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HKBU start-up beats 99 finalists and wins international elevator pitch competition



Cathay Photonics Limited, a start-up established by a team from HKBU, was crowned champion in the Elevator Pitch Competition, a contest organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. The company beat 99 other finalists from across the globe and claimed an investment prize worth US$140,000. 


The company was founded in 2014 by Professor Cheah Kok-wai, Chair Professor of HKBU’s Department of Physics, who invented the award-winning, 14-patent sapphire thin film, a new method for toughening screens for smartphones and other devices to prevent scratches and cracks. 


The Elevator Pitch Competition is an intensely hard-fought event at which start-ups pitch their ideas to investors and industry experts while riding an elevator.


Dr Alfred Tan, Head of the HKBU Knowledge Transfer Office and a board member of the company, said the team had the advantage over its opponents because it was able to show an actual product during the pitch to investors and judges.


A total of 458 applications were received this year. To be eligible, the start-ups must be in operation for less than five years on 24 April 2017 and have received less than US$10 million in funding by that date. Six local universities participated as partners in the programme. They are HKBU, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


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