On the March 11, Hong Kong co-working space Paperclip played host to 12 of Asia’s most promising startups, during Echelon Hong Kong Satellite 2014.
The startups pitched in front of five judges, comprising Mohan Belani, CEO, e27; Catherine Chiang, AVP, Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia; Casey Lau, Co-founder, StartupsHK; Gene Soo, Co-founder and Director, StartupsHK; and Simon Squibb, CEO and Co-Founder, NEST.
Passion in the air
The judges and the audience felt that the startups at Echelon Hong Kong Satellite displayed a lot of passion. For instance, nearly everyone in the audience cheered during Tom Grek’s pitch for Ipselex, a SaaS solution for intellectual property management. One could see tears in the eyes as he recounted how he quit his lawyer job to concentrate on his startup.
Another noteworthy startup was Matchdrobe, an online fashion trend and style competition app. Matchdrobe’s founders travelled all the way from the Philippines to pitch at the HK Satellite. In fact, foreign startups that were looking to expand comprised many of the startups in both, the Hong Kong and the Japan Echelon Satellites, proving again that good ideas are timeless and travel well across countries and cultures.
More remarkably, this event was the first one in which the decision of the judges and audience was the same, both choosing Ambi Labs as the champion as well as People’s Choice winner.
Judges and audience love climatic comfort
The evening’s winner, Ambi Climate, is a smart air-conditioning system that aims to deliver personalised indoor comfort through the smartphone. Ambi Climate incorporates a USB-powered smart remote control that is controlled by a phone app, and that learns about the user’s preferred climate based on settings chosen in the app. This allows Ambi Climate to optimise the AC to use less energy as well.
Says Liz Choi, Communications Strategist at Ambi Labs: “We’re very honoured to have won this year’s Satellite, especially because there were so many talented startups involved. We’ve been very focused on building out Ambi Climate’s features and are excited about the next stages of testing and development. We hope that sense of hard work and determination was communicated through our pitch!”
“Winning was a great boost for the team, to see our ideas and work being validated by not only a panel of judges but an audience of people who seem to resonate with what Ambi Climate can offer,” she adds. “But while it was definitely fun to celebrate, we’re intent on reaching a number of goals within the next few months so hope to maintain that momentum!”
Photos of event from Paperclip