January 16, 2017

New York City Fomer CTO Speaks at Web Wednesday (V107)

Firstly, here's to a great new year! The Chinese Year of the Rooster!

We're kicking off 2017 with a very special guest, Minerva Tantoco, the former Chief Technology Officer of New York City! (The Big Cheese of the Big Apple!) Read all about the Mayor's Office of Tech + Innovation at nyc.gov/forward.

Mark your diaries for Web Wednesday Hong Kong (V107), 18th January at Orange Peel, 2/F, Ho Lee Comm Bldg, 38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong.

During her tenure under the Mayor's office, Minerva launched ground-breaking initiatives, including LinkNYC (turning old payphones into free wifi hotspots), CSforAll (computer science education program), Neighborhoods.NYC (online hubs for civic engagement) and the first-ever IoT Guidelines for a US city.

These led to NYC being named, "Best Smart City 2016" at the Global Smart City Awards.

In the past year, she as spoken on CNN, Bloomberg and MSNBC on topics as diverse as AI, IoT, big data, blockchain, the sharing economy, 5G and wi-fi, smart cities, developing tech ecosystems, and the impact of tech on society.

Doors open at 6:30pm and we kick off the fireside chat at around 7:15pm. The entrance fee of HK$100, includes one complimentary drink.

See who else is coming and sign up via our community on Facebook (4,863 members) or MeetUp (806 members).

It's going to be a good one so do bring a friend or two.

December 6, 2016

Hong Kong Free Press at Web Wednesday (V106)

2016 is a proving to be a year of digital disruption and political upheaval. Cars are driving themselves, bots are guiding our investment decisions and fake news is dominating our social media feeds.

Who better than to guide us through this morass of change than Tom Grundy, Editor-in-Chief of Hong Kong Free Press.

HKFP is a mastermind of distributing news in the digital era, regularly beating the venerable South China Morning Post SCMP with its smart social media and search engine marketing strategies.

A switched-on bunch of journos, HKFP has turned to FringeBacker to crowd-fund HK$550,000 and ensure independent coverage of the HKSAR Chief Executive Elections in 2017. Show your support and back a local digital media entrepreneur.

Bring along friends to our last social mixer of 2016, 6:30pm - 9pm on Wednesday 7th December at Orange Peel, 2/F, Ho Lee Comm Bldg, 38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong.

We have a wide range of topics on which I will be grilling Tom:
- The algorithm: Bubbles and walled gardens
- Funding / Crowdfunding / non-profit newsroom on a shoestring.
- The spectre of "fake news".
- Social media engagement and analytics.
- Press freedom issues in Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong's English and Chinese media landscape.
- One Country, Two Systems - future of civil liberties in Hong Kong.

The entrance fee of HK$100 includes one complementary drink and the chance to influence the future of freedom in Hong Kong!

See who else is coming and sign up on Facebook or MeetUp.

Bring a festive friend or two!

November 14, 2016

Silicon Dragon Awards Hong Kong 2016

For the third year in a row, I'm excited to join Rebecca Fannin to host and moderate the Silicon Dragon Awards. Rebecca was a guest speaker at Web Wednesday back in April 2013.

Hosted at KPMG's plush offices in Hysan Place, Causeway Bay on 17th November 2016, the event promises to draw a good crowd of promising tech startups,  deal-hungry investors, sharp consultants and curious media folk.

Enjoy 25% discount, register on Eventbrite using code "SDAwards2016WW".

The run down is: 2 tech chats, 12 startup pitches, tips from top VCs, awards for the Top Founder, the Top VC and the Best Pitch, followed by a cocktail reception.

Tech chats:
Xberts: a cross-border hardware marketplace where hardware manufacturers & startups launch their new products to collect influencer reviews and sell to worldwide consumers.

Klook Travel: the online travel concierge for unique experiences. We provide a curated selection of activities and experiences for travellers to explore and book. Our goal is to transform the lengthy-and-searching process of travel itineraries into a simple efficient process.

Startup pitches: Kuaiwear, Auluxa, DME Micro, Living Tissues, Spincle, Jobable, GoSkills, EquitySim, TNG Wallet, TeamNote, Addweup and Skytree Digital.

VC Judges from Tencent China, Arbor Ventures, Lightspeed Venture, 500 Startups, Vickers Venture,  Shenzhen Capital Group and Sequoia Capital China.

October 31, 2016

InvestHK talks FinTech at Web Wednesday HK (V105)

In the run up to the inaugural Hong Kong Fintech Week (held at PMQ on 7-11 Nov), we thought it would be fitting to invite the new Head of Fintech for InvestHK, Charles D'Haussy, to share the latest trends in financial innovation and tell us how he will help HK become a leading global fintech hub.

Charles has worked for 8 Securities, one of the more successful online brokerages, so is sure to understand the current challenges faced by fintech startups in Hong Kong.

On top of discussing what InvestHK is doing to attract foreign fintech firms to Hong Kong, we will cover Hong Kong's future in emerging technologies such as: digital identities, mobile payment, blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotrading, peer-2-peer lending, crowdfunding and big data analytics.

Learning from the StartMeUp campaign, InvestHK has engaged various industry players to contribute content including: the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Securities and Finance Commission (SFC), Finovate, the Hong Kong Fintech Community, Cyberport, NexChang and Finnovasia.

Sign up for our 105th social mixer, held at Orange Peel on 2nd Nov (6:30pm - 9pm), via our Facebook Group (4,845 members) or MeetUp group (791 members).

A recent report, "Connecting Global FinTech: Hub Review 2016", published by Deloitte in collaboration with All Street Research, places Hong Kong alongside London, New York, Singapore and Silicon Valley. But, we still have some catching up to do with our friends in Singapore, who's government has assigned S$225m to support it's budding fintech industry. [An extract follows below. Download the full report from the Global Fintech Hubs Federation website].

September 28, 2016

HSBC Digital Banking at Web Wednesday Hong Kong (V104)

With the recent announcement of a new "FinTech Supervisory Sandbox" (catchy name, heh!), Hong Kong is entering a new era of frantic financial and insurance transformation frenzy.

The question is whether the charge will be lead by the incumbent banks or a new set of disruptive startups.

To answer these questions and more, we've invited Andrew Eldon, Head of Digital for HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management to take the hot seat at our next social mixer.

We'll be covering topics from HSBC's new digital service launches, particularly on mobile (e.g. "peer-2-peer payments"), to how to prepare a large multi-national operation for digital disruption and rapid innovation. HSBC recently took the brave step to move 300 staff to the new WeWork hot-desking site in Causeway Bay.

Our 104th social mixer will be hosted at Orange Peel Lounge, 2/F, Ho Lee Comm Bldg,38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central.

Networking from 6:30pm, interview around 7.15pm, with an entrance fee of HK$100 that covers for one complimentary drink.

FinTech finally formal in Hong Kong

Following on from their growing success with the StartMeUpHK programme, InvestHK (the inbound investment arm of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR) has recently spawned a new department under the catchy name of "Hong Kong FinTech". They explain why on their spanking new website, hongkong-fintech.hk, which also has some useful steps to setting up shop in this energetic city. Follow them on Twitter (@hongkongfintech).

This new department is headed by Charles D'Haussy, ex-VP of Sales & Business Development at 8 Securities, who on his LinkedIn profile says that he will focus on "Payments/Billing Tech, Wealth Management Tech, Money transfer/remittance, BlockChain, InsuranceTech, RegTech".

Charles (@charlus) will be supported by a Deputy Head of FinTech based in London, Thorsten 霍獅騰 Terweiden. His first job will be to recruit all promising startups looking for a way to survive in the wake of the Brexit traumas!

This winter (7-11th November, 2016), they will be running Hong Kong FinTech Week in cahoots with Finovate Asia, an event by the Finovate Group from Seattle, USA. (Follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter).

There is renewed energy in the industry as the "FinTech Supervisory Sandbox (FSS)", originally announced by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, has now been backed by the Securities and Futures Commission and the Office of Commissioner of Insurance. See the SCMP article.

August 2, 2016

Kiip - a new era in mobile advertising