Building a global deep-tech innovation ecosystem
Hello Tomorrow announces new innovation hubs around the world, exploring local needs, trends & challenges in deep-tech innovation
Presenting 11 Hello Tomorrow local hubs & Ambassadors in Brazil, Ghana, Hungary, India, Japan, Pakistan, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, Malta and Miami.
Why an international innovation ecosystem?
We’re on a mission to empower deep-tech entrepreneurs and transfer their science & technology from the lab to the market. Deep-tech innovation knows no borders, it’s happening in every corner of the world, and it just needs to be discovered. We rely on vibrant local communities from around the globe to do that. That is why Hello Tomorrow has set-up local hubs in 11 different countries to help us understand local challenges, identify local entrepreneurs, and connect them with international innovation networks (other entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, researchers & policy-makers). As no country and no city is the same, every innovation ecosystem is tailored to local needs and local activities. That’s where our local Ambassadors come in.
What are ‘hubs’?
Hello Tomorrow hubs are a virtual or physical space for discussions and exchanges about deep-tech entrepreneurship and a future improved by advances in deep-tech, led by a team of local, on-the-ground Ambassadors attuned to their community needs. Their mission is to tap into local deep-tech networks, attract talents to local entrepreneurial opportunities, and build strong relationships with international actors. Throughout the year they organize events and local startup competitions to give a platform for entrepreneurs in their city and bring the relevant stakeholders together.
Introducing the 2018 local hubs
Scientific research is generally abundant in each of our international hubs and in many cases the government has got on board to help support these projects in the form of grants and incubation programs. The challenge is often to involve other actors, particularly corporations and investors — these connections tend to be more early-stage, for the time being! Our Ambassadors are here to change that.
Below we present some of the key activities, local needs and challenges in each of our local hubs, and introduce you to the people helping us build tomorrow’s deep-tech ecosystem — our Ambassadors!
Brazil is home to some of the best universities and research labs, but very few incentives for entrepreneurs in the field of deep tech. One of the main barriers for deep-tech entrepreneurs is funding as the business angel and venture capital ecosystem is still small compared to that of EU and North America. The fields of agricultural and healthcare were identified as having the strongest potential to ensure that as many projects would come from labs to market, as access to clean water and healthy food for a growing population are prominent issues in Brazil. In 2017 HT Brazil organised the Future of Food, bringing together Brazilian leaders in agriculture, agritech, and the consumer industry, with a local startup competition in partnership with Carrefour. Mirroring the focus from the government, and major industry players, HT Brazil will continue to focus on food & agriculture.
Fabien is the Co-Founder of WeFab, an organisation which connects the ‘maker movement’ with companies. He has been an HT Ambassador in Brazil since 2016.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Tomorrow Ghana
Ghana, as well as many sub-saharan African countries which were seen as back-benchers in technological innovation, has in recent years seen a sturdy rise in its deep-tech ecosphere. With its enormous potential and influence, governments, agencies and private stakeholders, both local and international, are determined to work together with these startups to unleash the potential of these ‘powerhouses’. However, many genuine deep-tech startups (especially in the IT and energy sectors) are currently navigating the right balance between the proper motivation, appropriate partnerships and reliable investors. This, in many ways, has impeded the rate at which the benefits of these crucial technological advances reach consumers that need them most.
During the past few years, Hungary has been investing a considerable amount of both financial and non-financial resources into the creation of a more mature startup ecosystem — this can be seen with the first big government backed incubation project being developed to be launched this spring. Automotive, financial and telecommunication products or services serve the big portion of startup innovation, with startups in these areas starting to receive global recognition (AImotive and Aero Glass). However, agriculture, food production, wellbeing and wellness are some of the fields in which Hungary has got tremendous potential for growth through innovative solutions. Other fields such as education (technologies) and healthcare need scalable solutions. There is still work to be done to transfer business knowledge to scientists and create an effective platform that connects stakeholders — involving corporations in the selection and support of early-stage startups is key — which is where HT Hungary comes in.
Dr. Istvan Csatari
An environmental scientist with over 10 years of experience working on multidisciplinary projects and a research enthusiast who is passionate about developing concepts that have meaningful application within society.
Get in touch: email@example.com
See the website: hello-tomorrow.hu
There has been a conscious effort by the government and higher education systems in India to encourage innovation from a grass-roots level, which is helping to change the lives of billions of people in rural areas of India, where the focus is mainly on the areas of agriculture, energy and mobility. Innovation hubs are increasingly starting to emerge in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Kharagpur and Pune. The government has set-up the Technology Business Incubator network, which supports innovations through grants and awards, while there is also a considerable amount of support that is starting to arrive from corporates as well. As in many other countries, finding long term investment still remains a challenge given the long period of R&D for many of these projects.
Salma Moosa & Vivek Srinivasan
Longtime HT Ambassadors, Salma and Vivek are both co-founders of Startups Club, a community platform for early stage startups which is engaged in helping startups in every single way possible.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
As has been the case in many countries, the last 5 years has seen a dynamic startup ecosystem grow in Japan too. However, despite the fact that Japan ranks one of the highest in terms of innovation, the startup ecosystem is still surprisingly small and not very deep tech focused. The recent buzz around the world has helped key stakeholders at government, corporation and investor levels to start looking for new ways to push real innovations and technologies to the market. Given the potential, this is a huge opportunity for Japan but also for international stakeholders to help very promising technologies be developed. Actors in the new deep-tech ecosystem still need a lot of training and support in order to foster the appropriate mindset for deep-tech transfer to happen.
Thanks to a comprehensive understanding of start-ups and their ecosystem, Jean-Dominique has been instrumental for the growth of startup companies in Europe and Asia (mostly Japan) as manager, shareholder, founder and advisor.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Tomorrow Malta
Malta is possibly Europe’s best kept secret. Apart from being a sun-drenched island with a vast history, the small Mediterranean island is home to a thriving economy and an up-and-coming deep-tech start-up location. With a number of generous government schemes and incentives, Malta is positioning itself as an interesting test-bed environment, primarily in the bio-tech and medical fields. With a supportive legislative and financial support framework, a number of VCs and business angel investors are currently setting up in Malta. Hello Tomorrow Malta is launching in 2018 to further catalyse the deep-tech community and to entrench collaborative efforts across different areas and sectors. It will also aim to establish itself as a reference hub for deep-tech start-ups in the Mediterranean region.
Jean Paul Fabri
JP is specialised in resilience-building strategies and was appointed as Technical Expert and Lead Consultant on national resilience building to The Commonwealth Secretariat. He developed a resilience-building framework and implemented it in nine countries across the Caribbean, Pacific and Africa. He previously served as an assistant to the former Prime Minister of Malta and to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Malta. Today, JP is the Managing Director of ARQ Economic & Business Intelligence, a boutique advisory forming part of ARQ Group and is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.
Get in touch: email@example.com
Hello Tomorrow Miami
Venezuelan-born, Yoel graduated as an Industrial Engineer before moving to the US where he obtained an MBA in Finance. Over the last few years he has been building Artificial Intelligence Strategies for Top S&P 500 companies, leading the efforts to help them transition to the new sharing economy (Blockchain/IOT).
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
In recent years the Pakistani government has invested significantly to support the infrastructural development by building incubation centers across the country, launching multiple programs to train entrepreneurs. With over 60% of the 200 million population under 30, entrepreneurship is scaling rapidly as more youth and university graduates are working towards meeting societal demands and needs through innovation and technology, and creating a positive social impact. Advances in emerging technologies in Pakistan are geared towards provision of basic needs through more efficiency and general improvement of life quality. The areas of education, healthcare and food & agriculture are a prime focus for tech entrepreneurs, however innovation in the areas of data & AI, mobility & energy will be on trend in the near future.
Hello Tomorrow Singapore
Singapore has led the charge in digital transformation within Southeast Asia and is the home of the large majority of unicorns emerging from the region. However, both the government and more forward-looking players in the ecosystem increasingly recognise how important the development of deep technology is to both Singapore and the larger ASEAN region. The country’s government shows significant support for the growth of such transformational technology and there is a small but growing number of VCs focused on deep technology investments. However, there is room for improvement in the success rate of commercialisation of such innovations. The general perception that deep tech is too risky is still apparent and general inefficiencies in the flow of resources and connection of deep-tech talent to relevant stakeholders can be improved. Singapore is ready to take regional leadership in developing transformational technologies, but needs to present the right kind of engagement for its investors, innovators and entrepreneurs in order to succeed.
Ernest heads the team at Slate Alt, which is bent on empowering transformational innovations for the betterment of humankind. He also acts as an advisor and mentor to a number of startups that are pursuing the breathtakingly new and ambitious.
Get in touch: email@example.com
Hello Tomorrow Switzerland
Switzerland is a fertile ground for deep-tech research labs and startups. The last 15 years have seen some exponential growth, with particular investment especially in pharma, biotech, medtech. Following the recent global rise of quantum technologies — with the US and China leading the game — there is now tremendous opportunity for Switzerland to catch on, as it is home to some of the leading researchers in the field. It is just a question of engaging the right players, corporations and investors to kickstart Swiss innovation in quantum technologies.
Clément is a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. An engineer and entrepreneur passionate about sciences, Clément develops, among others, quantum, photonics, nano and space technologies.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having recently held our third event in Turkey — covering the Future of Smart Cities — we have seen first hand, and been able to drive, the focus on innovative tech to solve problems for the cities of the future. Having brought together global innovators from LA, New York, London, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tel Aviv and Dubai, we witnessed the attraction of Istanbul as an international innovation hub, and the crucial connection it has been for centuries. With a transition toward wellbeing & life sciences becoming the hottest deep tech trend in Istanbul, and Turkey, we aim to combine Smart Cities and Wellbeing. Turkey is home to one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems and with a population of almost 80 million, presents a highly attractive market place for startups to prosper in.
One of our longest standing HT Ambassadors, Timur is an energy economist and entrepreneur, focusing his efforts on the creation and acceleration of a high-impact science entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey.
Get in touch: email@example.com
Are you interested in opening a Hello Tomorrow Local Hub in your country?