Global Startup Weekend Artificial Intelligence (AI) 2018

    Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Global Startup Weekend Artificial Intelligence (AI) 2018

Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018

Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Tencent Westart (Hong Kong)
6/F, KOHO, 75 Hung To Road,
Kwun Tong, Hong Kong
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Techstars Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.

Global Startup Weekend is a once a year special edition of Techstars Startup Weekend where every events around the world for that weekend share one theme, and this year's theme is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Global Startup Weekend AI is a global initiative to make this vertical event more diverse, inclusive, and impactful by removing barriers. Boosting and connecting communities everywhere to organize their own SWAI and empower their ecosystems to tackle problems using AI.

Over the same 2 weekends, over 15 cities will organise a SWAI in their local community. Everyone will be connected throughout the world, with Global Mentors, facilitators & organizers.

And if we hustled and changed the codes together? It’s time for AI now, but not many people know how to use it, let alone implement it in their products. We’re bringing together great mentors to help you step it up. The world needs more vibrant deep tech startups. This can be done if we work together to build a more distributed global startup ecosystem, educated and prepared to tackle innovation’s challenges.

In just 54 hours, participants will form teams, brainstorm, design a product, validate their business idea and pitch in front of experienced judges on Sunday evening. Throughout the weekend, there will be highs and lows, frustrations and moments of triumph, but some people will meet their co-founder at the event, and some teams will even move on to start a company after the event. Win or lose, we are certain that new lessons will be learnt, ideas will be tested, limits will be pushed and lives will be changed forever.

To spice things up, we will be having a few special activities: party and warm up games on Friday night to break the ice and form your teams!! On Sat, we will be inviting awesome mentors and guests down to interact with the teams so please seek their advice and opinions! In the true spirit of Startup Weekend, we will be bringing in local startups, budding founders and cool companies to sponsor, showcase and network with you! Remember, Startup Weekend is a time for experiential learning, networking and building your personal brand!

Startup Weekend has a strong brand in Hong Kong. Globally, it has touched more than 1140 cities and its alumni consists of more than 480,000 entrepreneurs in 10 years.

It is for everyone, whether you are working corporate, building your own startup, having a career as a professional clown, a mechanic, a designer, coder or student, everyone can contribute in their own way. We are open to teams forming before the event, but we strongly recommend you to form your team on Friday night and work on an idea then. Startup Weekend is designed to embrace diversity, creating a conducive environment for anyone to turn their concepts into companies! So give it a go, you'll never know what magic can happen over a weekend!

Build your network
Startup Weekend attracts the best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.

Actually launch a business
You as a participant of this event and the presenter of your idea can join this community to actually work upon your idea and build your business under guidance and support of global, national and local supporters and collaborators. Take your idea to prototype.   

Get face time with thought leaders 
Get one-on-one time with the experienced startup community leaders and mentors. Meet and get valuable feedback from a panel of judges and startup coaches.

Join a global community 
Startup Weekend alumni span across all the continents and scores of cities.   

Startup Weekends are all about learning through the art of creating. Build your own strategy and test it as you go.

Participation Fees 
Tickets are priced at HKD$380 (Early Bird discount at HKD$280 until Oct 19 midnight) - for all the participants. This includes a beautiful t-shirt, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners, with loads of Energy drinks and snacks to keep you going all weekend long.   

Bring your friends, form a team, and hack a startup in 54 hours. 

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 30th

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 December 1st

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 December 2nd

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

Katherine Pei
Co-founder & CEO, Whatsquare

Katherine is the CEO and Co-founder of Whatsquare, an AI chatbot maker enabling “conversational commerce” for retail brands. Led by Katherine, the team has launched most successful cases for renowned global brands, including Lane Crawford, Shiseido Group, DFS, DHL, LVMH, Richemont, UNIQLO, and many more, connecting over million consumers on messengers. Founded in Hong Kong, Katherine has quickly expanded the company's footprint to Taiwan as first mover, and become official partner of Facebook bringing innovation to clients in Asia.

Before her entrepreneurship, Katherine was a seasoned communications professional in organizational affairs across finance, real estate, and retail sectors for MNCs and GOCs. Exposure to wide range of corporate initiatives lifted up her vision to streamline business operations by innovation and technology. During early stage of her startup at The Cage, an accelerator programme powered by The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Katherine has defined her focus on creating customer experience of new retail by leveraging the group's expertise and the team's unique skill set. 

Cassidy Wong
Associate, Mindworks

Cassidy is the associate of MindWorks Ventures. MindWorks Ventures is a Hong Kong based venture capital firm that invests in companies and assists founders in building technology for rapid adoption, scalability, and disruption. Over the past 1.5 year, Cassidy has screened over 500 companies, assisted in 23 portfolio companies and led 1 investment for the company. 

Before joining MindWorks, Cassidy founded a retail technology startup and worked at GF Securities. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and searching for the next world changing company.

Venus Chan
Partner Business Development Director, Microsoft

Partner Business Development Director at MicrosoftVenus is an experienced Business Development Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Having joined the IT industry for 20+ years, she has a wide alliance connection with various IT organizations.  She had been working in various roles with rich experience ranging from product marketing, sales leadership as well as partner business development.  In recent years, she has been successfully building and growing the local cloud business by developing business with new partners, in addition, she is passionate about working with long term business partners and customers to transform in this digital era and grabbing the bigger opportunities in the region.

Richard Kelly
Chief Catalyst, Fung Academy

Richard Kelly is part of Fung Academy in Fung Group and is focused on new value creation and building innovation across the group.Most recently, Richard was the Managing Director of IDEO Asia Pacific. Based in Shanghai, his role was to lead clients to realise new opportunities and build innovation capabilities through design. Clients included Coke, Samsung, TCL, VF Corp, Singapore government.  Before moving to Shanghai, Richard joined IDEO London in 2006, and was responsible for the service practice and leading clients including, Nestlé, T-Mobile, IKEA, and Alpargatas.Before joining IDEO, Richard was at Levi’s Strauss & Company for 9 yrs and ran his own brand consulting business in London and San Francisco.

Richard speaks and comments regularly on innovation and design issues and has spoken at WEF, China Entrepreneur Summit, BOAO Asia Forum and CleanTech Forum in China, Skoll World Forum and appeared in China Entrepreneur magazine, Business Watch, 21St Century Business Review and on

Coaches and Mentors

Cheney Cheng
Co-Founder, StockChat

Cheney Cheng is the co-Founder of StockChat, an instant messenger for stock discussion with chatbot which aims to build a distributed financial insight network. Prior to StockChat, Cheney was a director at Sino Capital and focusing on the venture capital investment and M&A in the technology sector. Cheney started his career in Goldman Sachs and was also a co-founder of Teach For Hong Kong. Cheney obtained a BBA in Global Business and Economics from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, with a visiting study in Harvard University and Peking University.

Cheney has a strong interest in Natural Language Process (NLP) and has been applying NLP into refining the dissemination of financial insights in StockChat’s investment community.

Verlebie Chan
Program Manager, Microsoft Greater China Region

Verlebie is working as program manager in Microsoft. She currently is focused on driving code-with motions like hackathon and sandbox projects to accelete digital transformation with indsutrial key stakeholders. She is also responsible for nurturing programs with startups, academia and open-source communities with emerging technologies like AI, Data and MR. Organized 1000+attendees events as Tech Summit 2017 and Imagine Cup Hong Kong, she is very active and passionate to tech. She is acting as the lead for Women@MS now and planning another signature event #WomenThinkNext.

Christopher Choi
Founder, Scribe Intelligence

Chris is the founder of Scribe Intelligence, a voice technology company that enables businesses to unlock data value from audio content, with an emphasis on interpreting finance and law. Scribe Intelligence is a portfolio company of Zeroth, one of the most active AI investors in the world.

Prior to founding his company, Chris was a project manager at Bloomberg, where he was in charge of the APAC region. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from London School of Economics.

B. Carolina Hoffmann-Becking
Founder, Cerebro 天慧人工智能公司

Carolina is a German Engineer who has been a Developer at Rolls Royce and consulted the largest car manufactures and suppliers in the world at Roland Berger Strategy Consulting. Following her expertise at Morgan Stanley Investment Management she joined the Management Consulting team at EY in Hong Kong combining her tech and finance background serving financial services clients with insights on how new technologies will impact their business strategy, operating model, culture and ecosystem.
She is als founder of an early stage startup - Cerebro 天慧人工智能公 - developing an AI index showcasing the applications of AI pursued by the global players in the world with a focus on China.

Jessie Chan
UX Consultant, StockChat & Product Manager, Atom

Jessie has a visual communication design background and continued her design journey as a digital product designer. She embraces human-centred design and had designed for startups, agencies and enterprises. She believes a good product is about solving unseen problems. Currently she is having fun with StockChat, a VC-backed fintech app and Atom, digital asset exchange platform. 

Dan Cariño
UX/UI consultant

Dan Cariño is a Swedish UX/UI consultant. His passion is to create products that will be useful, usable and delightful which he does by finding the users’ pain points, ideating different solutions and validating the design through testing. He has previously worked in the Korean IT company Jiransoft as their sole user researcher and later UX designer.

Victoria Duthie
Data Science Analyst, Lane Crawford

Victoria is a Data Science Analyst in Lane Crawford’s Customer Insights team with a strong focus on applying, developing and deploying predictive models within omni-channel retail.

Prior to joining Lane Crawford, she started her career in Performance Marketing then later Advertising at iProspect and Havas respectively.

Graduating from King’s College London with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Tsinghua University with a Master of Laws (LLM), she is a strong proponent of self-learning and adopting a multi-disciplinary, stakeholder-first approach in enterprise AI implementation.    

Darren Chiu
Technical Solutions Consultant, Google

Darren is currently a Technical Solutions Consultant in Google, with a focus on machine learning and data solutions for digital marketing. Prior to Google, he worked in investment banking and online media industry as a software engineer.

part from technology, Darren has a strong passion for education that he co-founded a STEM education start-up years ago, aimed at providing unique learning experiences for students. He is still actively participating in the local STEM education landscape. He is also a believer in interdisciplinary approach for solving real-world problems.

Hugo Chu
Machine Learning Architect,

Hugo is the R&D lead at Kami Intelligence, a deep tech startup specialising in Chinese NLP solutions in data-restricted environments. He builds cutting edge deep learning solutions for Natural Language Processing and Natural Language Generation.

Prior to joining Kami, Hugo was a software developer for 3 years at J.P. Morgan. He holds a Master in Computational Statistics and Machine Learning from University College London. He also holds double Bachelors in Engineering and Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with minors in Statistics and German.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Global Startup Weekend Artificial Intelligence (AI) 2018 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 Sponsor

Community Partner

F&B Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Felix
  • Maggie
  • Bronze
  • Bonnie
  • Felix
  • Susana
  • Lester


Maggie Luk
Assistant Vice President, Citi

Maggie is a banker at Citi Corporate Banking. She is responsible for reviewing corporate loan returns, project management, and strategic planning for Corporate Bank in Asia Pacific. Prior to that, she was a relationship manager at Citi for more than 5 years, covering local corporates and public sector clients. She specializes in credit analysis and financial modeling.

She has strong passion in building the startup ecosystem and fostering collaboration between startups, investors, and corporates. She has been working as a facilitator and organizer at Techstars Startup Weekend. She works with various counterparties and sponsors to promote entrepreneurship. 

Event Staff

Lok Yeung

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