#propUP program

    Monday, July 16 - October 5, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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#propUP program

Monday, July 16 - October 5, 2018

Monday, July 16 - October 5, 2018
Event starts at 2:00 pm

Tencent WeStart
Level 6, KOHO
75 Hung To Road
Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

Register Now

MTR opening doors for Startups

#propUP is a Techstars startup program powered by MTR. It is an intensive 8-week program driven by mentors and rooted in Customer Development methodology. 

#propUP Program is intended for companies that are developing innovative products and services that can enhance the customer experience, safety, and performance of the shopping malls owned and operated by MTR, in the following two categories:      

Innovative technology - services and product that will enhance the customer experience
  • Service and experience to generate "new" patronage fro shopping malls (e.g. Store Analytics, Point of Sale, Personalization, In-Store Experience, AI, big data analytics, etc.)
  • Service and technology to differentiate MTR malls from other shopping malls (e.g. Retail AR, IoT, self-service concierge by Robots/indoor navigation/AI video monitoring or customer service, etc.)
Innovative technology - services and products that will enhance safety, and operation performance of shopping malls
  • New technology that can enhance performance of MTR operational asset (e.g. Sustainable products & services; Prevention of pollution (air, water & waste); Sustainable resource use (resource efficiency & water use); 
  • New technology that can enhance safety of MTR colleagues/customers/tenants (e.g. OH&S training utilising AR/VR)    

Startups are challenged to: 
  • validate their assumptions, 
  • search for a repeatable and scalable business model, 
  • and work with MTR Properties on a proof-of-concept. 
The program is designed in such a way that founders are able to continue building their product since it's a part-time program, that consists of 4-hour weekly sessions for 2 and 6 weeks. The program is free of charge and no equity is taken.

Applications are now closed!

Program Overview
  • 15 May - Application Opens
  • 23 May - Online AMA: Learn More About The Program. Watch the replay HERE
  • 6 July - Online AMA: Last opportunities to ask us questions about the program before the application closes!
  • 13 July - Application Closes
  • 19 July - Announcing the winning startup teams!!
  • 26 July - First Session at @Tencent Westart
  • 4 Oct (TBC) - Public Demo Day
Proof-of-Concept (POC) Stage
POC discussion has started super quick in the same week after the competition and 2 MTR mentors are assigned to each team to facilitate the process. We are delighted to announce our 5 finalists:

Acoustic Metamaterials, (
www.metacoust.com) World’s most efficient sound absorbing technology
HM Environmental Technologies Ltd, (hm-envirotech.com) Green initiatives for a more sustainable future
MobiJuce, (www.mobijuce.com) Make your life easier and juicer
Oxpecker Labs, (www.oxpeckerlabs.com) A wearable lab for everyone
Stamplet, (stamplet.tech) Turning all your receipts into exciting rewards

About MTR
With an average weekday patronage of about 5.8 million passengers, MTR is regarded as one of the world's leading railway operators for safety, reliability, customer service and cost efficiency.  
MTR is also involved in the development of residential and commercial projects, property leasing and management. MTR aims to be an industry leader in creating integrated communities for Hong Kong citizens, with 13 shopping malls in the portfolio and managing over 96,000 residential units.

About Techstars
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. From inspiration to IPO, Techstars exists to empower the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey by providing a global ecosystem made up of tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners. Techstars’ purpose is embedded in its give first, entrepreneur-centric approach. Every decision that Techstars makes is carried out with the best interest of the entrepreneur in mind. 

Contact us: 


Tuesday May 15th

2:00 pm
Applications Are Open!
Apply on f6s at http://bit.ly/applypropup Have any questions? Reach out to propup@startupweekend.org

Wednesday May 23rd

6:30 pm
Online AMA
AMA (Ask Me Anything) "Learn More About The Program" Watch the replay here: http://bit.ly/propupworkshop

Tuesday May 29th

7:00 pm
"How can startups work with corporations?" View pictures on Facebook: facebook.com/StartupWeekendHK

Friday July 6th

5:00 pm
Online AMA sessions
Your last opportunity to ask us questions in real time before the application closes. You may register to join the session here: https://goo.gl/forms/6eyhMmNDgiiksMtC2

Friday July 13th

10:00 pm
Applications Close
Don't wait the last minute to apply! Get started and reach out, we want to help :) http://bit.ly/applypropup

Thursday July 19th

12:00 am
Finalist Announcement !
Woohoo! We will be announcing the selected 10 startups on this day!!! Please check your F6S to know if your startup has been selected.

Thursday July 26th

1:30 pm
Welcome to #propUP! Feeling awesome? You should. This is the 1st session for startups to understand the program, resources and get excited!

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #1
We make you work! Pitch us your project and get feedback from mentors and peers.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR Deep Dive
Mentors and executives from MTR will present you some of their best insights!

Thursday August 2nd

1:30 pm
Session 2
Listen and interact with a mentor sharing his experience at pitching. You will learn key insights on conveying your message to investors.

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #2
Now it's your turn to pitch! What have you worked on since last week, how can we help?

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR Deep Dive
Mentors and executives from MTR will present you some of their best insights!

Monday August 6th

2:45 pm
Competition Day
Registration, Networking and Startup Exhibition

3:15 pm
Competition Day
Welcome Speech, Introduction to #propUP and Group Photo time

3:30 pm
Competition Day
Selected team will be pitching in front of a curated group of mentors, executives, and investors. From there, we will select up to 5 startups that will continue to the Proof of Concept phase.

5:00 pm
Competition Day
Judging panel discussion and announcing the winning teams entering the POC stage

5:30 pm
Competition Day
Networking Time

Thursday August 9th

1:30 pm
Session 3
Meet and get paired with your lead mentor!

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #3
You have 5 minutes (and no slide!) to pitch your project. Get constructive feedback from mentors and your peers.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend face time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR Proof-of-Concept
You will work with MTR mentors and executives towards getting a proof-of-concept off the ground with them! How fast can you go?

Thursday August 16th

1:30 pm
Session 4
Learn from a mentor what Product/Market Fit is and how you can achieve this quickly with your team.

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #4
You have 5 minutes (and no slide!) to pitch your project. Get constructive feedback from mentors and your peers.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend face time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR PoC Update
Work towards getting the Proof-of-Concept going.

Thursday August 23rd

1:30 pm
Session 5
Learn and practice from a mentor how you can improve your Customer Discover process and get skilled at interviewing your customers.

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #5
You have 5 minutes (and no slide!) to pitch your project. Get constructive feedback from mentors and your peers.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend face time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR PoC Update
Work towards getting the Proof-of-Concept going.

Thursday August 30th

1:30 pm
Session 6
Learn from mentors how they grow their startups and get hands on practices to scale your business.

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #6
You have 5 minutes (with slides!) to pitch your project. Get constructive feedback from mentors and your peers.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend face time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR PoC Update
Work towards getting the Proof-of-Concept going.

Thursday September 13th

1:30 pm
Session 7
Interact with mentors as they share how they were able to work with investors and raise money.

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #7
You have 8 minutes (with slides!) to pitch your project. Get constructive feedback from mentors and your peers.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
Spend face time with mentors from MTR and the community.

4:30 pm
MTR PoC Update
Work towards getting the Proof-of-Concept going.

Thursday September 20th

1:30 pm
Session 8
Full on practicing your pitch, refining the content and delivery. Plus of course, a big celebration of the journey thus far. You deserve it!

2:30 pm
Pitch Practice #8
10 minutes with slides! Your last chance to get feedback from everybody, make it count.

3:30 pm
Mentor Time
It's time to wrap up, who will you stay in touch with?

4:30 pm
MTR PoC Update
Work towards getting the Proof-of-Concept going.

Thursday September 27th

1:00 pm
(Remote) Presentation Feedback
Get one-on-one feedback for the presentation from the program facilitator before the demo day!

Wednesday October 3rd

12:00 pm
Internal Demo Day @MTR
Get maximum visibility within MTR, pitch in front of top executives and managers and get them to support your projects!

Friday October 5th

4:00 pm
Public Demo Day - By Invitation
Pitch in front of mentors, investors, and guests. That's your opportunity to get all the support you need to make your startup the next big thing!

Event Judges

David Tang Chi-Fai
Property Director at MTR

Mr Tang joined MTR in August 2004 and become the Property Director and a Member of the Executive Directorate since October 2011. He is responsible for all of the property development projects of the Company in Hong Kong from layout planning, scheme design through to project construction completion, as well as asset and leasing management of investment properties (including shopping malls and offices) and property management of office buildings and residential units.

Mr Tang is a chartered surveyor and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors. He is a non-executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority of the HKSAR Government. Mr Tang holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Quantity Surveying from the University of the West of England (formerly Bristol Polytechnic) in the United Kingdom.

Denise Kee
General Manager, Learning and Organization Development at MTR

Denise Kee is a seasoned general management professional. Her current job is General Manager - Corporate Strategy at MTR Corporation, and is accountable for the Group’s strategy and has responsibilities over innovation initiatives. Prior to this role, Denise has worked in other management jobs in the field of audit, finance, communication, engineering and project management. Denise possesses degrees in engineering and business administration, is a Certified Internal Auditor and a Chartered Engineer.

Denise has interests over education and development of young people. She enjoys being a mentor, both internally for the MTR Corporation and for undergraduate students for the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She  is also the vice-chair of the Council of Island School, an international co-educational secondary school that is part of the English School Foundation.

Coaches and Mentors

Bosco Leung
Senior Corporate Strategy Manager at MTR

With his current role as the Senior Corporate Strategy Manager, Bosco is leading the development of innovation process in the business and also provides support on strategic decisions of the corporate. He has previously rotated to various divisions in MTR including Operations, Commercial & Marketing and Mainland China & International Business. He was seconded to UK office for 1.5 years before taking up current position.

Bosco is interested in developing a community of innovators in MTR & exploring new collaboration models between corporate & startups. He has organized Global Innovation Exchange and Innovation bootcamp in MTR and he was a mentor in both Hacktrain UK and Hacktrain HK. In his free time, he loves trying something new and explores the natural beauty and serenity of countryside.

Matthieu Bodin
Regional Manager for Greater China - Techstars Startup Programs

Firm believer in Startup Weekend’s motto “All Action, No Talk”, Matthieu has been organising these events in Hong Kong since 2012. It aims at creating the perfect context for total strangers to create a startup within 54 hours. 

He is the Regional Manager Greater China for Techstars Startup Programs.
He is co-founding anekdote.co and olea.store

Guillermo Ginesta

Guillermo has  over 10 years’ experience in Innovation and Digital Transformation. He’s worked with a number of startups as an advisor/consultant and with large corporations and multinationals pushing innovation and driving digital strategies. He currently runs the INFINITI LAB Accelerator program globally. Past experience includes INFINITI Motors, Oregon Scientific, Speedo, Lacoste, Ted Baker, Cosme De Net, as well as sitting on the Board of Directors for the Chilean Chamber of Commerce and being on the Advisory Board of a number of not-for-profit organisations, like AARAMBH India. He has worked with over 50+ startups and is an active Angel Investor. Guillermo has a BSc in Management (hons) and a Masters’ degree, MSc Marketing & Strategy, all from the University of Warwick. When not found working with startups and founders, he can be seen hiking around Hong Kong with his crazy dog.

Romain Aubert
La French Tech Hong Kong & Shenzhen Manager

Romain currently works for the international team of French Tech Mission, a government-led task force built to bolster the French Tech ecosystem. He used to work as a consultant in Marketing, Business Development, and Finance for startups and also large corporation such as Jaguar Land Rover on innovation ventures.
In his spare time, he enjoys writing about privacy and startups. In a previous life, he worked as an investment analyst for a USD 8 billion investment funds and also had a short career at sea as a skipper.

Jens Wernborg
Co-Founder & Partner at Ripple Effect Consultancy

Jens has over 20 years’ experience of doing business in Hong Kong, China and India across a wide range of industries.   He has been passionate about IT since he got his first computer in the mid 80’s. In the 90’s he built websites while at university.   Jens has worked with companies to successfully increase sales, save costs through purchasing and outsourcing, establish local presences, recruit and train staff and use digitalization to improve their productivity since he moved to Hong Kong in 1998 during the Dot-Com era.   Jens is a co-founder of a startup in Hong Kong since 2016, and he is working closely with startups such as Wycore from Sweden and Entersoft Security from India and Australia.   Jens is also the co-director of Startup Grind in Hong Kong.

Belinda Esterhammer
Founder, Director & Chairwoman – Springboard Group at NextGen Women Network

Belinda is the founder of Springboard Group, an integrated marketing agency bridging traditional and millennial thinking to drive new and innovative approaches. Prior starting Springboard, she led high-profile marketing campaigns for EY’s female entrepreneur program and worked in marketing across many sectors around the world including time at UNICEF Philippines.

A tech enthusiast with international experience she empowers people to become innovators and entrepreneurs by organizing startup weekends and she is a passionate advocate for female mentoring and founded the NextGen Women Network (NWN), a non-profit mentoring network for high school and university girls in Hong Kong. Belinda holds a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship & Tourism and sits on the committee of TEDxTinHauWomen, Asian University for Women and ICON (formerly APSMA) and is a co-host for #impact.

Louisa Zhang
Vice President at Vectr Ventures

Louisa is the VP of Growth at Vectr Ventures, a HK based venture capital firm focusing on early stage investing, focusing on portfolio management, business development and growth. Previously as the city launcher for Memebox, a series C e-commerce startup, she has experience working with startups to define go-to-market strategy, growth plans, marketing and operations, as well as team building. Professional web surfer, DIY/arduino fanatic, swimwear designer; with a passion for technology, entrepreneurship, maker tinker.

Sabrina Yang
Chief Operating Officer, NOSH

Hailing from the historical city of Xi’an, Sabrina Yang moved to Hong Kong over a decade ago and began her career as a Management Trainee at The Bank of East Asia. Her drive for continual self-improvement led to her involvement with Launchpilots, a millennial marketing startup, where she headed business development and operations. In 2017 Robin8 acquired Launchpilots. Currently, Sabrina is the COO of NOSH, an Alibaba-funded health and wellness food brand that encourages people to eat smarter through its O2O food concept and nutrition tracking technology. In her spare time, Sabrina enjoys cooking, weightlifting and coaching people based on their MBTI personalities.

Giovanna Melfi
Founder & Managing Director at Metamorphosis Biz

Giovanna Melfi is the founder and managing director of Metamorphosis Biz, a
consultancy that transforms businesses into more creative, efficient, adaptable and
profitable versions of themselves.
She specialises in helping companies form talented and dynamic teams, transition
into the digital world and provide an engaging customer journey.
Born in Italy and based in Hong Kong, Giovanna has more than 20 years’
management experience with top luxury brands around the world, such as Marc
Jacobs, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, Saint Laurent, Gucci and Prada.
She holds certificates in Digital Communication from the MIT Sloan School of
Management and in Orchestrating Winning Performance from IMD Business School,
and now serves as vice president of IMD’s Hong Kong alumni club. Passing on her
knowledge, she mentors entrepreneurs through various programmes, such as
Techstars’ StartupWeekend, and speaks at City University’s School of Creative
With a passion for female empowerment, Giovanna has led Girl Guides groups since
she was young, and currently mentors high school students in the Next Generation
Women Network. She is also an executive committee member of the British
Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong’s Women in Business community and is part
of the Hong Kong Mentorship Steering Committee for the Asian University for
When she is not consulting, she is usually found playing tennis, sailing, or enjoying
a perfectly brewed espresso from her favourite café.

Jonah Lau
Co-founder and CTO at Clickful

Jonah is Co-founder and CTO of Clickful, an AI-powered online advertising assistant for businesses, where he leads product management and engineering. Prior to Clickful, he was Solutions Architect and Product Manager at Delivery Republic, a Hong Kong based B2B food delivery technology company where he built the company’s real-time delivery motorcycle fleet management system, with clients including KFC and McDonalds. He was also Product Development Manager at Dragon Law (now Zegal) and Software Engineer at South China Morning Post. Jonah has a diverse range of commercial and technology experience, ranging from startups to large enterprises. In addition to his experience in technology, Jonah is also a qualified corporate lawyer with 5 years of experience in advising enterprises in IPOs, fundraisings and corporate restructurings.

Brice de Matharel
B2B Tech Entrepreneur

I am a B2B tech entrepreneur, driven by client satisfaction and effective internal coordination. I believe that education will more and more come from corporates and last way beyond university. Co-founder 2 companies from scratch, currently re-inventing corporate training through micro-learning mobile programs.

Fion Leung
CEO & Co-founder at Time Auction

Fion Leung is the Co-founder of Time Auction, a tech-enabled charity that encourages volunteerism with inspiring experiences. Started as a side project in 2014, Time Auction quickly gained traction among generous donors and young adults. Time Auction became a registered charity in Hong Kong in early 2017 with Fion dedicating herself full-time to the charity and is now leading the international expansion, operations, and continuing the mission to make volunteering a fulfilling and vital part of people’s lives. Prior to Time Auction, Fion was Product Evangelist at a media startup, Notey, and Analyst at Barclays after graduating from HKUST with a degree in Business Administration.

Andrew Chen
Managing Partner at Arion Ventures

Andrew H. Chen is Managing Partner of Arion Ventures. Arion Ventures is a strategic advisory firm that provides various management consulting services including private placements and strategy consulting. He also currently lectures a graduate course on emerging technology and entrepreneurship part-time at the Multimedia Innovation Centre in the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also a member of the board of advisors of Ampd Energy, a venture backed energy storage company based in Hong Kong. Prior, Andrew was the Founder and CEO of Menuscript, a cloud based omnichannel digital menu platform that also functioned as a mobile/desktop website and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for restaurants. Previously he also worked as a corporate consultant for 4 years, where he worked with a wide range of organisations to solve strategic issues. Through his engagements he has worked with early stage ventures, Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, non-profit organisations, and social enterprises. Prior to this Andrew has also founded numerous other entrepreneurial ventures. Andrew grew up in Toronto, Canada, is a graduate of University of Toronto where he graduated with high distinction and currently has resided in Hong Kong for 12 years. In his spare time he volunteers within various causes focused on education and social services and mentors recent graduates and current students.

Pauline Cheung
Program Coordinator at Greater Bay Ventures

Hailing from Toronto, Pauline isn’t sorry about being Hong Kong. Passionate about grassroots development and nurturing the social fabric of community, she is active in the Hong Kong entrepreneurial sphere. Mettā Catalyst, Hong Kong Girl Guides Hibiscus District Commissioner, and avid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner outside of her regular 9-5, Pauline is deeply rooted in the Hong Kong community and works towards growing and sharing this network.

Alexander Chan
Co-Director at The Mills Fabrica

Alexander Chan is currently the Co-Director of The Mills Fabrica- a leading Hong Kong based incubator, fund and space/ lab dedicated towards promoting innovations and sustainable businesses at the intersection of technology and style (“techstyle”). Alexander currently leads investments (Fabrica Fund) and also helps with incubation support and government/ policy related affairs at Fabrica.   Alexander is also an occasional contributor to SCMP, HKFP and Stand News in Hong Kong where he writes on issues related to innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability.  

Frederick Ng
Analyst at Click Ventures

Frederick is currently an Analyst and Project Lead at Click Ventures, a Seed to series A global VC fund investing in start ups that accumulate digital assets. He is involved in all aspects of investment and operation at Click Ventures. Prior to Click Ventures he was a Fellow at Fresco Capital, a global education technology and health care VC. He began his career with the Institutional Sales team at Goldman Sachs advising APAC financial institutions on fund investments. As a blockchain enthusiast, Frederick has co-authored an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) guide to help start ups navigate the evolving ICO landscape, and adjudicated at global blockchain related start up competition. Frederick holds a BSc in Economics and Economics History from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Oko Davaasuren
Regional Director at Techstars

Oko (Full name: Bat-oktyabri Davaasuren, Даваасүрэн овогтoй Бат-октябрь) is an active founder and a community builder. He has cofounded and helps run several startups in Asia. Oko has received a bachelors degree in Finance from Portland State University before continuing onto a masters degree in Engineering Technology Management but decided to return home to Mongolia. He then received his MBA in Mongolia. When he is not working, he can be found on Squash courts or on long-haul Motorbike rides in Asia.

Michael Au
Senior Manager, Acceleration Programmes at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

Michael is a seasoned business and operation professional. He possesses over 10 years of experience in the ICT field and startup ecosystem, particularly expert in business & revenue modelling and operations optimisation. Michael has previously led teams of brand building, customer acquisition and market expansion, locally and regionally. Steering the Acceleration Programmes, Michael now leads to coach the 20+ high-growth startups in Hong Kong in business development and anchor client building. He is also responsible for spearheading the partner engagement initiative to bring in resources and support, including the new marketing professional panel with top-notch marketing & PR firms. HKSTP’s Acceleration Programmes consists of Leading Enterprises Acceleration Programme (LEAP) and Global Acceleration Academy (GAA), where LEAP is an ultra-tailored programme with one goal in mind - to turn elite startups into regional or global tech giants, and GAA aims to help startups validate their concept and product with leading corporates through HKSTP’s network.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The #propUP program team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

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Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Hong Kong is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

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