|Frederick Fu (right), president, Avnet Asia Pacific, presenting the cash prize to the EPiC Champion. (From left to right: Albert Wong, chief executive officer, HKSTP; Professor Cheah Kok-wai, Department of Physics, Hong Kong Baptist University; Alfred Tan, director, Cathay Photonics Limited; Fanny Law, chairperson, HKSTP; Frederick Fu, President, Avnet Asia Pacific)|
Frederick Fu, Avnet's Asia Pacific president, had the privilege to be one of the judges to evaluate innovative pitches by 100 startups in a 60-second elevator ride up the International Commerce Centre, hosted by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP).
At the Angel x Angel Conference, Frederick was joined by a venture capitalist and financial investor to share insights and advice on the support needed, and the critical fundaments for early stage tech companies to overcome their challenges and grow these startups into successful businesses.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic in the technology industry and startups. Avnet presented its LPWAN capabilities at this event, including Sigfox, LoRa, and NB-IoT among others. Avnet's ecosystem provides solutions that connect technology from components to devices, services and platforms.
Frederick Fu said, "The startup community is not afraid to reinvent the wheel to bring in a new wave of innovation and trends. But they are often challenged by the lack of resources and financial support in getting their products to market. At Avnet, we have invested resources for makers to develop the connected ecosystem to help startups become the next unicorn. Avnet has a large customer base of startups, which we have guided and supported at every stage of their product lifecycle to turn their designs to production."
"The Hong Kong government and organizations such as HKSTP actively promote the development of startups. With Avnet's expertise and capabilities, together with partners like HKSTP, we nurture entrepreneurs and technopreneurs. Avnet is committed and will support Hong Kong in becoming one of the world's top startup cities," he added.
"The challenges faced by technology startups have become more complex over time. Apart from technological innovation, they need to develop a viable business model to support their sustainable growth. As a leading institution that takes innovation and technology advancement to our heart, HKSTP will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders like Avnet to create a favorite and vibrant ecosystem for the startups to turn their ideas into reality. EPiC, supported by Avnet, is a great testimonial of our joint determination to help startups thrive and grow," said Albert Wong, CEO, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation.
From providing a community platform to the know-how, Avnet's design and supply capabilities, coupled with its global line card presence, bring prototypes to volume production. The addition of Premier Farnell (including its element14 community) and Hackster.io last year expanded Avnet's reach to an active community of more than 750,000 entrepreneurs, makers and engineers worldwide, and broadened its portfolio of design tools and technical solutions as well as 24/7 e-commerce expertise. Through its Dragon Innovation business it is simplifying the manufacturing process -- helping customers understand manufacturing costs and schedules, find factories and manage production as they scale their businesses, particularly in projects advancing the Internet of Things (IoT). These initiatives are all underpinned by Avnet's electronic components and design and supply chain capabilities encompassing the entire cycle from idea to finished product.
More recently, Avnet and Dragon Innovation partnered Kickstarter to launch Hardware Studio, which helps hardware creators plan ahead for manufacturing before they launch on Kickstarter.