The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced the completion of the latest cohort of accelerator programmes under the Global Acceleration Academy (GAA), namely the Smart Airways and Smart Operation accelerator programmes.
The two GAA programmes were carried out in close collaboration with five corporate partners. 20 high-potential tech ventures demonstrated their innovative solutions for the travel and hospitality industries at the Demo Day, the finale of the acceleration programmes, attracting around 200 stakeholders at the event.
GAA is HKSTP’s international business acceleration programme and open to high-potential local and overseas startups and technology companies, including non-Park companies.
The Smart Airways and Smart Operation accelerators were each a 13-week acceleration programme that started in October 2019 till mid-January 2020.
The two programmes attracted a total of 116 tech ventures and 124 proposals from around the world during the application period. Of these tech ventures, 53 were admitted to the two programmes, with more than 20% coming from overseas, such as North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Recently expanded to focus more on industry-driven accelerators, GAA worked closely with the five corporate partners in the Smart Airways and Smart Operation programmes to identify their operational challenges or innovation needs in their digital transformation journeys.
The two batches of relevant tech ventures were then matched with the five partners to co-create solutions to address problem statements these corporations have identified.
Along the way, the tech ventures received mentorship from the corporate partners, as well as proof-of-concept opportunities to conduct trials.
For the corporate partners involved in the programmes, they received an easy entry into the innovator community to seek solutions and foster corporate innovation.
At the Demo Day, 20 out of the 53 tech ventures were shortlisted to showcase their proof-of-concept implementations in a real-life environment to an audience made up of the participating corporate partners, investors and tech companies invited by HKSTP.
Representatives from the corporate partners shared their experiences over their innovation journeys over fireside chats.
The Head of Strategic Partnership of HKSTP stated that HKSTP continues to attract such an international cohort to our GAA programme, bringing new ideas and innovation to their corporate partners, and aiming to solve the pressing problems that persist within the travel and hospitality industries.
HKSTP is glad to play the role of growth enabler for the innovators and for corporations on their innovation journeys. With GAA’s revamped focus on industry-driven programmes, is ready to work on its eight focused industry verticals to explore more solutions for corporates and assist tech ventures in developing their market-proven proof-of-concept innovations and their future business.
The aim is to nurture the overall ecosystem by creating more opportunities for tech ventures and energising its corporate partners with innovation and technology.
In Q1 2020, GAA will launch a new, industry-driven acceleration programme that will focus on the hotel sector – one of the eight focus verticals under the revamped GAA.
The event provided an opportunity for hotel groups to meet a broad spectrum of market-proven solutions for enhancing guest experience or improving operational efficiency.
The application period for the upcoming GAA hotels-focused programme will commence in mid-January 2020.
Since April 2017, the GAA has expanded to 19 acceleration programmes and engaged more than 180 start-ups and tech companies from all over the world, with 55 partners on board.