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By Andrea Lo | February 28th, 2019

Co-director, The Mills Fabrica

Alexander Chan was inspired by how rapidly the tech and innovation scene was taking off while working in Mainland China. “It always led me to question if there’s a way to grow Hong Kong into an innovation hub as well,” he says.

The Hongkonger made his start as a venture capitalist before going on to work with the UK Cabinet Office on social impact investments. He then held roles in management consulting and investments before becoming co-director at The Mills Fabrica in 2017.

The startup incubator is part of The Mills, a revitalization project launched by Nan Fung Development. Chan specializes in early-stage investments and incubation support, and currently works with 10 startup incubatees.

Meanwhile, the Mills Fabrica has expanded from a team of three to 10. He wants it to become a “go-to platform” where startups, companies and the public alike can “collaborate and work on interesting innovations.”

“It is a joy to see how far our startups have grown… from when their ideas were still a prototype to now products that are used in stores or deployed by businesses,” he says.

His first job? Before university, he was a social worker, with a focus on youth work and empowerment.

His role model? Vanessa Cheung, managing director at Nan Fung Development, who founded The Mills — “for her unwavering heart and vision for social impact.” Also, “the startup founders that we work with.”

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Check out the highlights from the awards ceremony held on Feb 19, 2019.