HONG KONG, 10 March 2015 – AIA Group Limited (“AIA” or the “Company”) today announced that AIA Accelerator, a 12-week programme supporting innovative business and entrepreneurs to deliver break-through technologies, has received strong interest from healthcare start-ups around the world.
The accelerator programme, the first of its kind in Asia, is a collaborative effort between AIA and Nest, a leading Hong Kong-based full-service innovation accelerator platform. The programme, launched in Asia in November 2014, aims to create opportunities for innovators to shape the future of insurance and healthcare industries. It brings domain expert providers as co-sponsors, including Amazon, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP”), InvestHK, KPMG, and Microsoft to create a holistic ecosystem for the start-ups.
The AIA Accelerator programme attracted 76 applications from 16 countries around the world. Following a rigorous application review process, eight start-up applicants have been selected for the programme. The eight selected applicants will be based in the state-of-the-art facilities at Hong Kong Science Park over the next 12 weeks. They will have access to free software, marketing exposure and training from Microsoft and Amazon, together with support and mentorship from a network of world-class specialists and experts across many industries. The eight companies will pitch their business ideas to industry leaders and investors on a Demo Day on 4 June 2015.
Mark Tucker, Group Chief Executive and President of AIA said, “As we strive to achieve our Vision to become the pre-eminent insurance company in Asia, AIA is committed to making the lives of the people we serve better by focusing on innovation across all our markets. I am proud that we have created the AIA Accelerator Programme to support entrepreneurs who have the ideas, the passion and the expertise to help improve peoples’ lives, now and into the future.”
The eight start-ups came from 13 founders with diverse backgrounds spanning areas including biotech, wearables, genomics and applied wellness regimens. The strong line-up includes university students, silicon valley veteran, award-winning engineer and scientist, to experienced entrepreneurs who have built successful start-ups.
Simon Squibb, CEO of Nest said, “This programme has brought together the best in class global brands to help the very best start-up founders in the world focusing on tomorrow’s healthcare needs. It's a one of a kind platform bringing to life the future of healthcare! ”
Allen Ma, CEO of HKSTP said, “Our vision is to build a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and technology, and hence we are committed to connecting the eight selected start-ups with
biomedical industry partners through networking events for knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of their innovations. We are deeply impressed by the efforts made by AIA and Nest on this programme. We look forward to having the eight companies reside in our Soft Landing Center at Science Park and turn their innovative technologies into life changing solutions for the community.”
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