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Cheung Theobald Aylwin and Cheung Harvey Jackel

(EMBA 2010)

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Wong Yick Kam, Michael

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(EMBA (Chinese) 2013)

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(MBA in Health Care 2009)

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Kwong Man Kit, Aleck

(BSc in Quantitative Finance 2008)

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27 October 2017




A Ferryman for Entrepreneurs

Peter Mok (MBA 1987) joined Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) as Head of Incubation Programmes in 2013. He offers guidance to start-ups with his extensive professional background. As a ferryman who takes entrepreneurs to the shore of success, Peter boasts an impressive track record. Under his leadership, as of the end of October 2017, the Incubation Programmes are currently helping around 280 start-ups to grow in Hong Kong Science Park. He aspires to strengthen cross-industry partnerships and transform Hong Kong into a future leader of innovation and technology.

Peter (2nd from right) enjoys his band time at CUHK

CUHK: Home of Hard and Soft Knowledge

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Peter made the sensible move to go into MBA study to further his career. He chose CUHK based on the reputation of the Business School and its distinguished record of fostering talent. It was the right decision. “Back then some professors focused more on theories. They used real-life case studies to train our analytical thinking skills. Some professors were more practical. We were required to choose our own topic and collect data for analysis. The combination of theory and practice was a unique learning experience for me.”

Other than the hard knowledge acquired from books, Peter also gained valuable soft knowledge on how to play well with others from his time at CUHK. “It wasn’t easy to bring together a group of future elite leaders with various backgrounds and personalities. Through working on business plans with my classmates, I learnt the importance of team work and how to conduct myself in different social situations to achieve balance, a skill still very useful in my current job.”

Before joining HKSTP, Peter worked in various industries. He (2nd from left) attends corporate training with his colleagues in Hawaii.

The Birth of a Ferryman for Entrepreneurs

A ferryman must know how to sail before carrying passengers. After graduating from CUHK, Peter worked for a multinational telecom company, a cross-border investment corporation, and a personnel consulting firm, among others. He has also founded two start-ups that offer a host of technology products in Mainland China and the Asia region. His valuable work experience in different areas, such as marketing, human resources, corporate legal, corporate listing, venture capital, recruitment, intellectual property, cross-border litigation and more, makes him truly a well-rounded man of many talents.

Switching from the private sector to the public sector to join HKSTP was something new for the seasoned executive. “This job allows me to leverage all my past work experience at once, which is very satisfying. Thanks to what I’ve learnt and gained in the past, I can understand the challenges that new entrepreneurs face. I’m confident that I can help them propel their businesses forward.”

Peter (centre) leads the Incu-App Programme at HKSTP to help web and mobile app developers drive their businesses to success

No Challenge One Cannot Overcome

HKSTP’s Incubation Programmes are divided into three main areas: Incu-Tech, Incu-App and Incu-Bio. They help start-ups in HKSTP enhance their business development skills, identify venture capital, protect their intellectual property, connect with the right talent, and maximise the potential of new technologies. Once a start-up manages to stand on its own feet, it can move on to the “Leading Enterprises Acceleration Programme” or join the “Global Acceleration Academy” to take their business to the next level or enter the global market.

Compared to other regions, Hong Kong is a late bloomer in developing a technology start-up culture, and it must work twice as hard to catch up. This great responsibility is thrust upon Peter and his team of around 30 colleagues. “The biggest challenge is the lack of seed money from angel investors. It’s hard for start-ups to sustain without the capital. Fortunately, we have made huge jumps in private funding over the last three years with our hard work. It surged by 6.5 times in the year 2014-2015. It’s expected to continue to increase exponentially over the next few years.”

Another hurdle that start-ups face is local enterprises’ hesitance in adopting homegrown new technologies. Peter initiated the “Technologies from Science Park” programme to promote the adoption of local technologies among leading enterprises in the city. “It was very difficult to convince these big names to try out the technologies when we first started, but support is growing gradually, and we’re pleased with how far we’ve come. We’ve recruited more than 20 members into this programme, including Airport Authority Hong Kong, CLP, Maxim’s and Ocean Park.”

Peter (centre) is glad that Hong Kong is full of great technology minds. He is dedicated to making their entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Ferrying Entrepreneurs to the Shore of Success

Last year, HKSTP’s Incubation Programmes won the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award, the highest commendation in the annual Incubator Awards hosted by the International Business Innovation Association. Peter was deeply honoured by the accolade.

When Peter worked in the private sector in the past, maximising his company’s profit was the top priority. He finds his current job more meaningful in comparison. Nothing trumps the satisfaction from witnessing a start-up create a revolutionary product that makes the world a better, smarter place. “A start-up originally intended to develop an app that helped users look for locksmiths and plumbers, but we thought the market potential was too limited, so we suggested that they offer more in-demand services: maternity helpers and housekeepers. The idea was a huge success. The business has expanded to eight countries and regions so far.”

Peter (centre) encourages young people to embrace challenges and work together to develop an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship

Looking forward, Peter hopes that the Incubation Programmes can foster some iconic companies or even a “unicorn” — a start-up that has a market value of over US$1 billion. The success of these companies may change the social norms and encourage more young people to major in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematic) disciplines. These young minds will be a force to be reckoned with in the future innovation-led economy of Hong Kong.

Video ― Messages from Our Alumni



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