Startup Weekend Circular Economy

    Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Circular Economy

Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018

Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Dream Impact
760 Cheung Sha Wan Road
Cheung Sha Wan
Kowloon, Hong Kong

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Startup Weekend Circular Economy

A weekend to create sustainable businesses and projects that will make impact on our planet.

Living sustainable is the only way forward if we want to survive as a humanity. With rapid population growth and urbanization, municipal waste generation is expected to rise to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025, according to World Bank. Can we move away from the 'take-make-dispose' linear economy and redesign our future through the circular economy, where nothing that is made becomes waste? Welcome to the first Startup Weekend Circular Economy, Sustainability and Zero Waste Edition.

It's the right place for you if you have already switched to the low waste lifestyle and want to do more as entrepreneur. It's the best place if you have a business idea ranging from a physical product or invention to a software (a mobile app) or sustainable initiative. It's a great place if you just heard about zero waste and want to learn more about recycling, repairing, composting, reusing and how to apply them to the real projects. Circular economy has so many business opportunities that are in high demand! Do you want to be part of this future?

What's different about this event?

To show that going zero waste is possible, we will make sure the entire event is a green event itself! There will be no disposables, all the food and beverages will be sourced locally, and we will used the recycled materials for work to ensure that no waste is sent to the landfill.

What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, is non-profit entrepreneurship education event that brings together innovators, marketers, developers and designers. In just 54 hours, you will meet a dream startup team, do market research, build product, and demonstrate your business in front of judges and potential investors. Come to be a hero to change the world!

Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to put your idea into action within a matter of days! 
  • get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship
  • learn the process for taking action on your ideas
  • meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs in Hong Kong
  • join or build an all-star team
  • make meaningful connections and become part of a global community
  • learn and practice new skills to take back to your job or beef up your resume

Who is Startup Weekend For?
It doesn't matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event and program that brings all sorts of people together including...
  • aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs
  • developers and other tech-related professionals
  • designers of all types
  • non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.)
  • students from universities and even high schools
  • professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills
  • and passionate visionaries
Your ticket includes:
  • Access to the full weekend-long event
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @Dream Impact
  • Mentoring by all-stars from the social impact and startup communities (be sure to check out the full)
  • Tasty meals all weekend
  • Collaboration with awesome social innovation professionals from throughout Hong Kong
  • All-star judge's panel lead by startup and social innovation leaders
  • Membership in the Startup Weekend Community (>200K alumni)
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days
Do I need to come with an idea?
If you have an idea for a startup, then great! We hope you pitch for the weekend. If you don't have an idea, that's quite alright! Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something piques your interest! The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other. If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Join us for an awesome weekend!

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday September 28th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday September 29th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday September 30th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Adam Broadbent
Co-Founder & CEO at ZuBlu

Discover Asia's most exciting dive destinations, exceptional experiences and inspirational resorts, from the world’s leading sustainable dive travel company.

At ZuBlu, we make it our job to find incredible destinations and resorts that offer that little bit extra - ones that have stunning diving and amazing services of course, but also a unique location perhaps, some amazing jungle trekking nearby or a great yoga teacher on site. Why? Because these are the places we want to experience ourselves. We see it as our responsibility to track down and share these once-in-a-lifetime experiences with you, our guests.

Our unique platform allows you to search for your next underwater adventure that is tailored to your preferences - when you want to go, what you want to see, what you want to do - the power of discovery is in your hands!

Cesar Harada
Founder & Director of MakerBay

Founder of MakerBay | Environmentalist, inventor and educator. Cesar Jung-Harada is a French-Japanese who believes that nature, human and technology can coexist in harmony. Currently based in Hong Kong, he is the Director of Scoutbots, Makerbay, CEO and creator of Protei, a revolutionary sailing technology.

Cesar has dedicated his life to explore and protect the ocean with open technologies. He received his Master of Arts in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London where he won the Ars Electronica Golden Nica with his Master graduation project.

Additionally, Cesar is a TED Senior Fellow, a former MIT Project leader, IBM Figure of Progress, Shuttleworth foundation and Ocean Exchange grantee and recipient of Hong Kong StartMeUp Grand Award in 2014. 

Sonalie Figueiras
Founder & CEO, Green Queen & Ekowarehouse

Sonalie Figueiras is the founder and editor-in-chief of Green Queen, Hong Kong's largest eco wellness media platform, advocating for social & environmental change using original, inspiring Asia-centric content and the founder and CEO of Ekowarehouse, the global sourcing platform for certified organic products created with a mission to make organic farming accessible & affordable for the whole planet. With over a decade of experience in publishing, SEO, digital marketing, organic trade and health journalism, she is a eco wellness industry veteran with a keen eye for market trends and a regular on the speaking circuit, sharing her expertise on stages across Asia and beyond. Sonalie also recently launched a podcast series about the Zero Waste Movement in Hong Kong to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the circular economy. When she is not working, Sonalie is usually dreaming up new plant based recipes in the kitchen for her family. 

Coaches and Mentors

Sole Riestra
Director & Founder at COMMIT & Ecoed Life

With more than 13 years of experience in the areas of HR and Organisational Development, as an independent consultant, I specialize in organisational change, leadership and diversity & inclusiveness

Holding myself a very culturally diverse profile – argentinian by origin, I have lived, studied and worked in my home country and around Latin America, as well as Europe and Asia – I have built and developed an international practice participating in projects and undertaking managerial roles in various multinational companies, across the globe. My consultancy services are end-to-end: from programme design to facilitation and delivery, both in English and Spanish. 

I have completed an MSc (Hons) in Sustainability and Responsibility and I am currently undertaking a Doctorate programme in organisational change at Ashridge-Hult, focusing my research on organisations as living systems and the corresponding cultural and behavioural change required to transition to post conventional ways of being and working that have a positive impact on people and planet. 

Raphaël De Ry
Founder of Edgar and Apis Cerana Limited

Raphael De Ry is an entrepreneur and owner of Edgar, an organic bulk food store in Hong Kong. The shop encourages customers to bring their own containers to cut down on unnecessary packaging and to reduce the carbon footprint.Originally from Switzerland, Raphael is one of the most prominent game changers in town.

Paola Cortese
Co-Founder at Zero Waste Life

Paola Cortese-D’arcy is a Zero Waste coach and certified Climate Reality Leader. She is currently the only zero waster living in Hong Kong who has successfully reduced all her household waste in one year to 289 grams. 

Paola is the Co-Founder of Zero Waste Life - a startup educating the need for a waste free environment by practicing the Zero Waste lifestyle, guided by the highest standard of sustainability today - the Circular Economy standard. 

Zero Waste Life aims to equip future eco-warriors with the skills and resources needed to live a truly sustainable lifestyle in modern, urban environment in Asia. 

Akshay Bajaj
Venture Capitalist, Co-Founder of "Learning Together - Things That Can Happen"

Akshay has been working with early stage startups across Southeast Asia with Susquehanna International Group as a venture capitalist. In this role, he has seen many business models and tracked and analysed how companies evolve to find their product market fit. Akshay has also supported several companies in their growth and scaling strategies across the region, understanding the challenges companies face in localising their offering and sustaining their competitive edge. In addition to his work as a VC, he is a member of the Global Shapers and works on human rights and diversity-related issues in Hong Kong.

Frederik Goossens
UX Manager at HSBC

Frederik is a technical and creative thinker with years of experience in user experience design, user research, and business analysis. With a Masters of Science degree in Commercial Sciences, he is also a certified UX designer and product owner. Frederik has experience working on/for large organizations such as BT, Westpac, HSBC, and Manulife, and he has enjoyed working throughout the world in Belgium, UK, Australia, and Hong Kong.

Alexandra Foster
Founder & CEO, ACF Clothing Ltd

The founder of A.C.F, Alexandra Foster is an Australian national who moved to Hong Kong in March 2016 to start-up A.C.F Clothing Limited. As the C.E.O of the company, Alexandra directs business development and day-to-day management including bookkeeping, fundraising, networking, managing and hiring staff. She is also the Creative Director of the brand, designing & developing each collection, managing production and sales. 

Her resume includes high-level education at Geelong Grammar School, a Degree in Business & Degree in Design from Swinburne University and 10 years experience managing SME businesses in the Fashion Industry in Australia and Hong Kong. Alexandra has been working in Fashion since 2008 in a diverse series of positions preparing for owning her own Fashion brand. Mastering positions in retail, wholesale, PA to directors, designing, production, operations, warehousing, bookkeeping & graphic design.

Fun Fact: Alexandra’s Great Aunt was King Farouk of Egypt’s dressmaker!

Vince Siu

Currently on an exhilarating journey exploring the world through games and unlocking the potential of games with Press Start Hong Kong, and leading the Greater China expansion for Level Up Village, an exciting ed-tech startup with a mission to globalize the classroom via pioneering Global STEAM curricula.

Fanny Moritz
Founder & CEO at NO!W No Waste

For the past 15 years, I always had a passion for developing and designing websites. When I arrived in Hong Kong in 2011, I've decided to start my own company NETPOM Web Agency. I since worked for top brands all over the world (Ladurée, Havas, Paul, H&M, Pastis etc.).

Late 2015, I have become focused on a Zero Waste Lifestyle working towards producing less waste. I didn't find any reusable or compostable products to start my challenge. I then decided to build NO!W No Waste, an e-shop which sells all the essentials to reduce your daily waste.

Caroline Liew
Packaging Manager & Asia Process Lead, Woolworths Group Asia

I've been working in the fast-paced retail industry for over 15 years with exposure across marketing, product development, packaging & more recently sustainability.  What I enjoy most about working in a corporate/retail sustainability is the challenge and importance of understanding multiple perspectives – you’re constantly caught between delivering what customers want, corporate responsibilities, financial targets and creating points of difference.  Responsible consumption and production is currently a huge focus for all global retailers; hence I believe the demand for sustainable innovation is only just in its infancy and will continue to grow and develop over the next decade.  

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Circular Economy 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.

Venue Partner

Event Partner


Community Partner

Organizing Team

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

  • Aigul
  • Felix
  • Emily
  • Caroline


Felix Wong
Community Manager, Greater China at Techstars

Felix is a young entrepreneur who believes that actions speak louder than words. He is the Community Manager of Greater China at Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Since 2015, he has facilitated over 40 Techstars Startup Programs in Hong Kong.

Previously, He was the Growth Manager at The Wave, a vibrant community for startups and was a Co-founder and Analytics Director of Cloudbreakr, an Ad-tech startup, focused on social media analytics and influencer marketing. He graduated from The University of Bath in Mathematical Science and received a master degree in Marketing from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

He is deeply involved in helping both young founders and the startup community thrive. He always put forward new ideas if only more time to implement them. In his spare time he loves playing football, cooking pasta and transform his imaginations into reality by Lego.

Event Staff

Bronze Leung
Operations Coordinator of Greater China, Techstars

Bronze Leung is the Operations Coordinator of Greater China, Techstars

Floris Vermeulen
Founder of Better Than Flower | Business Development Manager at Key2Cell

Founder of BetterThanFlowers,  Startup Weekend Organizer & SW winner & Entrepreneur & Startup Enthusiast

Sherman Yeh

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