Posts by: Jessica To

Sporty, Elegant, and Stylish Business Sedan?!

Sporty, Elegant, and Stylish Business Sedan?!

Have you ever had any fascination with cars? BMW cars? The All-New BMW 5 series launch event was taken place on February 21st, 2017 at Hall 3E of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The night unveiled the sensations of the leading business sedan with progressive design and innovative technology. BMW has built a brand of its own with series 1-7, X, Z4, M, i, and a lifestyle shop with featured products such as caps, umbrellas, trolly bags, USB sticks, kids’ bikes, cups, toy cars, rucksacks, ballpoint pens, watches, purses and phone cases.

Another milestone for BMW is that back in Munich this year, marks the BMW festival, the next 100 years from Sept 09-11, 2017 at the Olympiapark. The BMW Vision next 100 will be on display to the general public and is one of the most anticipated event of the year. It is also going to be on world tour and will display the future of mobility. The BMW vision next 100 will launch a model of sustainability and has a gold metallic brown color with 4- doors lifting up in the air. It features reflective glass for reduced interior heating, fully closable dynamic wheel arches that dramatically reduce drag to just 0.18 eco-friendly printed mono-materials. It also has two driving modes to select : east mode or boost mode to lean back for the whole driving experiences.

It was quite a happening night with a BMW brand backdrop for Media to take photos of the guests in Hong Kong. Inside the exhibition hall, it displayed the accessories of BMW with a showroom full of photos for the brand new models. It also had a food booth for soup, melted cheese with pickles, potatoes and a wide selections of wine, soft drinks, water and champagne for guests.

The fifth generation of the BMW 5 series sets new standards in the areas of active safety, drive assistance systems, and efficiency. The 5 series has been the highest-selling cars in its segment for four years running, with a total of more than 1.4 million units sold world wide. The show began with dancers dressed in glow-in-the-dark outfits with the vice president of BMW giving out a speech before showing 3 of their latest 5 series models on stage. The vice president described the new 5 series lies in a “sporty, elegant and stylish figure”.

Some of the improvements that the new 5 series has is a striking front end, short overhangs on the side view with a muscularity touch and adaptive LED headlights. The interiors has a state-of-the art driver assistance with a personalized display and leather seats options with contrast stitching and special decorative inlays. One of the key features include a drag of coefficient as low as 0.22 sets the sedan benchmark with a lightweight chassis up to 100 kg lighter than predecessor. The air curtains in the front apron team up with the air breathers to cut air turbulence in the wheel arches significantly and channel the on rushing air effectively as the car pushed through it.

The night ended on a high note with guests appearance of Dr. Allan Zeman and Mr. Donnie Yen with a souvenir from Beis Leather partnering with BMW to personalize the initials of the guests to pick up on their way out for key chains, coin bags and card holders.

Fintech 020 – “Coins have more than two sides, make the best use of your coins”

Fintech 020 – “Coins have more than two sides, make the best use of your coins”

Fintech 020, co-hosted with Cyberport, Nexchange along with media partner, yours truly, Miss FQ was taken place on Jan 16, 2016 for the International Fintech Pitch Evening. Supporting organizations include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, University of Warterloo, Chicago booth etc. with gold sponsors such as Invest HK, Four Directions and New Gate. When I first walked into the Smart-Space, level 4, Core E at Cyberport, it was very spacious with a wide view overlooking the Telegraph Bay. Once I got to the level, it’s a very innovative space with multiple meeting rooms and co-working open areas.

A variety of start ups and companies have pitched to the audiences covering sectors like cybersecurity, digital currency, crowdfunding software for private capital markets, platforms to bridge social and banking, cognitive computing technology, math based big data analytics, and smart risk management systems.

“Coins have more than two sides, make the best use of your coins” is the catchphrase of HEYCOINS, which is a chain kiosk that tackle the inconveniences by the use of physical coins. The mechanism behind HEYCOINS is that the kiosk will collect the physical coins from mass market and converts them into digital currency that can be use for multiple purposes, including e-wallet recharge, transportation/cash cards top-up, e-cash coupons purchase, and charitable donations. Its’ intention is to bring positive social impact by recycling coins, removing coins from unwanted circulation, and at the same time, reduce the massive manufacturing costs of coins for government by controlling the return of the stored coins back into circulation. Often in the office, I see colleagues collect and keep physical coins from change and stack them into many rolls. Some would pile them up at the corner of their desk or simply put them into cookie jars. HEYCOINS basically can help alleviating the heavy coins that make you angry to carry with. It can help to locate their kiosk so that you can dump the coins in and then select your favorite conversion options. You can then leave your phone number to process and get your receipt.

HEYCOINS is relentlessly committed to reinvest more than 65% of their profits into business matters that will do social good. They strongly urge the public to basically deposit their unwanted or stored coins into charitable causes via their kiosks. In addition, HEYCOINS provide cash management support services to charities and NGOs such as Unicef, Oxfam, WWF, Hong Kong Blind Union for their fundraising campaigns. This is a positive entrepreneurship which could affect social impact and improve charities’ efficiency in fundraising. To name just a few of the many awards that HEYCOINS has received: Startup Weekend #9 Champion, Cyberport Incubatee, Top Fintech startup in HK by the FST Media, and the Winner of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016. The CEO of HEYCOINS, Mr. Eddie Rong is a vibrant and passionate entrepreneur with formal backgrounds in finance and risk management. His previous working experiences include FWD Life Insurance (H.K.), China Taiping Reinsurance (H.K.), ICBC ( China), Pan Pacific Hotels Group (S.G.), and Neusoft Corporation ( China).

With the surging shifts to digital and paperless banking, privacy and cybersecurity have been the hot and important topics. APrivacy is a patented technology that enables banks and financial services to exchange documents with clients securely along with seamless user experience. It basically embeds the security within the document itself, allowing it to be shared on mobile applications with military grade security and the ability for the bank to restrict the access and the use of documents at all times, including when offline or when the document has been downloaded. The benefits would be deploying efficient and cost effective services while complying with all the regulatory requirements. It is fitted for IPOs, M&A transactions, due diligence data room etc.

APrivacy would be able to get rid of the commonly used document exchange tools’ weak security features such as Dropbox. It will also remove the pain points of end users logging on a 3rd party web portal with cumbersome procedures with no mobile or offline capabilities which result in client’s frustrations and disengagement. APrivacy also offers products such as secure e-statement, secure email, and secure messaging besides secure documents sharing. The CEO of APrivacy, Cedric Jeannot, has a PhD in Computer Science, is a cryptography and security expert, and his vision is to provide the banking industry with an information security and tracking services at anywhere, anytime on any device.

The Fintech 020 International Fintech Pitch night was fully packed with speakers, panelists and presenters on many innovative technological platforms and solutions for everyday’s affairs. It has brought many forward thinkers, investors, and revolutioners into the house.

 

Regulatory Technology – KYC-Chain kicked off at the SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator 2.0 Hong Kong Week

Regulatory Technology – KYC-Chain kicked off at the SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator 2.0 Hong Kong Week

Traditional “Know Your Client” ( KYC) on-boarding process in financial services are often associated with long hours spent on eyeball checking a list of prerequisites and documents with constant email communications with the clients. Recently, there are many (RegTech) in the start-ups space which focus on automating these tedious tasks. For a second year running, SuperCharger, which aims to help the most promising start-ups and scale-ups grow in Asia, has about 200+ applications from 33 countries from which 8 finalists were selected at the launch of the Hong Kong FinTech Week of Jan 9th, 2016. The one that has caught my eyes was KYC-Chain.

KYC-Chain is amongst the Fintech that has incorporated the blockchain technology into its application and to potentially streamline the user verifications processes in financial services. KYC-Chain basically uses biometrics, and distributed ledger technology and other emerging technologies to provide consensus on identity. A distributed ledger is basically a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries or institutions. There is no central administrator or centralized data storage. Distributed ledger technology also provides a reliable source of truth for identity and related events and ensure a level of transparency while keeping majority of information private from the public. KYC-Chain intend to enable efficiencies on a worldwide basis while complying with domestic laws and consumer protection privacy policies. One of the purposes of KYC-Chain is to build trust, cut costs, increase controls and stimulate financial inclusion in a revolutionary way.

Some of the key differentiators of KYC-Chain from the traditional kind of KYC on-boarding processes:

  • Automatic Onboarding: Seamless end-to-end fully digital client onboarding
  • Self Sovereign Identity – Consumers and businesses/financial services (clients) control access to identity, and bring trust to their digital identity with attestations
  • Secured and Authenticated Identity: financial services and other providers can be secured in the knowledge they are working with 3rd party attestations via banks, notaries and via External Data feeds (confirmed fraud, consortium and public data, OFAC/AML/PEP and KBA questions)
  • Document Capture And Authentication: capture and verify identity documents and keys, utility bills and address verification, tax documents

This platform allows secure and compliant data sharing to potentially satisfy compliance requirements for KYC on-boarding or refresh without compromising the privacy of the owners while preserving the integrity of the data. These secure mechanisms with strong cryptographic protocols along with smart verification procedures also allow end users with the ability to be the sole owners of their identity data.

SuperCharger event has drawn a lot of interests from the press, media, financial institutions, start-ups and investors in the region and the crowd was vibrant and approachable throughout the event and highlighted all the Fintech trends and companies, it is an event to watch out for next year as well.

Inside the Brain of a Fintech Entrepreneur

Inside the Brain of a Fintech Entrepreneur

One of the Fintech 020 events, which was taken place at the PMQ, organized by Nexchange on Nov 10, 2016 featured “Inside the Brain of a Fintech Entrepreneur”.  It was a lively panel discussions with Henri Arslanian, adjunct Associate Professor, as the moderator from the University of Hong Kong.  Panelists include Alex Medana, CEO of FlnFabrik; Aurelien Menant, Founder and CEO of Gatecoin; Edmund J. Lowell, Founder of KYC-Chain; Rajah Chaudhry, Founder and CEO of Paycelerate; Justing Ling, CEO of Equity Sim.

Some of the tips that they would give to the next generation of Fintech entrepreneurs include ensuring enough cashflows to run the start up, having a mentality of not letting go and doing your homework and necessary preparations. For B2B start ups, one recommended not to go on IPO too soon.  A lot of them shared the same pain points of entrepreneurship such as fund raising; talents recruitments and self-mental psychic. Books that they recommended were “Narrow Road”; “Hard things about hard things” and “Small data”.

If they needed to bring in another person into their start ups, who would they bring with a selection of a few well known entrepreneurs of our times?  Some said Jack Ma and others said Elon Musk. They also all agreed that in order to attract fintech entrepreneurs, more incentives for mega banks ( i.e. Goldman Sachs; CBA) to work with start ups would be a good start.

Some of new business initiatives would include 020; payments for insurances; and chat-boxes. Some of the  courses they recommended for the next generation of fintech entrepreneurs would be programming, coding, industrial designs, psychology and Mandarin. Advices that they gave on fintech entrepreneurship are recruiting people better than yourself to focus on the business models, having multiple founders and creating values, making specific visions and missions, convicting on ideas and focusing on how quickly you can make a customer to start paying your services or products etc. What they thought the future would hold in Hong Kong is that there are still ample of opportunities for RegTech sector to grow.

What can Hong Kong learn from China Fintech?

What can Hong Kong learn from China Fintech?

Fintech 020, organized by Nexchange, was taken place at PMQ during the week of Nov 7-10, 2016 in Hong Kong. On Nov 10, 2016, a session was about “What can Hong Kong learn from China Fintech?” by Edward Tse, founder & CEO of Gao Feng Advisory Company.  He specifically focused on what Hong Kong entrepreneurs can learn from China’s.

Although there are many issues visibly happening in the Greater China region, including environmental pollutions, P2P lending, massive disconnect between urban and rural areas, just to name a few. Mr. Tse thought what other people view as imperfections are valid opportunities to ignite the fire for entrepreneurship. He emphasized that today’s disruptors could be disrupted tomorrow and urge millennials to seek opportunities to solve the disruptors they see around them.

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Although people who have just started out in their careers would ponder and weigh on the risks involve going down the path of entrepreneurship where historic statistics have pointed to a low probability of success and acceptance.   It is said that roughly less than 10% of the start ups will survive the first 2-3 years of its’ inception. The % varies in different regions and countries across different spectrum of industries.  Peter’s Thiel’s book, “Zero to One”, was then recommended and so as “One…. Infinity” by George Gamow.

One of the theories being highlighted is that even a small % of a large number is still a large number.  A big platform allows you to unleash all kinds of potential on global reach.  Last but not least, mentality counts a lot in entrepreneurship while creating an exponential organization requires an exponential mindset.