Saltagen Ventures Managing Partner, Joseph Fung, Chosen As This Year’s EPiC Judge

The South China Morning Post announced that Joseph Fung, Managing Partner at Saltagen Ventures, will once again take part in judging this year’s Elevator Pitch competition. The following are excerpts from the October 9th announcement.

“EPiC, the city’s top pitch competition hosted by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), will take place on October 26. Shortlisted from 591 entries, 100 tech start-ups from over 20 countries and regions will vie to impress the judging panel and attendees at Hong Kong’s biggest pitch contest to be held at the International Commerce Centre (ICC). The best of the best will get an initial capital injection of US$120,000 to jumpstart their business.

The annual Elevator Pitch Competition serves as an ideal platform for connecting the entrepreneurial minds from not only Hong Kong but increasingly from across the world with investors.”

“Joseph Fung, an investor judge of EPiC 2018, managing partner of Saltagen Ventures, a venture capital fund with offices in Hong Kong and Vancouver, believes the Elevator Pitch Competition is a valuable global event in order for start-up contestants to accelerate growth by connecting with an amazing line-up of entrepreneurs, industrialists, incubators, accelerators and investors.

“Even for the rest who cannot make it to the top, they can still gain plenty of exposure through extensive marketing opportunities, some inspiration that comes from connecting with creative, like-minded individuals from around the world, and access to potential investors, collaborators and partners.

“From an investor’s perspective, we hope to see cross-pollination between local and international start-ups joining the competition as they will have expertise and networks worth sharing with each other during and after the competition, thereby strengthening the Hong Kong ecosystem.”

What investors look for in a start-up?

“Hong Kong has a pool of angel investors and venture capitalists willing to take calculated risks in start-ups, especially high-quality ones with regional and global networks and scalability. “We hope to identify potential investment and partnership,” said Fung.”

“ “It is crucial for the contestants to select key messages to impress the judge,” said Fung. “Come up with a one-liner to tell who you are. Describe the problem you are trying to tackle. How innovative is your solution? And what do you need to bring your disruptive idea to life?” Outstanding contestants should also be able to wrap up the pitch by telling the judge their valuation, market sizing, business model, and fundraising target, he added.” ”

Opportunities for Hong Kong start-ups

“The city is uniquely positioned as a springboard into Asia for global tech start-ups, including the Greater China and Southeast Asia, thanks to the bilingual environment and cultural familiarity, Fung said, adding that the many powerful research universities in the region provide a talent pool.

“As Hong Kong-based companies are increasingly open to new technologies provided by local and overseas start-ups, they are indeed an ideal launchpad and testing ground for start-ups to bring their innovations to life.” The recent change to the listing rule allowing pre-revenue biotech firms and companies with weighted voting rights structures to list in Hong Kong is seen as a watershed initiative to create an ecosystem to incubate innovation, he noted.”

About Joseph Fung

Joseph works at the crossroads of business execution and strategic development both as an investor and operator since 2002. Based in Hong Kong, Joseph manages and operates a portfolio of USD 400MM+ focusing on education, media, finance, property development, agricultural technology and clean technology. On the Canada side, he also sits on the Advisory Board of Creative Destruction Lab. He actively focuses on bringing in the public policy support from Canada and Hong Kong to help start ups successfully expand growth opportunities on an international level.

A notable responsibility includes the role of Special Advisor of Hong Kong (ABLAC) for the Asia Pacific Foundation, a think tank that directly advises Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Joseph is also the faculty advisor of the University of British Columbia, along with being a committee board member of China’s Maritime Silk Road trade initiative.

Prior to leading Saltagen Ventures, Joseph served at Citigroup Alternative Investments and at Morgan Stanley in the buy-side divisions. Thereafter, he drove the expansion of Hong Kong’s largest quad-play media company, PCCW Media, in developing their overseas content acquisition and broadcasting departments. Joseph is an alumnus of St. George’s School and Cornell University.