A new Make a Difference (MaD) Venture Fellows Programme is now inviting applications from innovative and high-impact entrepreneurs who are based in Asia or are interested in establishing links with Asia.
“We seek to celebrate and support do good and do well ventures. The MaD Venture Fellows Programme will be of interest to entrepreneurs who are looking for investors, partners, networks and market opportunities to take their businesses to the next level,” said Rachel Chan, the Convenor of the programme.
MaD ventures could be from early to growth stage, with at least one year of track record. The founder should be 35 or below at the time the venture was established.
“We are interested in ventures that can bring about economic, social and/or environmental benefits alongside financial returns in diverse sectors, from environment/energy, health care/biotech/wellness, education/life long learning to technology that enhances productivity and connectivity. We also welcome participation from ventures that develop happy work force, deliver superb customer service and manage a socially responsible supply chain,” Rachel Chan explained.
“We look for entrepreneurs who are ‘mad’ enough to change the world in a big way. Whether you call yourself a social entrepreneur is not important. What we really care about are the Purpose, Innovation and Impact of the venture, as well as the viability and scalability of the business model,” she added.
The MaD Venture Fellows will be invited to attend a 4-day programme in Hong Kong from 24-27 January to meet potential investors and parnters, identify growth opportunities for their ventures and discover what Hong Kong can offer, learn how to scale from experts, network with other MaD fellows and the entrepreneur and business communities there. They can also attend the 2013 MaD Forum and get inspried from some 20 cool change makers from around the world. (For a taste of the MaD Forum, watch this video: http://www.mad.asia/hk/n-be-inspired/n-videos/mad-2012/mad-2012-highlights)
A highlight of the programme is the MaD Ventures Salon on 25 Jan 2013, where the MaD Venture Fellows will meet and showcase their ventures to potential investors and partners. The Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government will officiate at the Salon, which expects some 200 attendees, including angel investors, fund managers, family offices, foundations, wealth advisors, as well as executives and professionals in the business community. Six MaD Venture Fellows will be invited to pitch at the MaD Ventures Salon, with their travel expenses fully sponsored. Other eligible fellows can also get a 50% airfare subsidy.
A distinguished panel of judges (see Annex) will select 3 MaD Venture Stars out of the 6 finalists, together with the participants of the Salon. They include successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, leading foundation and family office representatives, and senior members of the Hong Kong Business Angel Network and the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. They represent a strong network of capital, contacts and experience in Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland and Asia. The judges from Hong Kong will be joined by Victor Hwang, Managing Director of T2 Venture Capital from the US and author of “The Rainforest: the Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley”, and Prof Wong Poh Kam, Director of the NUS Centre for Entrepreneurship from Singapore and an active angel investor.
The 3 MaD Venture Stars will be awarded with an invitation to be one of the presenters at the 2013 MaD Forum to inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs, a one-year customised mentorship, business matching with partners or service providers in Hong Kong and an opportunity to exhibit at a major trade fair in Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong has a lot to offer to entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to scale their businesses. It is an ideal launch pad for developing and introducing new products and services into the international market. The investing community is eager to consider innovative and high impact ventures. Hong Kong is an extremely well connected and incredibly efficient and reliable city in every sense, from the ICT infrastructure, transport to the business and professional communities. You can easily arrange half a dozen meetings and get things done in a day. You should seriously consider joining the MaD Venture Fellows Programme if you are looking for investors, partners, suppliers, manufacturers, agents, distributors, buyers, licensees, and franchisees for growing your venture. You should also come if you want to inspire more people to be MaD change makers!” Rachel Chan said.
Interested parties should apply online on or before 28 Oct 2012 via www.MaD.asia.