1 Day Forum


Retail’s Cutting Edge 2018

Take a look at the future of retail – from cryptocurrencies, blockchain solutions for the supply chain and vibrant startups to leading-edge technologies impacting offline and online retailers.

Agenda summary

8.30am: Registration

9.00am: Introduction from our host and MC Will Ross, CEO of Lazada Cross-border (Hong Kong). Retail’s state of play in 2018 and the challenges ahead.

9.10am: Welcome message from Stephen Phillips, director-general of InvestHK

9.20am: Niamh Given of startup incubator Nest outlines the Top Trends Driving Retail Innovation Today and what to watch out for.

9.40am: Ricky Wong, founder of HKTVmall, shares the lessons learned from launching an e-commerce retail business in Hong Kong.

10.00am: Carson McKelvey, CEO of Tofugear: Transformation: 3 pillars of building a successful retail ecosystem in 2018.

10.20am: Panel discussion: Executive Agenda 2018 – #NewYearNewRetail: Deep dive into the minds of retail leaders who are on the cutting edge of digital, consumers and the retail landscape. Discover what is top-of-mind for retail executives looking forward today as we determine what the future of this ever-more personalised and dynamic industry has in store for 2018 and beyond. Panellists include Cherry Gu, market director with J.Crew and Nicolas Brunau, head of retail Asia Pacific, with Geox. Moderated by Carson McKelvey.

11am: Coffee break

Startup Land:

11.30am: Pitchfest: Six carefully chosen startups with a retail focus present their credentials in quickfire presentations while our distinguished panel of judges select the winner of the Retail’s Cutting Edge 2018 Startup of the Year. The six finalists are: Boutir, ConnectAR, 3DNA, HK Pharmacorp, MobiJuce and Cloudbreakr.

12.10pm: What does it take for a retail startup to succeed and how can established corporates foster innovators and spot the next big thing?

  • Lui Tong, COO of Strawberrynet: Lessons from a successful entrepreneur and how to roll an online concept into new markets.
  • Michael Lints, partner with Golden Gate Ventures: What investors look for in new concepts and how to attract investment.
  • Wai Tang, non-executive director of successful listed Australian retailer corporations, on the need for investment in technology, how technology can disrupt and what does it take to get noticed by a corporate.

1.10pm: Lunch and networking.

2pm: Live Focus Group: Ever wondered what millennials and Generation Z consumers really think? Retail analyst Tiffany Lung from Tofugear poses questions live on stage to a panel of 20 consumers in an interactive session where delegates can ask questions anonymously from the floor via an app.

2.45pm: Technology, empowerment, the marketplace model and social enterprise. Be inspired by Leza Parker, founder of SC Beauty Network as she explains how she conceived her unique Southeast Asian marketplace and its impact on both retailing and the community.

3.05pm: How apps are changing retail. Ravel Lai, regional IT & digital director with Jardine Restaurant Group explains how digital marketing is driving Pizza Hut sales growth in Hong Kong.

3.25pm: Tokens and trade: Blockchain entrepreneur Ross Stokes of Gatcoin.io demystifies the concept of tokens and cryptocurrencies and their role in retail – and explains how they will impact traditional payment methods.

3.45pm: New Fintech Trends in Retail. Desmond Marshall, MD of TheFloorHub.com (a global fintech hub for Israel) & founder of Rouge Ventures, will discuss how new fintech trends will impact retail consumer behaviour, with insights into blockchain, cryptocurrencies and payments.

4.05pm: How can startups take advantage of the changing business environment and stay at the top of their game? A panel discussion chaired by Anson Bailey features Sarah Chessis, founder of digital fashion label Isabella Wren, Benoit Lavaud of Bluebell and Victor Ruiz, co-founder of ActiMirror, the winner of last year’s Retail’s Cutting Edge pitchfest.

4.45pm: Revealed: The winners of the RCE 2018 Pitch Fest. Announced by Wai Tang.

5pm: Expanding a retail business model into new markets: the cultural and practical challenges, presented by Vincenzo Troia, country manager, Yoox APAC with Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.

5.20pm: Our host Will Ross closes the day prior to the Retail’s Cutting Edge cocktail function.

  • Note: Agenda subject to change.