As the official airline sponsor of RISE for the second consecutive year, Cathay Pacific is leveraging its position to press ahead with its “Ignition Project’, a new wide-reaching IT ecosystem launched at last year’s conference. The airline’s involvement in RISE forms a key part of the initiative, which encompasses the core pillars of reinforcing the airline’s in-house technological capabilities, cultivating young talent with the Cathay Pacific 24-hour Hackathon, and supporting startups through the Hong Kong Science Park’s (HKSTP) Global Acceleration Academy.
Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo said: “As Hong Kong’s home carrier we are excited to nurture local talent and creativity that can leapfrog the city into becoming a leading technology and innovation hub.
“The eight companies we are supporting this year are a testament to the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and share Cathay Pacific’s passion for innovation that also benefits the local community. They are also agile in their ability to operate at the forefront of a constantly evolving industry while continuing to develop unique solutions to fresh challenges.”
Cathay Pacific has been supporting the city’s ambition to become one of the leading tech hubs in Asia. Notably, the airline has connected Hong Kong with major technology cities around the world such as Seattle, Dublin and Tel Aviv by launching new direct flights.
Mr Loo will deliver a keynote speech at RISE to inspire young entrepreneurs and large corporations alike by championing the important role technology startups can have on transforming big businesses to make them more innovative and agile. Cathay Pacific General Manager Information Technology Lawrence Fong will also be one of the members of a semi-final pitch-judging panel.
The RISE conference will be held from 8-11 July 2019 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 350 speakers including leaders of the world’s biggest companies and emerging technology startups are scheduled to participate in this year’s event. Over 16,000 people from more than 100 countries are expected to attend.
Looking to the future
Cathay Pacific is “moving beyond” for its customers and has enthusiastically pursued the development of new technology that has allowed it to give customers more choice and control over their journeys.
These enhancements include implementing chatbot and livechat functionality in order to expand the number of self-service touchpoints available to customers; developing new mobile apps that assist cabin crew in delivering an elevated inflight service experience to passengers; and bolstering the efficiency of its loyalty programme and cargo operations using blockchain technology.
Alongside its own development, Cathay Pacific also spearheads a number of initiatives aimed at igniting the spark of creativity in Hong Kong’s talented young innovators.
Paul said: “We’ve placed great emphasis on cultivating the next generation of tech-savvy disruptors, providing them with an environment to flex their creative muscles. Of course, our ever-popular Cathay Pacific 24-hour Hackathon continues to be a top draw for burgeoning tech innovators to come together and develop unique, workable solutions that will benefit our passengers. For the past three years, this event has seen more than 100 tech-savvy, business-minded youngsters compete with the winners being put on a fast-track to our IT Graduate Trainee Programme.”
The Cathay Pacific 24-hour Hackathon will be returning for its fourth year in November.
In the Spotlight
The eight startups supported by Cathay Pacific are drawn from various sectors including travel and hospitality, smart and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, AI, social media and education:
Breakup Tours Limited
Launched this year, Breakup Tours is developing a mobile platform that offers personalised itineraries and travel activities across Asia for travellers who have recently gone through a breakup. breakuptours.com
Film Players Limited
For the past four years, Film Players Limited has been developing new applications for Smart Film, from curtain walls and partitions in hotels to vehicle glazing. The startup is now also exploring Digital Film research and development. filmplayershk.com
Hong Kong Tourist Pass
Also launched in 2019, Hong Kong Tourist Pass is an app-based, all-inclusive pass for visitors to Hong Kong. Available for three, five or seven days, the pass includes Airport Pick-up services, unlimited public transport, access to 13 attractions, daily meals at more than 150 restaurants, and a lot more. hongkongtouristpass.com
KaChick Ai Limited
What do you most remember from your last trip? Was it the food, the souvenirs, the people? KaChick discovers, curates and connects you with local photographers and experiences in Asia so you can collect moments, not things, wherever you travel. kachick.com
AR Phoenix Founded in 2017, AR Phoenix develops augmented reality (AR) solutions for brands, helping them better promote their products and services in an engaging and interactive way. arphoenix.com
Travel Technology International Limited
Terrible at keeping a record of where you’ve travelled? Travel Technology International Limited’s Tourbox is a mobile app that automatically creates travel journals for users, allowing them to share itineraries, photos and travel experiences to friends and followers with minimal effort.
42 Laboratory Limited
This biotech education startup launched last year, offering portable and affordable Internet of Things (IoT) biotech equipment for use in the classroom. The equipment also comes with an artificial intelligence (AI) powered mobile app as a teaching assistant. 42lab.io
The world is changing and so are the skills needed to stay competitive in your career - Xccelerate is an immersive learning platform offering courses aimed at making tech education attractive and accessible. xccelerate.co