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tozero GmbH Leads the Charge at Hong Kong’s EPiC 2024: A Vision for Sustainable Tech Triumphs

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On a bright day in April 2024, the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong was abuzz with excitement as the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) unveiled the grand spectacle of its flagship Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC) 2024. This wasn’t just any ordinary competition – it was a gathering of the globe’s most innovative minds, with startup tozero GmbH from Germany clinching the top spot amidst fierce competition from over 70 startups hailing from every corner of the world.

But what set tozero GmbH apart? Imagine a future where lithium-ion batteries, the powerhouses behind our gadgets and electric vehicles, don’t end up in landfills but are given a new lease on life. This German startup is turning this vision into reality, aiming to revolutionize the circular economy by setting up Europe’s leading lithium-ion battery recycling plant. Their victory at EPiC wasn’t just a win; it was a statement about the sustainable future they’re determined to build.

The journey to the Grand Finale was no less than an epic saga. Picture this: the world as a stage, with Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, Stuttgart, and Singapore playing hosts to the nail-biting semi-finals. This saga culminated in a showdown featuring over 70 companies from 16 diverse economies at the sky100 venue atop the shimmering International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon. The contestants weren’t just pitching; they were literally elevating their ideas to new heights, 100 floors above the ground, in a heart-pounding, 60-second elevator pitch battle.

Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong SAR, didn’t mince his words when he talked about Hong Kong’s burgeoning startup scene. “Last year, Hong Kong’s startups soared to over 4,200, marking a staggering growth of more than a third in just four years,” he said. This growth isn’t just by chance but a testament to the government’s unwavering commitment to propelling innovation and technology forward. By fostering R&D commercialization and attracting strategic enterprises, Hong Kong is setting the stage for a technological renaissance, particularly in AI, fintech, and new energy.

Dr. Sunny Chai, the Chairman of HKSTP, echoed this sentiment, highlighting how EPiC has become the city’s crowning startup event. This competition isn’t just about finding the next big idea; it’s about providing a launchpad for global success, leveraging Hong Kong’s unique position as a gateway to the Greater Bay Area, China, and beyond. And, with categories spanning FinTech to MobilityTech, the diverse array of innovations was a testament to the global tech landscape’s vibrancy.

Let’s not forget the sponsors and partners like Cathay, HSBC, and MTR Lab, without whom the dream of EPiC would remain just that – a dream. The event also featured a “Market Discovery Programme” that took the participants on an immersive journey, from business matching to insightful seminars, painting a picture of Hong Kong not just as a city, but as a thriving ecosystem of innovation and opportunities.

Sarah Fleischer of tozero GmbH, upon winning, shared her excitement, saying, “Hong Kong is where the magic happens, attracting the brightest minds to help bring our vision to life.” And it’s not just about the startups; it’s about the connections, the learnings, and the shared journey towards making a mark on the world. Vincent Choy of Bizbaz Pte. Ltd. and Hyde Meng of Roboticplus.AI, winners in their respective categories, echoed this sentiment, highlighting EPiC as not just a competition, but a doorway to untapped opportunities and collaborations.

In essence, EPiC 2024 wasn’t just an event; it was a celebration of innovation, a testament to human ingenuity, and a glimpse into a future where technology and sustainability go hand in hand. It showed the world that Hong Kong is not just a city, but a beacon of innovation, beckoning to all those who dare to dream big and aim high.


  1. TechFan88 May 3, 2024

    Absolutely inspiring to see startups focusing on sustainability and making a real impact. tozero GmbH is leading the way for how tech can also be green. It’s high time more companies take this route.

    • EcoSkeptic May 3, 2024

      While it’s great to see companies like tozero GmbH getting attention, I’m skeptical about how much of a difference these efforts really make. Is recycling lithium-ion batteries truly viable on a large scale, or just a neat idea?

      • GreenTechie May 3, 2024

        It’s absolutely viable and necessary. The amount of e-waste we generate is staggering, and every step towards a circular economy helps. tozero GmbH’s work could pave the way for significant reductions in e-waste. It’s all about scaling up properly.

    • TechFan88 May 3, 2024

      I see where you’re coming from, EcoSkeptic. The challenge is indeed grand, but every major change starts with a small step. tozero’s win in Hong Kong is symbolic of a broader shift towards valuing sustainability in tech. It’s promising to see.

  2. StartUpGuy May 3, 2024

    Hong Kong’s startup scene is exploding, and EPiC is at the forefront of showcasing that growth. It’s incredible to see the government’s commitment to innovation. Makes one consider Hong Kong as a serious contender for launching tech ventures.

    • FiscalHawk May 3, 2024

      That growth is impressive, but what about the long-term sustainability of these startups? The true test of Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem will be how many of these ventures are thriving in 5-10 years, not just the number of new companies popping up.

    • BayAreaVC May 3, 2024

      Hong Kong is indeed a burgeoning hub, but it’s not without its challenges. Competition with Silicon Valley is tough, and while the support from HK’s government is commendable, startups also need robust global networks to truly succeed internationally.

      • StartUpGuy May 3, 2024

        Competition is always tough in the global ecosystem, but it’s the unique positioning of HK that makes it interesting. It’s not about beating Silicon Valley but leveraging the geographical and economic position HK holds, particularly in Asia.

      • GlobalNomad May 3, 2024

        Exactly, HK’s strength is in its strategic location and its role as a gateway to the Greater Bay Area. The potential for startups, especially in tech, is immense given the access to both Eastern and Western markets.

  3. EnviroPioneer May 3, 2024

    This is the future I want to see! Companies like tozero GmbH are not just talking the talk but walking the walk. Innovations in sustainable tech can truly make the world a better place. We need more pioneers like them.

    • Realist123 May 3, 2024

      Innovation in sustainability is indeed crucial, but let’s not get carried away. The real challenge is in the implementation and mass adoption of such technologies. Winning a competition is one thing; real-world application is another.

  4. Cynic_Critic May 3, 2024

    Big deal, another startup competition. These events are more about PR than real innovation. I’ll be convinced when these ‘pioneering solutions’ actually make a dent in the market.

    • InnovatorJane May 3, 2024

      I respectfully disagree. Competitions like EPiC are crucial for giving startups the visibility and opportunities they might not otherwise have. It’s a platform for them to showcase their innovations to the world and attract potential investors.

  5. FutureWatcher May 3, 2024

    Paul Chan’s comments on HK’s startup ecosystem are very telling. There’s a clear vision and commitment from the government to push for technological advancements. It’s an exciting time to be part of this field, especially in Asia.

    • DoubtfulDon May 3, 2024

      Government support is one thing, but I worry about overregulation stifling innovation. We’ve seen it happen in other industries. How can we ensure that startups remain agile and innovative in such a structured ecosystem?

      • PolicyWonk May 3, 2024

        The key is in balancing government support with an environment that encourages innovation through competition and less red tape. It’s a delicate balance, but not impossible. Look at Singapore’s model for some inspiration.

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