Wearable IoT World (WIoTW), based in San Francisco and heralded as the world’s first accelerator dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables and emerging technologies, today has officially launched the U.S.-Pan Asia IoT Superhighway accelerator in Hong Kong. Closing a round of USD 4.5 million led by Radiant Venture Capital, the accelerator will focus on driving IoT innovation and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Asia while pushing forward IoT development globally. Other investors include TEEC Angel Fund and wCapital. Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) is the official partner of this initiative where it will house WIoTW’s executive office and WIoTW Labs.
“The HKSAR Government welcomes innovation and technology companies from all over the world to set up offices in Hong Kong. With the establishment of Innovation and Technology Bureau, we have further strengthened our efforts in coordinating, supporting and expediting the development of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology industries. We applaud the launch of the U.S.-Pan Asia IoT Superhighway accelerator which will boost IoT and wearable innovation, nurture startups and drive entrepreneurship in Hong Kong. In the 2016 Policy Address, the Chief Executive stated that the Government will set aside HKD 2 billion to set up an Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to co-invest in local startups with private venture capital funds on a matching basis. Through the joint forces of different stakeholders, we intend to further intensify the development of startups, entrepreneurship, business angels and accelerators in driving high-value innovation and technology industries,” said Ir. Allen Yeung, Government Chief Information Officer of the HKSAR.
“We are thrilled to be able to extend our expertise from the U.S. to this region through a full suite of services for startups and enterprises to excel in IoT, wearables and emerging technologies. This marks a long-awaited milestone in our continued quest to build the easiest pathway to product creation, market awareness, investment and distribution for related startups around the world,” said Mr. Redg Snodgrass, CEO and Co-Founder of WIoTW.
Chief Labs Officer and Co-Founder of WIoTW, Mr. Kyle Ellicott added, “I cannot wait to see the synergy that is sure to unfold with our first class of startups in Hong Kong, and we are truly grateful for the enthusiasm and support of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Radiant Venture Capital and our local partners.”
“Asia is arguably leading the way when it comes to wearable technology, and the development of IoT in the region shows equally promising signs. We are excited that WIoTW sees this potential in the Asian marketplace, and that we share the same vision of driving innovations that will shape our future. Above all, their proven ability to create a viable ecosystem for both game-changing entrepreneurs and existing corporations gives us high conviction that the accelerator will serve as a springboard to bring success for Hong Kong and Asian startups in today’s globalized world,” said Mr. Duncan Chiu, Managing Director of Radiant Venture Capital.
Widely known as an international city, Hong Kong is also an innovation hub and the premier gateway to Mainland China. Making its first foray into Asia through Hong Kong, WIoTW will continue to expand its support for wearable and IoT startups in other Asian markets, including Shenzhen, Singapore and Southeast Asia. With content and concept tailored for Asia, the 15-week accelerator in Hong Kong will empower bright entrepreneurial talents with an extensive suite of services, including customized mentorship, education, office space and business services, designed to create synergy between local and global wearable and IoT sectors. A 15-week accelerator will also be conducted in Shenzhen in the third quarter of 2016. Details of the programs in Singapore and Southeast Asia will be announced later.
WIoTW’s executive office and WIoTW Labs will be opened at Cyberport in Hong Kong. As part of the partnership, Cyberport and WIoTW will also join hands in organizing accelerator events and executive programs that serve the IoT and wearables community.
“We are pleased to collaborate with WIoTW to explore innovative ways to support wearable and IoT startups. This would be a valuable opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs who are passionate about IoT to realize their creative ideas and global ambitions with the support of a world-class accelerator,” said Dr. David Chung, Chief Technology Officer, Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited.
The WIoTW Labs has incubated numerous successful startups in the U.S., many of which have attracted significant media spotlight, including Skully, the smart motorcycle helmet, and CreoPop, the world’s first 3D pen with cool ink. Aimed ultimately to foster a global community of IoT and wearable companies and talents, the WIoTW Labs will make its debut in Hong Kong through the U.S.-Pan Asia IoT Superhighway accelerator. It is now open for online application and set to kick off in Hong Kong this May.
Key selection criteria include:
- No age qualification – founders as young as 14 and old as 56 have been a part of the program
- No stage requirement – such as pre-funding, seed, series
- Applicants must move to Hong Kong for the 15-week program
- Team of two or more
- Have a prototype
- Technical knowledge
- Focus: IoT and Wearables, Emerging Technologies, B2C and B2B
- Qualities: Dedication, Vision, Humility and Willingness to Learn