How did Frenchies end up in Hong Kong Science Park?
One may wonder why Frenchies came all the way to HK…
Clément (pronounce: 卡莱芒 or just to bother him you can call him by his Chinese name 陳國彬!)
He has been passionate about innovation since he worked for Hewlett-Packard in Paris. After that, he provided consulting services to startups and SMEs in the region of Grenoble, known as the “French Silicon Valley”. French born Chinese (#FBC), he speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin, a valuable asset that he used to support French entrepreneurs to discover the Chinese market when he worked for the French Public Investment Bank. Now, in Hong Kong, he focuses on innovations that benefit to underprivileged communities and facilitates social innovations exchanges between France and Hong Kong through trainings.
Most importantly, he is the only one who orders chicken feet at Dim Dim Sum!
Bérénice (pronounce: 被理泥丝)
Driven by innovation and its endless opportunities, Berenice — French born French (#FBF) — spent 2 years in Paris and San Francisco in a startup developing the first connected 3D printer. There, she learnt what it takes to launch a venture. Realizing that it was not the kind of changes she wanted to fight for, she decided to move to Hong Kong to use her skills and energy to grow startups with missions she believes in.
Her uniqueness? She tries a different Chinese cookie every week!
Dinh-Long (pronounce: 龍!
Attracted by entrepreneurship and groundbreaking ideas, the French born Vietnamese (#FBV) naturally went towards innovative startups. While developing an impact assessment tool with the French startup Power:On — which brings electricity to off-grid villages in Benin, he realized that powerful ideas could have a huge positive impact. That’s why he is now craving for supporting entrepreneurs who use high technologies to solve a social or environmental issue!
Last but not least, he is the one of the team wearing African boubous!
The three of us form Le Comptoir de l’Innovation’s team in Hong Kong. Le Comptoir de l’Innovation (CDI) is a global organization that fosters a new global generation of entrepreneurs building a new economy. It also manages the first impact investment fund for green and social startups: a 100M€ fund aiming at supporting the start-ups to help them changing scale.
Through its #ImpactNetwork, the first global network of green and social startups, it gathers a rich community of 500+ start-ups worldwide. They are incubated and supported through 12 programs in 11 countries on 4 continents: Paris, San Francisco, Brussels, Casablanca, Tunis, Santiago, Austin, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Tel Aviv and… got it yet? Hong Kong of course!
New technologies at our disposal (digital, biotechnologies, robotics, artificial intelligence…) can constitute a great opportunity to re-invent a better world. They can be as many tools that will allow us working for a more inclusive economy and that will consider our planet’s environmental issues. Hong Kong is at the heart of this leading tech and digital revolution!
That’s why we chose Hong Kong to launch So In So Good!
Jockey Club Social-Tech Incubation Programme
So In So Good is ImpactNetwork’s first incubator in Asia. In order to fully integrate the HK ecosystem, CDI partnered with Hong Kong Science Park (HKSTP) — one of the major government-backed tech incubators — and Hong Kong Children and Youth Services (HKCYS), a local NGO targeting disadvantaged youth. The programme is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charity Trust. More information on our partners here!
How CDI aims to help the social-tech startups to grow
So In So Good has been spending the last few months meeting many social startups to understand their needs. The programme we designed aims to meet these expectations in order to:
1) …accelerate their business in Hong Kong.
We will analyse thoroughly which issues startups are facing as well as which skills, experience and connections their team may be lacking. Then, we will select the most suitable talents from our network to help them to grow.
👉 We connect them to potential business partners and clients;
👉 We organize one-to-one sessions with experts that have skills they lack.
The goal is to give the startups advice as specific as possible so that they can implement them right away. To select our mentors, we target entrepreneurs, as we believe they are the ones who best understand the startup spirit and can provide best practices and moral support.
In a nutshell, from helping on their SEO strategy to getting in touch with the right people in an NGO, we will leverage all our resources to help them grow!
You have experience growing in a specific field and you want to share it with some of our incubatees? APPLY TO BE A MENTOR!
2) …go global. Thanks to #ImpactNetwork, our global network of social & green incubators.
👉 We will connect them to other social entrepreneurs in a related field or in a country they want to develop in.
👉 We will provide them sponsorship to spend one month in one of #ImpactNetwork’s incubators.
Looking to expand to Paris, Tel Aviv or even Cape Town? Just join our programme! APPLY NOW!
Jockey Club Youth Training & Entrepreneurship Programme
One of our core beliefs is that social change starts from a shift of perspective and mindset from each individual in Society. Social issues are so common and plethoric that, sometimes, we just disregard them and ultimately accept them as fate. In Hong Kong, many young people expect a gloomy future, especially those who do not “fit” in the very selective educational system. Unfortunately, these “underprivileged” reckon that they cannot climb up the social ladder. We want to bring some change to this mindset.
So In So Good’s training programme is tailored to those young people. We want them to gain self-confidence and take back their fate in their own hands. As Jack Ma once said “Don’t complain, you can find opportunities”. We also believe that behind every social issue, there is an innovative solution that can be profitable.
The programme aims at providing Youth with insights on “social business” models so that they can foster change by creating or joining a social venture.
How do we achieve that?
The training is a 2-month programme dedicated to young people from 14 to 29 years old, looking for new opportunities. Partnering with HKCYS, we reach these participants in Band Three schools or in the streets during overnight outreaching interventions in Tai Po market.
The training programme encompasses a large range of workshops and activities. It is articulated around three main pillars:
👉 Raising social awareness. We make Youth aware of issues specific to Hong Kong, such as elderly, waste, or poor housing.
👉 Developing basic business knowledge: marketing, communication, business model canvas…
👉 Teaching them how to use new technologies: 3D printing, app-coding, drone-building…
The participants work in groups to enhance their sense of belonging in the society. Within a 2-month time, they will generate multiple social business ideas and learn to elaborate a business plan through a game called “Social Entrepreneurs Go” and pitch their project in front of a jury of professionals.
What’s next for them ?
The first Pitch Session was held at Science Park on August 27th. Three winner teams got the chance to join So In So Good’s 6-month pre-incubation programme at Science Park. They will benefit from weekly individual assistance, mentorship, trainings and networking activities.
All team members will have a monthly financial aid subsidy and will be eligible to a product development fund of 30,000 HKD funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charity Trust.
If eligible, the winners will eventually join Science Park and So In So Good Incubation Programme for further development.
The rest of the participants received job placement within partner social enterprises (MakerBay, Eldpathy, Rooftop Republic, and so on!) to experience how it is to be a social entrepreneur! Furthermore, a career-life planning is also arranged for those seeking for new academic or professional opportunities.
We are looking for fluent Cantonese speakers to give us a hand for our workshops with the youth, talks and classes for the pre-incubation stage and the next training session. You are a student willing to share your knowledge with the youth or a social entrepreneur who wants to help them grow their social business idea? APPLY TO BE A VOLUNTEER!