From sustainability champions to leaders at the forefront of modern medicine, these social entrepreneurs share one thing in common—they're building a brighter future
Gen.T and Credit Suisse have teamed up to launch the first-ever Social Impact Awards. The awards commemorate Gen.T honourees, recognising young leaders who have made significant contributions to Asian society in the fields of social impact, sustainability or innovation.
The initiative honours 10 winners each year. This year two sets of winners will be unveiled, after the announcement of 2019’s awardees was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are selected by an expert judging panel of Generation T and Credit Suisse executives.
"We are looking for movers and shakers who actually can have a disruptive view of the world and contribute to change of societies," says Dr Francois Monnet, Head of Private Banking for North Asia and Chief Executive Hong Kong Branch, Credit Suisse.
Read below to see all 20 awardees from 2019/2020.
For co-founding a fintech unicorn
Co-founder and president, Airwallex
At just 28, Airwallex co-founder Lucy Liu led her startup to unicorn status. The cross-border payments company provides technology to facilitate international transactions in foreign exchange markets, and closed a US$100 million Series C funding round. In 2018 she was made Fintech Australia Female Leader of the Year and EY Australian Entrepreneur of the Year.
For finding new ways to keep patients taking their medicine
Founder, Manle technology
Long Tianwei’s experiences with his father’s medical problems made him aware of the relationship between treatment and patients adhering to their medication regimes, and spurred him to start Manle Technology. Through design thinking, behavioural economics and augmented intelligence, the company allows for better engagement with patients to improve medication adherence. The Cambridge graduate has spoken around the world about his work, and was also selected as a Leader of Tomorrow at global biotechnology summit GapSummit.
For technology that improves the lives of elderly and disabled people
Founder and CEO, Honeycomb
Franco Lin founded Honeycomb in 2007 to provide innovative technology that empowers elderly and disabled people. Honeycomb has developed proprietary education, information, rehabilitation and entertainment products that are sold in 40 countries. The company also educates the public and professionals in the special education system on the benefits of the technology in rehabilitation and education.
For seeing the potential in providing people with affordable credit
Co-founder and managing partner, Oriente
Lawrence Chu wants to make financial services more inclusive. The co-founder of Oriente is leveraging AI, machine learning and data to offer real-time credit scoring, digital lending and other tailored services designed to empower millions in Southeast Asia’s rapidly growing economies. The company has already rolled out financial services apps in the Philippines and Indonesia, and in late 2018 announced US$105 million in funding, one of the largest initial funding rounds by any startup in Asia.
For making healthcare smarter
Founder, H.Spectrum and chairman, H2U
Saxon Chen headed the transition towards smart healthcare measurement and health data analysis at Foxconn, the world’s largest provider of electronics manufacturing services. He led the launch of H2U Health ATM, a smart physical check-up facility, across 100 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan, combining smart health management services with data analysis. He also founded Asia’s largest biomedical accelerator, H.Spectrum, in 2018.
For pioneering biofuel as a source of clean energy
Founder and CEO, FatHopes Energy
Vinesh Sinha is the founder of FatHopes Energy, the only organisation completely focused on waste and residue-based biofuels and feedstock at an industrial scale in Malaysia. The company diverts waste and residue oil away from human consumption towards advanced biofuel production, the cleanest way to sharply cut carbon emissions.
For making the medical equipment market more efficient
Pu Yiliu is the partner of LyncMed, a B2B trading platform for medical and healthcare products. It connects medical equipment buyers and sellers globally, shortening the medical industry procurement chain, and has a high repurchase rate among users. In April 2018 it announced a financing round led by Yunqi Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, Yingke Medicine & Biotechnology, and Chunxiao Capital.
For using technology to unlock the secrets of autism
Jason Zhu is co-founder of SensOmics, a medical platform that integrates genomics with clinical informatics, electrical engineering and artificial intelligence to identify autism-associated mutations. The former Silicon Valley software engineer is helping to build proprietary machine learning algorithms that enable research into the pathogenesis of autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases, leading to insight into complex disease genomes useful for clinical diagnosis.
Muhammad Iman Usman
For improving access to education
Muhammad Iman Usman is the co-founder and chief of product and partnership of Ruangguru, an award-winning, tech-enabled education provider that matches students and tutors across Indonesia, with more than 12 million users nationwide. Before establishing Ruangguru, he was a key opinion leader in youth development, and is also the youngest board member of youth charity Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa Foundation.
For diving deep into the world of underwater communication
Reliable underwater communication can still be a challenge— which is where Manu Ignatius comes in. His company Subnero, founded by Mandar Chitre, one of his professors at the National University of Singapore, with Jay Nagarajan and Ben Fones, provides high-performance, wireless underwater communication, navigation, monitoring and sensing solutions to environmental, defence and oil and gas companies.
For making paediatric services more accessible
Founder, Zicheng Healthcare
Liu Yan founded Zicheng Healthcare to help parents digitise and record their babies’ development while at the same time giving them access to early screening procedures and comprehensive paediatric services. The platform has gathered more than 3,000 professional medical personnel and more than 30,000 users, and was the winner of the She Loves Tech global startup competition.
For pushing back the frontiers of robotic automation
Founder and CEO, MegaRobo
Daniel Huang leads MegaRobo in the manufacture of intelligent robots that are used in laboratory automation, intelligent retail and manufacturing. MegaRobo holds more than 150 patents and recently released products that move it towards IoT technology and industrial manufacturing. It has previously received funding from multinational German engineering giant Bosch.
Elaine Sun Xiaoyi
For creating an integrated sports medicine and rehabilitation service
Founder, UP Clinic
UP Clinic is a medical musculoskeletal rehabilitation service provider dedicated to sports medicine and the diagnosis of orthopedic diseases. Founded by Elaine Sun Xiaoyi, who previously worked as a lawyer, it offers an integrated network of professionals including more than 20,000 orthopedic surgeons and physiotherapists in more than 3,800 hospitals. The company also owns and operates a chain of orthopedic and rehabilitation clinics.
For dragging the insurance industry into the 21st century
Co-founder and co-CEO, Bowtie
Fred Ngan’s Bowtie is Hong Kong’s first virtual insurance company. The company, which aims to update the antiquated insurance industry and provide consumers with better experiences, raised US$30 million in Series A funding in late 2018, and was named one of the world’s 10 hottest fintech startups by Business Insider in 2019. Before Bowtie, he previously co-founded fintech startups Seasonalife and Coherent.
For using finance, technology and business acumen to help animals
Co-founder and CEO, OneDegree
Few parlay a love of animals into a soon-to-be fintech empire, but Alvin Kwock knows the value of our furry friends—about US$30 million. That’s how much Series A funding his company OneDegree, Hong Kong’s first online pet insurer, has amassed. It was also recognised as one of the 2019 Fintech 100 by KPMG and H2 Ventures.
For creating AI technology that helps banks manage risk
Founder and CEO, Miotech
MioTech, founded by Jason Tu in 2016, uses AI to help financial institutions better manage risk, not only gathering and processing data but also analysing it and building intelligence for investors. New features also monitor supply chains and social media for major companies. No surprise that Li Ka-shing recently invested US$7million in the company, which has offices around Asia.
For triggering a smart revolution in the engineering industry
Co-founder and CEO, Negawatt Utility and co-founder, Synergy Group
Arthur Lam’s award-winning prop-tech startup Negawatt provides clients—who include some of the biggest names in Hong Kong property—with its proprietary Negawatt Building Operation System that enables more efficient construction, operation and demolition. Deployed in retail and commercial properties across Hong Kong, it is helping buildings to save on energy consumption.
For offering companies AI-driven data solutions
Co-founder and COO, MoBagel
MoBagel is Iru Wang’s second startup. As co-founder and COO, she leads fundraising, global sales and marketing, operations and public relations for the company’s product Decanter AI, a platform that enables enterprises to quickly build AI-driven data solutions. MoBagel has a growing customer base that includes SoftBank, Advantech and Coca-Cola.
For creating a culture of giving and redistributing unwanted resources
Founder, Give 543
Max Ma created Give 543 as a platform to redistribute unwanted items, based on personal experience of wanting to do so. The platform has about 50,000 individuals, 460 charities and non-profit organisations, and 40 corporations as members, and has redistributed more than three million items. It was given a Sustainable Growth Award at the Global ICT Excellence Awards in 2019.
For promoting cross-border entrepreneurship and cultural exchange
Founder, Anchor Taiwan and Anchor Venture Partners
Elisa Chiu left her job as a hedge fund trader overseeing US$1 billion plus in assets to start Anchor Taiwan, a global platform that connects local and international startups through matching, community and cultural exchanges. She has worked with founders and executives from Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Uber, Intel and Microsoft, and was made one of Girls in Tech’s 40 Under 40 in 2018.
To learn more, visit the Social Impact Awards hub.