We’re only just catching our breath here at Garage Society after the double header of #RISEWEEK and #RISEConf
It was a pleasure to host the RISE team, pictured here beavering away at our QRC location, on the run up to the conference, and an even greater delight to see the fruits of their labor come to life as the conference dates reached ever closer.
With a little help from the ever-effervescent Casey Lau Hong Kong delivered a smorgasbord of delights with #RISEWEEK, which saw all manner of events from a Fireside Chat with RISE head honcho Paddy Cosgrave, to discussions on FinTech, IOT, Women in Tech and many more satellite events for the discerning startup faithful.
The week came to a close with Night Summit, with the Garage Team joining many others from the HK Community to lead the RISE faithful on a jaunt around LKF. Starting off in the less than salubrious surroundings of OTTO Club (probably one of the toughest bars to locate on the list!) we led our motley crew of global entrepreneurs on a tour through the belly of the beast that is LKF, finishing up at Solar, where the party (& the pitches!) really got going.
Then word began to spread that the Startup Siu Yeh party put together by Softlayer Catalyst was about to kick off at the legendary Tsui Wah Restaurant on Wellington St and the community quickly made its way to the top floor of the establishment to be greeted by a beaming Casey Lau of StartupsHK & Softlayer, a key driving force behind the buzz and excitement of the week.
As we all settled down to tuck into some HK classics it was great to see not just the startup community together as a whole but also those from farther afield who had joined in to share in the buzz and power of the moment.
Despite ending the night well past midnight is was a fresh faced Casey Lau that strode onto the stage the next morning at the HKCEC to officially open RISE alongside Paddy Cosgrave, the man being the marketing!
As we took in the conference, bumping into friends new and old, it was clear that many were reveling in the buzz and attention that had been brought to this nascent community, while others where simply enjoying the chance to mix with fellow founders, dreamers and investors from across the globe.
Attendees were also there to learn, and the demand for content was intense, with every talk, pitch & panel packed to the rafters with eager faces seeking to draw inspiration and guidance from the wealth of speakers.
We ran some of our own workshops on the Saturday, giving us a chance to really explore the goals and aspirations of those who attended, with startups from Finland to the Philippines joining in to share their journey with the Garage Team.
As the lights dimmed and the HKCEC closed its doors to the startup rabble we were left with the impression that even greater things were to come in the coming weeks, as new connections are cemented, new networks made and new investment locked down.
RISE will be back next year, no doubt bigger than ever. In the meantime we hope to channel some of the buzz into our ‘Made in HK Week', kicking off on Monday 21 September.
In partnership with our friends at General Assembly we will be showcasing some of the very best up & coming startups in Hong Kong across a number of verticals, from real estate disruptors Spacious, to forward fashion thinkers GRANA and Breakthrough HK winners Goxip and many more!