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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 31 May 2020


YFS partners with BSD but furloughs all paid employees

Young Founders School (YFS) was started 5 years ago with a mission to change the way entrepreneurial education is taught. We have put close to 2,500 students through our programmes in our 4 countries: Hong Kong, China, Bangladesh & Singapore.   Our team and volunteers have worked tirelessly throughout these years and the feedback and impact to young lives has been incredible. The impact of COVID has hit offline education businesses, like ours, particularly hard.  Our core product connects students and mentors and enables life changing experiences. This is no longer possible and may not be for a long time to come, it is time to pivot.

We have had to completely rethink our business model to ensure the survival of Young Founders School and to set us up for the next chapter as YFS moves online and develops a self sustaining revenue model to allow us to continue our mission.

Today we are excited to announce our partnership with BSD, a long time partner and friend of YFS. BSD's mission, to bring digital skills to classrooms everywhere, aligns very closely with YFS.  Under their supervision and experience, YFS will be launching a number of new online products over the next 6 months to tackle the skills gap in entrepreneurship for high school students and to provide virtual experiences that will transform lives.

This restructuring has meant that we need to take some very hard decisions to ensure the survival of YFS. We have had to furlough all our paid employees. 


Blockchain accelerator LongHash reveals next cohort of 7 startups

Global blockchain accelerator LongHash Ventures has revealed the seven startups selected to participate in the fourth cohort of its Hatch program.

Now in its second year, the 12-week program will focus on open finance, LongHash said in a statement. It is scheduled to start running today and culminate on a demo day in August. With this shift, LongHash said it has tapped industry experts from Ethereum Foundation, Maker, Synthetix, and InstaDApp. It will also be working with Fenbushi Capital, HashKey Capital, Kenetic Capital, and Dragonfly Capital on the investment front.

LongHash will then provide the selected startups with modules tailored for strategy formulation, go-to-market execution, and subject matter guidance.

Hong Kong based CredMark is part of the cohort. CredMark equips financial institutions with non-traditional credit data based on blockchain financial history and private data.

Hong Kong-based Ping An Global Voyager Fund leads digital dentistry platform from Berlin

PlusDental, a Berlin-based digital dentistry platform has secured €32 million Series C funding from international investors. The investment was led by Hong Kong-based Ping An Global Voyager Fund, which joins it as a new investor. The others that have invested in the healthtech company include Christian Wegner, the founder of Re-commerce platform Momox, Lakestar, and HV Holtzbrinck.

Specialising in digital dentistry and aesthetic orthodontic treatments with clear aligners,. PlusDental will use this fresh Investment to develop its proprietary digital dentistry platform and continue expansion of business in Germany and Europe.


Prenetics helps Premier League players and other sports clubs restart fixtures while raising capital

A Hong Kong start-up is on the frontline of the fight to make professional live sport safe to resume and for the fans to gradually return to watch games, while raising capital from venture capitalists for expansion.

Prenetics, which counts former Manchester United and England football captain Rio Ferdinand among its shareholders, sealed a deal with the Premier League in early May to test players and is in talks with other sports associations to help restart live fixtures.

In the UK, Prenetics is testing Premier League footballers twice a week. As of May 25, the biotech start-up had found eight players and staff positive for Covid-19 after performing nearly 2,000 tests at the league's 20 football clubs. They were all asymptomatic and are now self-isolating.

"Testing is crucial for early detection, isolation and tracing," Danny Yeung Sheng-wu, co-founder and CEO of Prenetics, said during an interview from his corner office overlooking Hong Kong's harbour. The firm is also putting the final touches on a fundraising drive to finance its growth as well as its research & development.

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