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Purrfect Pitch - Dean's Cup BIG Competition 9.0 Crowns Innovative Tool for Feline Health

30 May, 2024
img The HKBU School of Business hosted the Dean's Cup Business Innovation Gymnasium (BIG) 9.0 Grand Final at the Cyberport on 30th May, 2024, transforming the tech hub into a vibrant showcase of innovation and ambition. Six finalist teams, brimming with both creativity and charisma, delivered powerful presentations of their business ideas.

In a rousing kickoff to the competition, Dr. Marta DOWEJKO, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre (EIC), inspired the audience with an impactful message, “We all face challenges and uncertainties all the time, and how you embrace them, how you go about them, is what differentiates successful people from those who just go by through life without really trying.” Dr. DOWEJKO praised the game-changing role of the BIG’s mentorship network, which has been instrumental in fostering a thriving startup ecosystem across Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. She also applauded all the competitors for their remarkable journey, from the 130 submissions in the preliminary round, to the 30 semi-finalist pitches, and finally the six finalist teams.

The Grand Final was truly a vibrant display of innovation, with ideas blossoming into future ventures. Among the finalists were an app that acts as a personal stylist in your pocket, a platform that leverages social connections to boost global study paths, and a concept for transforming expired milk into eco-friendly soaps. However, it was the "FIP Analyzer" team that stole the show with their revolutionary app-based diagnostic algorithm. This algorithm promises early detection of Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease notoriously difficult to diagnose, bridging the gap between worried cat owners and timely veterinary care. In a triumphant announcement, the team revealed the official launch of their company next month, turning their winning idea into a reality.

In an inspiring conclusion to the event, Ms. Donna NGUYENPHUOC, Managing Partner at SPARQ Capital, one of the judges, emphasised the importance of resilience in entrepreneurship. She challenged startups to critically assess their business models, stating, “How is this going to fail?” as a key question driving success. Her message was clear: when you can pinpoint the potential flaws in your business and eliminate them, then naturally, the path will lead to success.

The judging panel included:

Prof. Yuk-Shing CHENG, Interim Dean of the School of Business

Ms. Donna NGUYENPHUOC, Managing Partner at SPARQ Capital

Ms. Jeanne LIM, CEO at beingAI Limited

Mr. Shane SMITH, CEO at Pitchflix

Visit EIC’s social media platform https://www.instagram.com/eic_hkbu/ to learn more about this year’s competition.  
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