This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we’ve teamed up with InnoCell and HKSTP to celebrate the achievements of some of Hong Kong’s most innovative and entrepreneurial ladies.
As a female-founded company, we think every day is a day to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of women. But, we’ll always take the opportunity to shout even louder about it! This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we’re spotlighting pioneering women in tech working right here in Hong Kong. Christine So, Dr. Pui-Wah Choi and Dr. Florence Chan are names to remember — women to watch who are sure to be change-makers in the years to come.
The three work in vastly different areas of research and development but all got their start with the Incubation Programme at Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and spent time at InnoCell Co-Creation Community, which they credit as influential on their business milestones while helping facilitate a balance between life, leisure and learning.
Get a first look at InnoCell and a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes at Team Sassy, when we went out on location!
What Is InnoCell
Unless you’ve ventured out to HKSTP, you may not be familiar with InnoCell. A co-living space designed specifically for those in research, development, tech and innovation, it’s just a stone’s throw from the world-class facilities at Hong Kong Science Park. The rooms range from suites with sweeping views of Tolo Harbour to studio and twin rooms, and there are also PowerHubs that companies can use to bring teams together when focusing on intensive projects.
InnoCell zeroes in on HKSTP’s core values — work, live, play and learn — so you’ll find well-structured workspaces on every level alongside extensive leisure facilities (including a CrossFit room, fully-equipped gym and games room with the latest consoles). Plus, there are ample opportunities for residents to come together to learn new things.
Meet Christine So — Merging The Worlds Of Art And Technology
Christine So is the Co-Founder and COO of ARTBAT LIVE Limited, a tech platform that helps digital artists showcase their talent through digital art battles and monetise their IP and artwork using blockchain and AR technologies.
NFT technology has not been widely adopted just yet, so the biggest challenge is getting artists and buyers comfortable with and using non-fungible tokens. The benefit with this technology is how it helps artists track sales and share royalties and gives buyers product authentication.
Christine on life and work at HK Science Park and InnoCell
I’m on staycation every day at InnoCell. I can achieve a work-life balance and maintain holistic well-being by cooking healthy food, working out at the gym and having parties with my co-workers and friends. There’s no doubt that I’m happier at work and in my personal life, and that will lead to positive results for the business. Plus, the convenience of living near the office saves me tons of time and energy since I’m a cognitive amputee and use crutches.
InnoCell is like an extended clubhouse and my team uses the creative environment to help us think and brainstorm. We’ve also made good friends and business contacts by living in the space. I’ve met individuals with PhDs and entrepreneurs from countries such as Iran and Ghana at InnoCell. The other day, I met a new neighbour from India who invited me to try his homemade dosas.
Christine’s favourite thing about living at InnoCell…
The convenience of working from the comfort of home or in the chilled-out co-working spaces — my favourite is the outdoor terrace overlooking the sea. That, and the incidental networking opportunities — I threw a raclette party and my neighbours were so intrigued I invited them along. We became friends right away!
Meet Dr. Pui-Wah Choi — What If Your Period Could Be Used To Test For Cancer?
We all know how essential our regular health checks are but after finding out that a friend hadn’t had her pap smear out of fear of the procedure, Dr. Pui-Wah Choi, Founder of WomenX Biotech Limited decided to act.
The hypothesis — if cancer biomarkers exist on the cervix, they could also be present in the menstrual blood that passes through it. In practical terms, what if your period blood could be used to test for cancer markers?
The key to making this research happen was collecting samples through custom-made sanitary products. But after factories around the globe rejected the idea, it looked like all was lost. That is until a local mask factory came on board. It took months of trial and error but finally, Hong Kong’s first sanitary pad was rolled off the manufacturing line.
Wah on life and work at HK Science Park and InnoCell
HKSTP helps businesses like WomenX thrive with access to world-class research facilities and professional networks that facilitate collaboration between entrepreneurs, local institutions and government agencies. The success of WomenX wouldn’t be possible without the input from the HKSTP Ideation and Incu-Bio programmes.
Wah’s favourite thing about living at InnoCell…
It’s a great place for hosting company events. Last year, WomenX took advantage of the PowerHubs to stay several days and focus on a specific project. With the convenient facilities, the start-up team were able to stick to a tight schedule and reach their full potential.
Meet Dr. Florence Chan — Giving The Freedom Of Mobility To The Vision Impaired
It was seeing a visually impaired person using a cane that gave Dr. Florence Chan, Founder and CEO of AI Guided Limited, a light-bulb moment. With qualifications in mechatronic and environmental engineering, as well as a PhD in biomedical engineering, she, along with her team had the exact toolkit needed to conceive the AI technology that could help!
Florence pioneered a wearable device that uses artificial intelligence to let the user know when obstacles are in their path. It’s world-first technology that is changing lives in unprecedented ways.
Florence on life and work at HK Science Park and InnoCell
This life-changing innovation wouldn’t be possible without the support of HKSTP. It was the incubator that provided practical support in the form of funding and workspaces as well as inspiration from seasoned mentors and training opportunities.
Florence’s favourite thing about InnoCell…
The convenient location and quality of living. By removing commute time, we’ve given otherwise idle time back to product and business development while also making time to use the state-of-the-art recreation facilities.