on outside of it. Despite throwing billions of dollars around for education, facilities, services and so on to develop R&D, startups, a Smart City initiative, and much more, it still lags behind other Smart Cities in Asia… nevermind Singapore. While writing this piece, the news headlines are all about Uber after 23 drivers aged between 22 and 60 pleaded not guilty to one count of driving a motor vehicle for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward. Under Hong Kong law, using a car for hire without a permit is a criminal offence punishable by a HK$5,000 fine and three months’ imprisonment on first conviction and HK$10,000 and six months’ imprisonment on subsequent conviction. The 22 men and one woman were released on HK$1,000 bail and are to reappear in court on Feb 1 for a pretrial review. “We continue to support driver-partners, including any necessary legal assistance,” an Uber spokesman says. Five Uber drivers who were previously found guilty of driving without such permits and third-party insurance in a landmark trial have lodged an appeal. Seems strange that a city with Smart ambitions would grant Uber the right to do business here, yet the police and courts are punishing the drivers based on road regulations from 1977. Google released a white paper recently about Hong Kong becoming a digital Smart City. Among the findings, 97% of Hong Kong residents recognize the term Smart City. They perceive saving time/ increase efficiency (50%), enhancing quality of life (42%), and maximizing digital connectivity (36%) being the top three benefits of a Smart City. Hong Kong (59%) was ranked the third Smart City by Hongkongers, behind Singapore (65%) and Tokyo (77%).
As for perceived digital savviness vs actual, 81% of Hong Kong smartphone users believe they are digital savvy, yet 42% of Hong Kong smartphone users are actually digital savvy. Hong Kong consumers have high expectation for digital transformation, with 62% of consumers expecting very fast/ fast digital transformation with breakthrough technologies changing the way they live over the next two years. The Google paper, done in conjunction with Neilsen, recommends that corporates understand the consumer journey, commit to digitization transformation and develop the digital talent, and invest in key technologies to boost corporate digital capability. It also recommends that policymakers attract and invest in digital talent, invest in incubators and entrepreneurs, leverage and apply corporate sector technologies, promote proven best practices, and maintain a free and open internet. 25
Right On The Money
But on the bright side, there’s Hong Kong startup TNG Wallet and it’s disrupting the financial services industry in leaps and bounds. TNG raised US$115 million in series A funding last year, a record for a tech startup in HK. Jumpstart sat down for a 90-minute chat with Founder and CEO Alex Kong, and it was fascinating to hear about what TNG’s digital wallet can do, and what it will do in the future. Best of all, the financial services sector is scrambling a bit to catch up while TNG is expanding beyond Hong Kong to Asian and European markets. The Hong Kong Government appears to be trying to keep up, or catch up, as seen in Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng’s October policy address. The Government is taking a step in the right direction by diversifying the economy and attracting more investment. She outlined her goal to nurture new businesses and retain talent with incentives including slashing tax on the first HK$2 million of company profits, raising tax deductions for spending on R&D from 100 per cent to 300 per cent on the first HK$2 million and 200 per cent thereafter, and more university research funds. It will be an interesting year as Hong Kong continues its journey to become not just a Smart City, but a smarter one, too.
Mainland China Booms
There’s no denying that China is advancing full steam into creating Smart Cities, and the starting point might well have been Alibaba Founder Jack Ma’s home city of Hangzhou. Since 2016, the results have been remarkable with 21 million people having a card that allows them to withdraw money from ATMs, hire bikes, access their gym membership, and many other options. The partnership also created an enhanced traffic management system that reduces congestion, improving traffic speed up to 11%, according to recent articles by SCMP (owned by Alibaba Group) and calvinayre.com. Alibaba is one of 13 public companies working with the Chinese government to use their expertise to turn the country with the largest population in the world, into a Smart Country. Alibaba is working with Macau to create a cloud computing data centre and data mapping of information for the government by 2019. The second phase will use that data, coupled with Alibaba’s Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Deep Learning systems, to create improve the city’s environment, customs clearance, and financial forecasting. Also in the pipeline are improvements to healthcare, transportation, governance, tourism and education. Up north, Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to build a dream city near Beijing from scratch – featuring IT, biotech, new energy and new materials companies – called Xiongan. To attract companies with the best cutting-edge technology, the city will offer premium public services including housing, education, and medical services to compete with Shenzhen and other cities that are also vying for talent and investments.
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Meanwhile, as Huawei’s Zheng Zhibin explains in this issue, apart from developing Chinese Smart Cities – such as Shenzhen, Weifang, Zibo, Guiyang, and Huangpu in Shanghai – Huawei is also dedicated to developing Smart Cities on a global scale.
Googling Toronto The Importance Of Design
Privacy is a major pitfall and the largest area of controversy when it comes to smart city technology. Concerns over surveillance, data leaks and other perceived (or actual) loss of freedoms are a major barrier to Smart City technology adoption, according to Jonathan Cummings, the Chairman HK and Group Business Director for retail and brand consultancy FITCH. For this reason more than any other, he believes it’s vital that change management programs within cities start with the citizen and how their life can be improved, before working outwards from there and finding the right technical solutions to enable such change. All too often the process starts with the technology and the impact on the citizen comes too far down the chain of consideration. “I’d like to see design-lead approach rather than a technology-lead approach to Smart City development,” says Cummings. “Technology should be considered as an enabler rather than as a driver of change. So what are the problems we’re trying to solve for the humans that inhibit our cities? And then how can we solve those problems through creative design thinking, enabled by technology where required, and enhanced by smart use of data. “I feel that sometimes, the technology takes the lead and that’s not always the best route to successful progress.”
In Canada, Google’s urban innovation offshoot Sidewalk Labs is doing a hybrid project with the City of Toronto to redevelop Quayside in the eastern waterfront Port Lands district using technology to try to remake the modern city. Sidewalk Toronto will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centered neighborhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity. “We looked all over the world for the perfect place to bring this vision to life and we found it here in Toronto,” says Dan Doctoroff, Chief Executive of Alphabet’s New Yorkbased Sidewalk Labs. Among the politicians and VIPs at the announcement in October were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet. “Successful cities around the world are wrestling with the same challenges of growth, from rising costs of living that price out the middle class, to congestion and everlonger commutes, to the challenges of climate change,” says Doctoroff. “This will not be a place where we deploy technology for its own sake, but rather one where we use emerging digital tools and the latest in urban design to solve big urban challenges in ways that we hope will inspire cities around the world.” Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto will work with the City to bring urban innovations advanced at Quayside to scale in the Port Lands, the primarily publicly-owned area of more than 325 hectares (800 acres), one of North America’s largest areas of underdeveloped urban land.
Next Stop, Australia
The Smart Cities Expo World Forum takes place Feb 19-20 in Melbourne, Australia. It aims to to educate people towards smart cities and urban planning technologies, strive for innovation, promote business and connect thousands of attendees from around the globe. The organizers aim to provide a platform where public business managers, directors, urban administrators, international authorities responsible for developing urban policies can offer their services for the development of smart cities. The conference program covers Smart City Vertical Applications such as Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Health, Smart Building Management Systems, Enterprise IoT, Fog computing, Big Data Analytics and Smart Governance. www.smartnation.sg www.smartcity.gov.hk www.smartcity.org.hk www.smartcitiesasia.com www.sidewalktoronto.ca smartcitiesexpoworldforum.com
o S t I e k a M TNG WALLET GIVES THE UNBANKED A VIABLE FINANCIAL SERVICES OPTION By Glen Watson
AY A VISIT to the North Point headquarters of Hong Kong startup TNG Wallet on a Sunday, and you’ll see swarms of domestic helpers queuing up to become Super VIP (SVIP) members of the financial services company that primarily operates through an easy-to-use mobile phone app. The mostly Indonesian and Filipino helpers use TNG Wallet to send money back home to family, at better rates than with traditional remittance agencies. Plus they can send it any time, not just on Sundays when they can make it to the brickand-mortar agents. TNG Wallet secured the Stored Value Facilities license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in August 2016. Since then, it has successfully built a global FinTech service infrastructure and network in just one year – providing services that include global remittance, person-to-person (P2P) money transfer, global bill payment, global SIM card airtime top-up, foreign currency exchange and purchase, cash withdrawal and so on. TNG Group CEO Alex Kong, a Malaysian who lives in Hong Kong, says about 900,000 people have registered with TNG Wallet in the SAR. “That is more than 20% of the working population,” says Kong in November. “Over the last 18 months, we’ve gone through tremendous growth. Our business transaction volume grew more than 500 times, and last month [October] we hit more than HK$800 million in transactions.” TNG’s growth got a boost in August when it partnered with 7-Eleven Hong Kong to launch 24/7 payment and cash withdrawal services. Consumers can pay for purchases using TNG Wallet at all 7-Eleven stores in the city, and verified TNG Wallet users will be able to withdraw cash from their TNG Wallet accounts thereafter. Combined with TNG’s existing top-up service at all 7-Eleven stores, TNG Wallet offers FinTech services 24/7 including top-up, cash withdrawal and payment. This collaboration makes TNG Wallet the only e-wallet to provide cash withdrawal service in Hong Kong, which will also increase TNG Wallet’s global cash pick-up points up to over 180,000. “We are accelerating our pace to build a global e-wallet FinTech service network, and paying close attention to different technological and business development opportunities, especially in countries along the ‘One Belt, One Road’ route. On top of laying a solid foundation for TNG’s long-term overseas business expansion, it is also our mission to bring digital financial services to a wider range of people,” says Kong. 28 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
FEATURE TNG Wallet has built a mature cash withdrawal network beyond Hong Kong that covers 13 countries – China, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Verified TNG Wallet users can remit money instantly to anyone in the above countries with or without a bank account, and recipients receive money into their bank account or receive / withdraw cash from cash pick-up points. “As a Cyberport incubatee, TNG Wallet attaches great importance to financial inclusion, whereby digital technology is playing a contributory role to make things happen,” says Cyberport CEO Herman Lam. “We are glad to see their efforts bear fruit. It is also Cyberport’s ongoing initiative to support digital tech entrepreneurs for the betterment of Hong Kong.” TNG intends to be among the first set of applicants for a ‘virtual banking license’ in 2018 that the HKMA says it will introduce. “We’ve been encouraged by the HKMA to apply for a virtual license,” Kong says in a recent interview with Digital Finance. This would allow TNG to offer the full range of services – including interest on deposits, lending and investments – that brick-and-mortar banks now offer, but purely digitally. HKMA is consulting the banking industry before releasing the final criteria in the first half of 2018. TNG raised US$115 million in Series A funding last year, the largest amount ever raised by a Hong Kong startup. According to recent reports, TNG’s paid-in capital stands at HK$150 million, well above its current regulatory need, but not yet at the HK$300 million that HKMA demands of traditional banks. Kong says by the end of 2018, Hong Kong transactions should decline from 85% to around 10% of total turnover as TNG expands to other markets. TNG has applied for a license to operate the UK and is waiting for regulator approval. “There are 1.6 million unbanked working adults in the UK,” he tells the London School of Economics (LSE) Business Review blog recently. TNG is also developing technology and business strategies to ensure it can survive against its deep-pocketed tech rivals. Version 4.0 of the app will include instant messaging, among other features to make it easier to send money to family and friends while messaging with them. www.tngwallet.hk 29
THE DIGITAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
HUAWEI WORKS TO ENHANCE SMART CITY OPERATIONS BY CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICS By Dr Zheng Zhibin
HROUGH COMBINING MATHEMATICS and physics to access big data, Huawei is creating a smart city supported by a central Intelligent Operation Center as the main coordinator of the entire digital nervous system. With the help of robotics and artificial intelligence, the Intelligent Operation Center gives us valuable insights that help us tremendously in terms of city management. With an omnipresent broadband network, we support high-speed data, video streaming, and speech-audio services. Huawei also offers an Internet of Things (IoT) platform to gather and disseminate real-time information about the citizens’ health, traffic, the environment, as well as ICT infrastructure. We believe that a smart city is a lifeform filled with limitless opportunities. Through a comprehensive nervous system, including a brain (control center) and nerves (web technologies and sensor networks), we continually work to enhance smart city operations by connecting the dots between mathematics and physics. For smart cities to achieve perpetual growth, we need an effervescent platform, just like a fertilized piece of land that requires careful cultivation.
Translated by Keina Chiu Process Over Results
Smart cities are always improving and developing. Currently, each smart city is distinctive by their uniqueness and working to innovate, which is what makes it so hard to say which smart city is the best. For example, Barcelona is very famous as a smart city and this is a result of their good city planning in the 19th Century. For this, Barcelona sets a very good example for city planning. In China, Dunhuang is a small city with only 30,000 dwellers that caters annually to 6-7 million visitors. Since 2013, it has been developing a smart city through tourism. Over the past three years, this has greatly brought forward Dunhuang in so many aspects – including the city’s economic development, tourism industry, lifestyle sector, and cityscape. Hence, I’d say Dunhuang is also a very good example of a model smart city.
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Since smart cities are a giant system of countless intricacies, it is difficult to meet consumers’ demands merely through our own endeavors. Therefore, we prioritize the regulation of the ecosystem greatly, and truly hope that efforts to convert traditional cities into smart cities can be facilitated through cooperating with our partners in the ecosystem. A typical example of what we have for now is Weifang. Currently, we have invited a total of more than 50 experienced partners to transform the region into an Internet-of-Things City 3.0. Positive results have been yielded so far.
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Huawei’s Visions For Greater China
Apart from developing Chinese smart cities – such as Shenzhen, Weifang, Zibo, Guiyang, and Huangpu in Shanghai – Huawei is also dedicated to developing smart cities on a global scale. A typical example would be when the Saudi Royal Commission RCY invited us to help with the smart conversion of Yanbu City, an oil region by the Saudi Red Sea. This was to improve their investment ecosystem, and actualize reforms within the manufacturing industry. Meanwhile, smart city development has already reached the third stage after three years of hard work. Subsequently, Yanbu’s gross economic growth has been upped by 16%, while citizen satisfaction has surpassed 90%.
Consumer Education – China’s Greatest Hurdle
At the moment, consumer knowledge is still the biggest challenge for smart cities. Other than that, we’ve also been facing major obstructions amidst business transformation processes while dealing with government clients during construction periods. Smart cities must avoid being an “Information Island”, and focus on transforming data into reality. At the same time, they should possess a strong system of developmental infrastructure, which is vital in combating the challenges that arise amid the digitalization of conventional societies. For this, we’d say the smart city project is our top priority now. Simultaneously, a competent support team to facilitate implementation is simply indispensable. Last but not least, ample capital and funding are also prerequisites for success. We are sure that smart cities will be very effective in facilitating business, improving current policies, and in benefiting people’s lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr Zheng Zhibin is a professor-level senior engineer and the General Manager of Huawei’s Global Smart City Business Development. He is also the Vice President of the Cyber Security Association of China, and a “China Cloud” specialist of the National High-tech R&D Program (863 Program) under China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan. As an invited researcher of the China Smarter City Development and Research Center, Dr Zheng is also patent holder of over 100 innovations, with a specialization in areas of informatization, cyber security, smart city, accountancy, and big data. Dr. Zheng was the awardee of the Second Class Award of The State Science and Technology Prizes, which is the highest honor in People’s Republic of China in science and technology. www.huawei.com/en/
The ‘Platform + Ecosystem’ Strategy
INDEPENDENT, SAFER LIVES FOR OLDER ADULTS DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY PROVIDES PEACE OF MIND AND NOTIFIES CARETAKERS IN CASE SOMETHING GOES WRONG By Daryl Arnold
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HE NUMBER OF older adults living alone in Singapore will grow to 83,000 by 2030, and currently 60% of injuries sustained by older adults occur in their homes – that is a frightening statistic. The aging population and growing chronic illness incidents are further straining the health and home-care industry, which is already facing issues such as rising costs and manpower shortages. Globally, there is an increasing demand for new services to support independent living while delivering quality care. For my Singapore startup ConnectedLife, the challenge of building a smart and safe home for older adults has personal significance. My father had a heart attack while living alone overseas. It was only because a neighbour dropped by that he was found and is around today to play with his grandchildren. After it happened, I wanted to do something about it and started the whole process of thinking about how technology could be leveraged to overcome such a risk. ConnectedLife addresses the wellness and healthcare needs of the fast-growing global aging population through unique technology and applications that leverage connected devices to enable an older adult to live independently at home, safe and secure, with the knowledge that if anything goes wrong, their loved ones will be notified in a timely manner. Smart cities and smart homes need to be designed around the people who live in them, where big data and other advances in technology are tapped to improve the quality of life. In a move to realize Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) together with other government agencies collaborated with ConnectedLife in 2015 to test-bed the solution in Yuhua, Jurong – the first HDB estate in Singapore to go smart. Residents were given the opportunity to try out the solution, and provide feedback on how it could help with their day-to-day living, so that this solution can be adapted to further enhance quality of life. Lina Teo, 65, lives alone and is one end user with a compelling reason to embrace the technology. A few years back, she slipped and fell in the bathroom and had difficulty calling for help. The incident left her with a fractured arm and ribs, as well as a heightened awareness of how things could have been worse.
“I realised I needed something to protect me, in case I have a fall again or any other emergencies. That’s why I installed ConnectedLife,” Teo says. For instance, if she goes into the bathroom and inactivity is detected within the bathroom (as well as the rest of the house) after a predefined period, alerts will be sent to her caregivers through mobile phone and an online dashboard. Even if caregivers are unable to render assistance in a timely manner during emergencies, ConnectedLife’s 24/7 call center can step in to provide the help needed. This is a simple example of how a smart home can reduce stress and anxiety for older adults living alone, while taking a huge load off the minds of family and caregivers who need to juggle work and other responsibilities. This way, older adults can lead an independent life – and at the same time that they enjoy this independence, help can always be rendered in a timely manner while not being overly intrusive into their lives. Smartness is simply not about how advanced or complex technology is, but how well technology is used to solve problems and address challenges. A smart city must use technology in ways that make a positive impact in the lives of its citizens. ConnectedLife believes that this means putting the human back into the centre of attention, rather than technology itself. It’s only when we put our solution into the hands of our older adults do we really start to understand how it can be of a great benefit to them. For example, originally for our mobile app we dumbed down the interface – big buttons, bright colours, simplified functions. One of the things we’ve discovered is that once our older adults find usefulness, they will spend the time to learn to use it and be receptive towards it. This has informed the way that ConnectedLife developed its mobile app and the entire solution. We want to be as useful as possible rather than be as simplified as possible – there’s a big difference. A smart city is not just for citizens, it is also created by citizens. For ConnectedLife, technology is leveraged to benefit communities and families to become stronger and closer together.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Connected Life Founder Daryl Arnold is an entrepreneur experienced in data, marketing, technology and sustainability. He believes in building businesses from the ground up, and is now focused on Smart Cities, Active Ageing, Civic Innovation, Open Data and the Internet of Things. Daryl has established and funded several startups in Singapore including Newton Circus (Invention and Investment for Good), ConnectedLife (IoT, MedTech, Independent Living), Padang & Co (Open Innovation), Next Billion (Data Services, Emerging Markets), Datacraft Sciences (Advanced Data Science), DEX (Data is Everything-as-a-Service) and Ocean Protocol (Decentralized Data Exchange Protocol).
Studio Apartment Floor Plan with ConnectedLife Set Up
MART CITIES ARE THE world’s way of addressing the issue of urbanization. Malaysia particularly is recognized as among the more urbanized countries of East Asia after Japan, The Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. A recent report by the Martin Prosperity Institute states that by 2030, Malaysia is projected to have an urban share of more than 80 percent, similar to the current level of urbanization in Canada and the United States. With a growing population and cities getting denser – the study also says that Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur will have a population of almost 10 million by 2030 – the effort to develop cities equipped with technological infrastructure for the benefit of residents and businesses living in them are gaining more attention. In Malaysia, one city that has embodied the transformation that technology presents is Cyberjaya, which started off as an IT-centric city aimed at housing multinational tech companies. Fast forward 20 years, and now Cyberjaya is being transformed into a global technology hub. Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the organization tasked with Cyberjaya’s transformation, has put in place two core pillars in meeting this agenda: Smart City and Living Lab.
The objectives of the Smart City initiative are to: a) Increase efficiency of public services and city living. b) Improve the quality of life and create a safe city. c) Improve the standards of environmental sustainability.
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On the other hand, the Living Lab initiative positions Cyberjaya as a testbed where new technologies, hypotheses, products and services can be tested in the real world. In fact, the Living Lab proposition strengthens the Smart City initiative by way of embracing both mature companies’ and startups’ outputs to be commercialized through rigorous testing and piloting activities. Last year, Cyberview also formed the City Innovation Council (CIC) to guide the implementation of smart city pilot projects, and evaluate innovations proposed by startups. Led by Cyberview, the CIC consists of MaGIC, Sepang Municipal Council, MDEC, Setia Haruman, and MCMC, key players and stakeholders of Cyberjaya. Cyberjaya was launched as a smart city by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak in May 2017. Coupled with business expansion and investment announcements reflect the kind of confidence that the government and businesses have towards Cyberjaya, this makes it a model for smart cities development in delivering national and socioeconomic goals. The development of Cyberjaya as a smart city is guided by a 5-year framework that began in 2015, across four phases that encompasses city living in its entirety – Environment, Infrastructure, Economy, and Social. Through this framework, Cyberview as a tech hub enabler has taken the position to lead and, most importantly, to catalyze collaborative endeavors to ensure that Cyberjaya continues its upward trend towards becoming a model smart city. Under the Cyberjaya Living Lab initiative, Cyberview aims for Cyberjaya to be a successful testbed under four programmes: Living Lab Talent, Living Lab Accelerator, Living Lab Pilot, and Living Lab Enterprise.
CYBERJAYA IS BEING TRANSFORMED INTO A GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY HUB WHERE NEW TECHNOLOGIES, HYPOTHESES, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES CAN BE TESTED By Mohd Najib Ibrahim
These initiatives underscore Cyberjaya’s journey as part and parcel of Malaysia’s aspirations towards becoming a high income economy rooted in digital innovation. Under the Living Lab Talent initiative, Cyberview grooms talent from the young and impressionable to aspiring university students. The Lab works with academia on the supply and quality of talents to meet the requirements of the ecosystem. Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator aims to provide the necessary guidance and facilitation to entrepreneurs at the tipping point of commercialization so that ideas will not merely stay as ideas, but will live up to their potential in making an impact on society. Shortlisted startups from each cohort of the accelerator programme go through a gruelling five-month programme working out of Cyberview’s collaborative working space dedicated to smart city solutions, CoInnov8. Living Lab Pilot and Living Lab Enterprise programmes are set up so that entrepreneurs and companies of various maturity levels are able to thrive. With a receptive population of which 20 percent are early tech adopters, entrepreneurs and companies have a captive audience for which to test and tweak their ideas and solutions before deploying them to other parts of the country and towards commercialization. The massive task of elevating Cyberjaya into a global tech hub requires the implementation of a sound tech ecosystem that can only be achieved through collaborative efforts from other stakeholders and strategic partners. Cyberview offering Cyberjaya as a testbed for piloting solutions is unique as it allows entrepreneurs and their design as well as development teams to gather real-time insights that can be used to shape and refine the product(s) while preparing it for commercialisation. Through the ecosystem enabled by Cyberview, Cyberjaya is a city that offers a receptive community for innovations, making it an ideal platform for piloting. With a population of over 100,000 and 40,000 knowledge workers in the hub, what Cyberview is doing is a reflection of the tech hub enabler wanting to do more to enhance the innovation ecosystem in Cyberjaya rather than merely positioning the city as an IT hub that attracts multinationals. On top of collaborating with mature corporations to lay out the necessary infrastructure features within the city, Cyberview is also attracting more startups to create a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurs to flourish and drive economic growth. Cyberjaya’s elevation into a smart city is further reinforced with the Futurise Centre – an Innovation and IP
Commercialisation Hub with labs, programmes and facilities designed to stimulate and accelerate capacity building, innovations, and commercialisation of future innovations. The Futurise Centre, to be launched in Q1 2018, was also highlighted by the Prime Minister during his Budget 2018 speech as a centre to be strengthened for corporate companies and universities to develop prototype products and elevate innovation. Positioning this tech hub as a Living Lab is one of the elements that separate Cyberjaya from other technological hubs. Cyberview aims to set up a dynamic Cyberjaya, a model smart city in Malaysia that is in tune with the rapid changes of the fast-paced digital world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mohd Najib Ibrahim started his journey with Cyberview Sdn Bhd in 2013 as Head of Property Management Division and in June was named Acting Managing Director of the company. He has 18 years of experience from Manufacturing, Engineering, Project & Property Development, Operations of Transportation Hubs i.e. Air and Rail Hubs, and Property & Facilities Management. He specialises in Engineering, Maintenance, Project Development, Building Refurbishment, Energy/Green Technology, and Facilities Management; both technical and operations. www.cyberjayamalaysia.com.my
FARMING IN URBAN AREAS A PARADIGM SHIFT IS OCCURRING ON HOW AGRICULTURE CAN BE PRACTICED AND FRESH FOOD CAN BE PRODUCED By Steve Gleeson
ROWING CLEAN, FRESH FOOD close to where people live and eat will become a fundamental part of urban planning for smart cities. But where do you put the farms? The United Nations says the world population will grow to 9.8 billion by 2050, and 11.2 billion by 2100. Since 2007, more people were living in cities than in rural areas. By 2050, it is estimated that about 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. More people means more homes and less farmland. Urban encroachment, sprawl, expansion, development... it doesn’t matter what we call it, land is utilized. Prime farmland on urban fringes that has been made productive over decades is lost to residential development and not easily replaced, certainly not close by. Thus, the answer to ‘where do you put the farms?’ is: in space – such as rooftops, buildings and waterways. A paradigm shift is occurring on how farming can be practiced and fresh food can be produced. Rather than land being dedicated to farming, primarily to grow food in soil, space is being identified where alternative methods can be used to produce fresh food crops.
Scalable & Sustainable
Urban farms that are small footprint, high yielding, and energy efficient will be developed by providing an alternative use of available space, and intentionally being integrated into building design. The potential for protected cropping farms, such as in glasshouses, to eliminate the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in food production and reduce or reuse waste, makes them urban friendly in terms of amenity – they can look beautiful. Scale and sustainability remain important factors. So too are capital investment and profitability for commercial reasons, but all this can be achieved in smart cities through innovative systems and business models. 36 | JUMPSTART JAN/FEB 2018
Aquaponics is one example. This ancient form of agriculture now takes its place in farming practice ranging from backyard to broad acre, intensive to extensive, crops to livestock, food to fibre, and protected environments to the great outdoors. Aquaponics integrates aquaculture (fish) and hydroponics (plants) using a soilless process in a recirculating water system. Fish waste becomes plant nutrient and the cycle continues. Typically, both the fish and plants are harvested and sold for human consumption. Balancing the ecosystem required to grow the fish and plants successfully together usually means that no chemical pesticides or herbicides are used. An aquaponics farm can be established in many different spaces and has a great capacity to produce high yields in relatively short time frames. In a protected environment, such as a glass house, non-seasonal year-round production can be achieved with plant and fish species grown specifically for local market demand. If lighting and temperature controls are required, renewable energy supply can provide a cost-effective way to have the system adapt to most climates and even to building space with no natural light. Aquaponics can be completely soilless and uses water as its main component. It is one of the most hyper-efficient food production methods of all, using a lot less water to grow a lot more food.
Water Becoming More Precious, Less Certain
Around 70% of available freshwater is already consumed globally by agriculture. Some estimates put future human water consumption at more than twice the rate of population growth. Water volumes used typically to produce 1 kilogram of edible foodstuff add to the serious concerns about sustainability. The speculation and trading of fresh water as a commodity reinforces the supply/demand value equation. The UK Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in the 2013 report Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not tell how food
waste compounds water consumption. IMechE estimate that as much as 50% of all food produced globally is lost/wasted ‘before reaching a human stomach’, equating to around 550 billion cubic meters of water also being wasted. The IMechE put chocolate at the top of the list of common foodstuffs requiring large volumes of water, using 17,196 liters to produce 1 kilogram. Beef requires 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram. Increasing food production without dealing with food waste amplifies more than one issue when thinking about sustainability.
A Lot More From A Lot Less
Aquaponics systems can achieve more than 90% reductions in water use to produce the same volume of food, compared to soil-based farming. Harvested rainwater from the facility roof or other surrounding city structures can provide a secure water supply for a commercial-scale aquaponics farm. Urban farms using innovative systems like aquaponics in protected environments offer real solutions to the existing and future food production problems. Urban farming isn’t the only solution, but it is an integral one for smart cities and is sustainable. Growing more food doesn’t ensure that it reaches all the mouths it needs to feed. IMechE’s estimate that 50% of all edible food produced currently is being wasted means that distribution is equally as important as supply. More mouths to feed compounds the urgency of ensuring everyone gets to eat, whether they are in the most hospitable or harshest of living conditions. Urban farms bring food production right in among consumers and, like aquaponics, may be adapted to and replicated in developing countries as a sustainable supply of fresh meat protein (fish), herbs and vegetables (plants). Food production at the point of consumption was the genesis of agriculture. Smart tribes or smart villagers of old remind us that food grown close to where you live and eat was, at one
point in human history, revolutionary. Smart cities integrating urban farms might be just as revolutionary. Aquaponics is an obvious urban farming application for smart cities as it creates a highly productive use of space for clean, fresh food production. And a premium food product this close, this clean, this safe, and this fresh should command a price that allows for a profitable business. Pure Ponics is the commercial aquaponics business we launched in Geelong near Melbourne in Victoria, Australia because we believe in the future of urban farming and the development of smart cities. And there’s plenty of space…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Pure Ponics Co-founder and Managing Director Steve Gleeson grew up in rural Australia and was exposed to farming and agribusiness early in life. While working on an economic development project in a small rural community, he was struck by the global food production problems and began exploring potential solutions. Aquaponics appeared to have real potential and was worth seeing if a viable business model could be achieved. email@example.com www.pureponics.com.au
EDIBLE WRAPPERS REVIVE INDONESIA’S SEAWEED FARMING INDUSTRY By Edwin Aldrin Tan
HREE YEARS AGO, my Co-Founder David Christian returned to Jakarta from Canada and was disturbed by the serious environmental and air pollution. He felt the urge to create a solution help the environment. After some research, he was inspired to create an edible cup to replace disposable cups, and to educate people in Indonesia in a fun way about the dangers of dumping disposable cups into the ocean. I joined to contribute my knowledge and experience in business, finance, investment and social impact. We established Evoware in 2015 and launched the edible cup, Ello Jello, in April 2016.
By 2015, humans had produced 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste
Of all plastic waste, only 9% is recycled, 12% is incinerated and 79% go to landfills and natural environments (the majority going to the ocean)
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Reducing Water Pollution And Global Warming
About 70% of plastic waste in the oceans comes from food and beverage (F&B) packaging, most of which finds its way into the water due to their small size and low value for recycling. By replacing disposable plastic food packaging with edible and biodegradable alternatives, we reduce our damage to the oceans and provide a nutritional food source for marine plants and animals. In addition, seaweed cultivation absorbs carbon dioxide. One hectare of sea produces 40 tons of dry seaweed annually, absorbing 20.7 tons of greenhouse gases (calculated in carbon) each year. The short cultivation cycle of seaweed – 45 days – makes it an effective and sustainable way to improve air quality and alleviate global warming. The cultivation of seaweed does not require any land areas. We also work closely with seaweed farmers and cooperatives to maintain sustainable practices.
By 2015, humans A family of seaweed farmers had producedearns 6.3 less than US$4.50 billion metricdaily tonseven though all family of plastic waste members (parents and two children) work
Plastic waste in the ocean are often mistaken as food and ingested by animals such as turtles, dolphins, whales and seabirds, causing obstruction in the digestive tract and can puncture internal organs
Social Impact In Indonesia
Seaweed farming is the main industry in five of the six poorest provinces in Indonesia. Due to oversupply, 80% of seaweed produced in Indonesia is exported to other countries at cheap prices. Most seaweed farmers live in poverty because of borrowing from loan sharks and the long market chain of seaweed trade. Using seaweed as the raw material for our products increases the demand for seaweed and we hope to improve farmers’ wellbeing through fair trade. We are now selling our products in small quantities to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for product testing on waffles, cookies, coffee, energy bars and soap. After winning Circular Design Challenge by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (in collaboration with OpenIDEO as part one of the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize), we have received inquiries from small and medium-sized enterprises and multinational companies locally and worldwide.
In Indonesia, people’s awareness toward environmental problems is still very low. For example, they are not aware of the severe damaging effects of plastic waste and how the over-consumption of plastic can affect them. Since manufacturers mainly still use plastics because of its low cost, our first step in changing their behavior is to give them the right information and help them rethink their consumption. This is why we co-host events with Project Semesta about sustainability, such as Pasar Semesta (English translation: Universe Market) to educate people not only about sustainable packaging, but also sustainable food, fashion and minimalist living. By holding movie screenings, talks and workshops, we hope to extend the impact to different people in the community and educate them about sustainability through fun and enjoyable activities.
Jakarta As A Smart City
Jakarta is well on its way to becoming a smart city. Currently, the government is working on encouraging digital entrepreneurship through incubator and mentoring programs – not only in Jakarta, but in cities across Indonesia – and holding competitions for creative industries to seek new talents and young innovators. Sadly, little effort is made to develop sustainable solutions such as smarter and cleaner energy. There also are no strict regulations proposed to hold companies responsible for the waste they produce.
The food and beverage industry contributes to 70% of all unrecycled plastic waste
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Edwin Aldrin Tan is a Co-Founder of Evoware and is responsible for business development, finance
12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will end up in landfills or the natural environment by 2050
and investment areas. He has more than 10 years of experience in entrepreneurship, investment, financial management, organizational structuring and operational improvement areas. He has advised and co-founded many social impact businesses, and enjoys helping people achieve their best self. www.evoware.id
Facts and figures from National Geographic, One Green Planet and Evoware 39
Renovating the Real Estate
Market HIPFLAT FOUNDER AND CEO DENIS NEMTSEV IS USING BLOCKCHAIN TO IMPROVE PROPERTY MARKET TRANSPARENCY AND ACCESSIBILITY
By Jessie Yang
S THE FIRST AND ONLY real estate web listing company in Thailand, Hipflat is all set to provide a more transparent and efficient platform for property transactions. Recently receiving investment from Aucfan – Japan’s most significant online auction price analytics and search platform – Hipflat CEO Denis Nemtsev aims to expand the technology-driven marketplace. “We do more than just facilitating property search engine, we provide resources for customers to make more profitable investments,” Nemtsev says.
Solving Mistrust In Property Markets
Working as a real estate agent for five years, Nemtsev sees the potential – as well as the downsides – in Thailand’s real estate market. There is a widespread sentiment of mistrust within the market, whether it is between buyers and sellers, or landlords and tenants. Due to a lack of market transparency, there is no credible data on transaction records, property pricing, and trustworthy unified property agents. Moreover, the sellers and landlords withhold more available information, which puts the buyers in a disadvantaged position. Therefore, “building trust” and “increasing transparency” became Hipflat’s vision when it launched in 2013.
Improving Real Estate Market
“We introduced blockchain into our online system, which can decentralize the property market with a database free of control by third parties. That is what makes us special,” Nemtsev says. Suggested by Harvard Business Review as having the potential to create new foundations for economic and social systems, blockchain technology serves as an open platform that can record transactions efficiently and in a permanent,
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verifiable way. As a result, it facilitates a crowdsourced information exchange platform with comprehensive information on currently available properties for sale and rent. Similar to a role of a good real estate agent, Hipflat’s crowdsourced platform stores three essential information categories which includes listings, transaction records, and market participants’ scores and reviews. Last year, Hipflat received the prestigious “Companies to Action” award from Frost & Sullivan, which celebrates transformative companies making the most social impact. “It all comes down to people,” Nemtsev says firmly. “We want to help people in making better decisions and further influence other countries with similar transparency issues in the property market.” With 260,000 active property listings attracting over 30,000 monthly inquiries from homebuyers and renters, Hipflat is well-positioned in Thailand and expanding to other SE Asian, African, and Latin American countries where information on past real estate transactions is not available or inaccurate.
Bangkok: A Transforming Smart City
Based in Bangkok, Hipflat is one of the thriving startup companies that contributes to the rapid startup funding growth rate in the city. Bangkok is transforming – positioning itself as a fast-growing innovation hub, with convenient transportation and urban planning shaping the city into a better choice for entrepreneurs like Nemtsev. “Bangkok is becoming a booming city for startups,” he says. “The city has changed massively since I first arrived here a few years ago. It’s a city with diverse culture and technology advancement, plus low living costs.” More importantly, the government is supportive of innovation and startups. The cabinet endorsed the Smart Visa
policy early last year that enables investors, startup entrepreneurs, and highly skilled professionals to boost business growth in the country and attract foreign entrepreneurs. The success of Hipflat is relevant to how startups in Bangkok are shaping the city into a more sustainable environment. By providing an efficient, transparent and accessible working landscape, they become the vital force to push the former manufacturing-based city forward.
As for his advice to new startup founders, Nemtsev thinks persistence is an essential quality. “Don’t stop developing your ideas. As long as you start with your expertise, things will come naturally,” he believes. “People normally shut down their ideas when encountering difficulties, but instead, people should try to solve the problem from different angles, being in the shoes of the consumers.” www.hipflat.co.th/en
Reasons For Success
“It is important to stay creative, observe the market trend instead of simply following others’ footsteps,” Nemtsev says. “We are a small team, and we utilize our technology expertise to solve the problems within the real estate in Thailand.”
ABOUT DENIS NEMTSEV Hipflat CEO Denis Nemtsev launched the Bangkok-based company in 2013 after working as a real estate agent for 5 years.
BOOMING HUB FOR E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS
PRICEZA CO-FOUNDER AND CEO THANAWAT MALABUPPHA SHARES INSIGHTS ON THE GROWING DIGITAL TREND IN THAILAND
By Jessie Yang
RICEZA IS ONE OF the most significant price comparison and e-commerce platforms in Thailand, with steady growth in six Southeast Asian countries. It started with a simple vision to empower shoppers. Priceza was founded in 2010 by three engineers who graduated from Chulalongkorn University, including CEO Thanawat Malabuppha. “What motivates me to establish an e-commerce platform is my own experience as a consumer. With so many similar retailers, how could I get the best deal?” Thanawat says.
Fast-growing E-commerce Market
In seven years, Priceza has grown into a primary e-commerce platform in Thailand that claims to have 85% of the country’s price-comparison market. The e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing and most promising, with it forecast to exceed US$25 billion by 2020. “Before people use computers or mobile phones to check prices instead of buying, which is challenging for us to know if we benefit the sellers and customers. But in merely five years, e-commerce has become an indispensable part of people’s lives,” Thanawat says.
Bringing Retailers On Board
There are currently three major players with e-commerce platforms in Thailand, which includes marketplace, retailers, and social commerce. Marketplaces operate in terms of commission, while retailers handle logistics by themselves. As for social commerce, it is a recent trend as social media becomes increasingly popular. Thanawat believes there are two reasons why Priceza is different from other e-commerce platforms. First is the price comparison function, and the second is its focus on retailers, where it assists them to establish a regular customer base. He says that in the near future, retailers will still be prominent in the consumer market. Besides Thailand, Priceza is establishing roots in other countries, which means adopting different strategies. For instance, Indonesians like to search for motorbikes online, whereas Filipinos prefer fashion and clothing. This means retailers and e-commerce platforms have to stay flexible in adopting different digital strategies.
Bangkok Under Transformation
“We decided to set the headquarters in Bangkok because it is a market of great potential. Whether it is logistics,
credit card registration, or bank account population, Bangkok is already ahead of other cities in Thailand,” Thanawat says. “Thailand is no longer a manufacturing country anymore, and the growing startups create more jobs for people,” Thanawat says, adding that the advantages of startups are that they value the quality of the people, and they are highly efficient in facing the dynamics in this fast-paced society. For him, the success of Priceza lies in the team’s passion for technology and their determination to use it for empowering the consumers and retailers. With a 140% increase in the number of online visitors last year, Priceza is expecting to see more people engaging in e-commerce platforms in the coming years as well. www.priceza.com
ABOUT THANAWAT MALABUPPHA Priceza Co-Founder and CEO Thanawat Malabuppha is an Engineer who graduated from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, where Priceza is based.
CAUSING A FLAP
CO-FOUNDERS OF MAGNETIC ASIA, WHICH ORGANIZES SÓNAR HK, MARCH TO BEAT OF THEIR OWN DRUM
OMETIMES I CHAT with Magnetic Asia Co-founder Jay Forster while we’re grabbing takeaway coffees at Tony’s on Lamma Island in Hong Kong. Nice guy, interesting stories. Yet he hesitates when I suggest interviewing him for a piece about his company – which organizes the Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival and Sónar HK, and runs the Ticketflap online event listing and ticketing platform, among other things. “You should talk to Mike [Hill, the other Co-founder and CEO]. He’s the business and technical side of it all. I’m more the creative one,” Forster says, then heads off to catch the ferry to Central. On the Clockenflap website, he’s described as “a practicing artist, curator and the Artistic Director of Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival & Magnetic Asia.” This is a few weeks before Clockenflap in November. The company’s flagship event was marking its 10th anniversary. Hard to believe given its humble beginnings, venue changes and numerous hurdles with the city’s red tape.
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By Glen Watson Forster seems calm, almost too calm before an event that brings in bands and other performers from all over the world to entertain more than 70,000 visits over three days. The event goes off without a hitch, and a few weeks later I meet up with Hill for an interview. Their partner in Magnetic Asia, and also Clockenflap Cofounder, is Justin Sweeting – a musician who grew up in HK and worked on Rockit, arguably Hong Kong’s first large-scale rock music festival that ran from 2003 to 2006. Sweeting was the first to give up his full-time job once Clockenflap got established. Hill and Forster eventually left their jobs as Clockenflap grew in stature and complexity. There are now 26 permanent staff, and there are close to 50 working full-time by the time the first bands hit the stage each year. Even after 10 years, Clockenflap isn’t the money-making machine that many attendees and observers might imagine. “Certainly costs have gone up,” says Hill, as he begins tracing an upwards graph line in the air with two parallel fingers representing cost and income. “But income has yet to cross into a positive.” Undeterred, and optimistic, the team at Magnetic Asia keep the faith. They’ve come this far, despite the odds and bureaucracy they’ve faced over the years. The Ticketflap platform has spread to Singapore, and certainly there is potential for Clockenflap festivals to take place elsewhere in Asia. But Hill and his co-founders remain patient. “We need the right partner,” says Hill. “There has been interest, but the first litmus test is, ‘have you been to Clockenflap?’ That’s question one. If not, see you later. We need people on the ground who know their market, understand what Clockenflap is and what makes a festival work. We’ve had a couple of really long, protracted discussions. They may still happen, but it’s statistically unlikely at the moment.” Magnetic Asia also organizes monthly music events under the YourMum banner, and put on the 2015 and 2016 Neon
Lights music festival in Singapore with a local partner. The company hires out its digital marketing and events expertise for corporate gatherings and other branded entertainment. Sónar is the most recent addition to its entertainment stable. The second HK edition of the pioneering Sónar festival from Barcelona that celebrates music, creativity and technology will take place at the Hong Kong Science Park in Sha Tin on March 17. Magnetic has first refusal on holding Sónar events in other Asian cities, except Japan where it’s been held a few times but not recently, although it might come back. “The model for Sónar is really quite straightforward in concept, but quite challenging to get your head around fully,” says Hill. “It’s basically an electronic music festival, but it’s made more challenging given the rise of electronic dance music (EDM). “We have EDM featured at Sónar, but we’re at the sort of more credible, cutting-edge end of it. We go across all genres of electronic music – house, techno, dubstep, hip hop, grime, all the way through on one day across six stages. That’s the music side... At the same time, we have the congress of creativity, technology and business called Sónar +D. It has keynote speakers about creative technologies, and workshops where you can make things. It’s really cool, and there’s a real mixture of people who are really into it. There’s also a digital arts component, and the market lab showcasing technology products as well as services. It all happens in one day.” Since its creation in 1994, Sónar has established itself at the cutting edge of the electronic music landscape, and is widely considered the world’s most respected electronic music and arts festival. To celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, the Barcelona event in June plans to transmit the music into space. Early Bird tickets (HK$780) for Sónar Hong Kong 2018 are available from the event website. www.magneticasia.com www.clockenflap.com www.ticketflap.com www.sonarhongkong.com
Sónar+D Mixes Creative Technology And Digital Culture BEYOND THE MUSIC, Sónar plays an equally vital role promoting digital culture and visual arts through the Sónar+D series of activities designed to link, cultivate and inspire the various creative and technological communities. Sónar+D is a programme of forward-thinking workshops, talks and interactive activities designed to explore the relationship between creativity, technology, innovation and commerce in a relaxed and inspiring environment. Geared towards those with an interest in creative technology and digital culture, it offers opportunities for creative communities to meet, interact and exchange ideas while showcasing cutting-edge immersive experiences. As well as an expo that gives research centers, creative studios and other tech-focused companies the platform to preview new projects and prototypes, the event will showcase the latest innovations in virtual reality and new media arts through a curated series of interactive installations and hightech audio-visual performances. Quite unlike any festival the city has previously seen, Sónar Hong Kong offers a unique opportunity for festival-goers to experience the entire lifecycle of the creative process in an accessible way. From discovering new products at the prototype stage to attending master classes by artists and creative luminaries to enjoying breathtaking live performances, Sónar showcases all the links in the creative chain. – Magnetic Asia
EVENTS | PREVIEW
VOLVO OCEAN RACE FESTIVAL
Jan 17-31 Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong The 13th edition of this around-the-world sailing race – considered one of the toughest team sports competitions – is visiting Hong Kong for the first time. Featuring a 15-day race festival, the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong stopover is the fifth of 12 stages of this 45,000-nautical-mile adventure. The seven boats, including HK entry Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, are expected to arrive at the Kai Tak Runway Park on Saturday January 20 after completing legs in Alicante, Lisbon and Cape Town prior to making the 6,000-nautical mile voyage from Melbourne to Hong Kong’s iconic harbor. Admission to the biggest sailing yacht event in Hong Kong’s history is free. www.volvooceanracehk.com
Edited By Tiffany Wong
21CLHK 10TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Jan 19-20 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center The 21st Century Learning Conference Hong Kong (21CLHK) is an annual event where teachers, staff and school leaders get together to talk about current and emerging topics in education. Last year, 21CLHK featured conferences and workshops covering topics on EdTech and innovation such as STEAM, MakerEd, digitally powered classrooms and data in education. The conference gathers experts in education, learning and technology to discover the best way to engage students in deep learning through the use of innovative teaching practices. www.21clhk.org
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STARTMEUPHK FESTIVAL 2018
Jan 29-Feb 2 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center StartmeupHK Festival is a week-long event for investors and the startup community. This year’s speakers at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum will include Oddup CEO James Giancotti, GoGoVan Co-founder and CEO Steve Lam, WeLab Founder and CEO Simon Loong, Lilly Asia Ventures Partner Judith Li and Binary Capital Co-founder and Managing Partner Jonathan Teo. The festival also features a series of community events like a hackathon, lessons from founders, and interactive how-to sessions. www.startmeup.hk/festival2018
Feb 6-8 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco
UNICON 2018 Now in its fourth year, more than 10,000 SaaS founders, VCs and executives will be attending the 2018 SaaStr Annual. It features three days packed with presentations, talks and fireside sessions on pitching, revenue-making, SaaS pricing, sales and marketing led by founders and C-suite executives from influential SaaS companies, such as Asana, Linkedin, Evernote, Grammarly, Intercom and Hubspot. www.saastrannual.com
Feb 24-15 University Town, National University of Singapore UNICON is a portmanteau of ‘University’ and ‘Conference’ and the largest student entrepreneurship conference in Asia. The two-day event serves to unite the brightest entrepreneurial-minded students and world-class leaders from all over Asia. Last year had 24 renowned speakers grace the event, and this year’s event promised to be bigger and better. Joining UNICON 2018 are prominent entrepreneurs such as ONE Championship Founder & CEO Chatri Sityodtong and Visenze Co-founder & CEO Oliver Tan, as well as venture capitalists such as Quest Ventures Managing Partner James Tan and Golden Gate Ventures Managing Partner Vinnie Lauria to share their industry experiences and knowledge. www.unicon2018.com
USE OUR PROMO CODE unicon-jumpstart FOR A 20% DISCOUNT! (limited to the ﬁrst 30 tickets)
EVENTS | PREVIEW
EVENTS | REVIEW
IDEA LAB FOR FEMALE FOUNDERS:
BRAINSTORM, REFINE, IMPLEMENT Nov 22 Naked Hub (Bonham Strand), Hong Kong Sparks flew and test tubes overflowed during Next Chapter and Startup Course’s first Idea Lab for female founders. Testing the theory that ideas can be created through creative thinking, participants were taken through a series of stages which pushed the boundaries of their ideas. Encouraged to think out of the box and work with others to help explore and refine their solutions, new ideas were formed and connections were made. To learn more and attend an upcoming session, connect with Next Chapter on Facebook @ nextchaptercrowd www.nextchapter.com.hk
CYBERPORT VENTURE CAPITAL FORUM 2017
Nov 1-2 Cyberport, Hong Kong CVCF was a two-day forum gathering the world’s influential venture capitalists, investors, key industry players, and stakeholders, as well as digital tech startups to share their experience in successful tech ventures and views on global tech trends. In the forum, Cyberport also launched the Cyberport Investors Network, a new structured platform to engage worldwide investors of leading venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity funds, to enhance the fundraising and deal-making capabilities of Cyberport startups. cvcf.cyberport.hk
SMARTBIZ EXPO 2017
LISBON WEB SUMMIT
Nov 6-9 Altice Arena and Feira Internacional de Lisboa, Portugal With nearly 60,000 participants from more than 170 countries, Lisbon Web Summit featured more than 1,200 speakers including Slack Co-founder Stewart Butterfield, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and many big names. More than 2,000 startups from all around the world exhibited in their ALPHA, BETA and START tracks to over 1,400 worldfamous investors such as Breyer Capital Founder and CEO Jim Breyer and NEA Co-founder Dick Kramlich. websummit.com
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Dec 6-8 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the inaugural SmartBiz Expo was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and featured more than 500 exhibitors from 43 countries and regions. It aims to enhance small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SME) competitiveness, generate synergy, showcase value-adding and versatile business solutions and encourage them to explore technology and innovations. Also at the Expo on Dec 7 was the French Tech Tour China 2017. Jointly launched by the French Trade Commissions in China and the French Public Investment Bank (BPI France), the program is designed for innovative French startups aiming to launch in the main global tech markets in 12 to 24 months. The 12 selected startups include website management platforms, IoT networks, AI developers, smart-city simulation software, etc. hktdc.com/fair/smartbizexpo-en/ hk.lafrenchtech.com
EVENTS | REVIEW
NOV/DEC JUMPSTART MAG RELEASE PARTY Nov 15 Garage Society QRC, Hong Kong Gender is a necessary discussion, especially in the startup ecosystem. In our Nov/Dec issue, we invited female entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Japan to discuss why gender is a problem, how it is affecting the way we see ourselves and others, and how they’ve worked their way to change it. At the launch party we were honored to have three speakers – Next Chapter Founder and CEO Nicole Denholder, WHub Co-Founder Karena Belin, and GoSkills CoFounder Bhavneet Chahal – share their entrepreneurial journey and how they balance their roles in family and business. We would like to thank all participants for celebrating the Nov/Dec issue’s launch with us, as well Garage Society, 12NOON, RedMountain Asia and Gaifong for sponsoring the venue, juice cocktails and food, wine, and the exciting VR experience booth. Join us to celebrate this issue around mid-Jan! Stay tuned for details on our Facebook page. bit.ly/2hZlOLK
JUMPSTART KIDS BOOK-SIGNING PARTY December 14 Metropolitan Workshop Admiralty, Hong Kong During the summer, Jumpstart Media organized a week-long Jumpstart Kids startup camp for children aged 8 to 12. In December, the kids reunited for the launch of their 52-page crowdfunded book Diary of a Kidtrepreneur that they co-authored to document and showcase their efforts during the program. The five-day Jumpstart Kids program aims to inspire the next generation in exploring their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. Supported by 16 startups from Hong Kong, the students were introduced to social impact startups, sharing economy startups, crowdfunding platforms, media and publishing platforms. In each workshop they were presented with fun, hands-on challenges that encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The startup camp will be offered again this summer. www.jumpstartkids.hk
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Happy New Year from Jumpstart! There’s no doubt that technology rules our lives today. It also rules our cities, and many companies providi...
Published on Dec 27, 2017
Happy New Year from Jumpstart! There’s no doubt that technology rules our lives today. It also rules our cities, and many companies providi...