General Assembly, Shape Up: Exploring Tech, Fitness and Health
I recently attended a General Assembly Hong Kong’s event that focused on start-ups in the Tech, Fitness, and Health industries here in Hong Kong.
Millions of dollars are spent every month on gym memberships, yoga classes, health foods, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and other wellness-related goods and services. Along with new, emerging technologies, advancements and developments in science (and sometimes a healthy dose of marketing) are helping shape the way we look at and value our health.
While I’m not a kombucha swilling, kale salad-eating, Fitbit-obsessed health nut, I enjoyed learning about the new startups in these industries and how they’ve felt “growing up” in Hong Kong.
Peter Dingle (Moderator)
Country Manager, Yoogaia
Yoogaia is touted as the world’s first live online yoga studio. The platform is quite interesting – people attend yoga classes in real time, which allows their start-up to add great value to the lives of busy people. Doing the lesson live by video feed has its merits; for example, if there are any questions or issues with posture during the lesson, the instructor can see it and correct it before it develops into a bad habit. It also helps establish a sense of community and interaction – I can certainly appreciate these aspects, having tried recording-based workouts like P90X before, which left me to my own, terrible device. If you miss a class, you can also catch the lesson as a recording or just go back to visit the recorded class again as a refresher.
innoWear is part of the growing industry of companies looking at how wearables can change the way we analyze and track our days as quantifiable data that can improve health, activity levels and even productivity. It’s great to see a company doing that right here in Hong Kong! Chandan shared the sentiment that Hong Kong is an ideal place for any startup developing a physical product. With manufacturing and R&D facilities right across the border and a mature, fairly westernized market here on the Hong Kong side, innoWear is a perfect location to get ideas, reiterate and then continue to improve on its products.
Founder & CEO, Anything But Salads
Anything But Salads is health food company that acts a food curation and sourcing service for many specialty food and nutrition stores in Hong Kong. Sicilian Pizza Flax Crackers? Cordyceps and Maca Chocolate? Sprouted Nut Butters? Yes, they have all of that in stock, even if you didn’t know it existed! The company was founded after Calista herself developed health problems and realized that while exercise and diet are important, what we eat may ultimately have the biggest impact on our health. Calista also told us that cricket flour’s going to be the next big thing (more protein per pound than any other meat source). Yikes!
VP, Customer Development, Snacking Bird
Snacking Bird is a snack curation service that delivers healthy snacks to your door regularly. It’s another service that seems to be trending worldwide and well-suited for Hong Kong Island, given our massive population within a relatively small footprint of land. They’re offering free delivery within the Hong Kong and Kowloon areas. SF was previously a participant in The Women’s Foundation Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders. Much respect.
Hopefully you’ll look further into these startups – I know I will and looking forward to becoming a little bit healthier myself in the future!
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