Sanctuary AI — “Synths”, Human-like Robots

In the 1950s, John McCarthy, one of the greatest innovators in the field of artificial intelligence coined the term AI and defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”. The most notable concept around Ai is the Turing Test — the method of inquiry in artificial intelligence…

香港初創氣氛已醞釀多年,但似乎仍落後全球主要城市。擅長於加拿大及香港兩邊尋寶的馮尚賢指出,加拿大創業家往往同時具備做生意及學術的經驗,而且成功後願意重返當地建設初創的生態系統。香港創意氣氛雖然愈來愈好,惟始終地產及金融在回報和風險上較為吸引人投身。

馮尚賢坦言,香港創業家熟悉本土市場,一是擅長做生意及金融,再不就是學術研究出身,甚至金融人碰上學者共同創業;反觀加拿大就平衡得多,即使是學術出身,但有一定的創業經驗,知道成功失敗的滋味,經驗計更上一層樓。

加拿大創業家較完備

此外,由於加拿大市場較細,而且地理及文化上靠近美國,創業家往往第一步就是考慮如何衝出加拿大,例如進軍美國市場後,再進一步擴展至亞洲市場,而且成功後願意重返當地,投資及建設初創的生態系統。至於香港創業家,第一步先集中本土市場,短期會走得比較快,但較後期才想如何進軍其他市場。

馮尚賢續稱,即使香港人創業經驗愈來愈多,但始終是國際金融中心,藉着金融賺錢可能是最「正確」的事,「風險易計,回報清楚,而且具備流動性,所以香港人較聚焦股票及地產,穩定地賺錢;創業或風險投資流動性較低,往往要5至10年後才知道做得好不好。」

轉載自信報 https://www1.hkej.com/dailynews/finnews/article/2605279/%E6%B8%AF%E9%87%8D%E5%9C%B0%E7%94%A2%E9%87%91%E8%9E%8D%E5%A4%9A%E9%81%8E%E5%89%B5%E6%A5%AD

疫情除衝擊日常生活,一些初創企業亦受到影響。Saltagen Ventures創辦人兼執行合夥人馮尚賢接受本報專訪時表示,雖然部分初創因為疫情而拖慢發展進度,所需營運資金亦較預期增加,投資風險上升,但最好的初創在估值上幾乎沒有影響,而疫情亦儼然一次考試,有助創投基金(VC)檢視組合風險,「疫情是最懷情況,假如亦承受到且能營運,算是組合中較低風險的投資。」

最佳初創估值無影響

馮尚賢是當年人稱「三劍俠」的馮景禧的孫兒,即是馮景禧長子馮永發的兒子,他創辦的Saltagen Ventures專注於醫療科技及人工智能等的早期投資,包括種子輪至A輪,馮尚賢坦言,疫情影響下,投資風險自然提升,但表現最好的初創企業的估值幾乎沒有下跌;而次一級且營運資金相對不足的初創,則是創投基金尋寶的機會,「產品或研發是沒有問題,只是因監管或其他機構營運暫停而影響進度,我們可重新洽談有利的投資條款。」

由於早期投資亦是較長期的投資,可以預期初創於成立首數年,未必會有產品或產生收入的能力,最好確保有足夠未來18至24個月的營運資金,而且通常需要5至7年才有流動性,馮尚賢指出,早期投資不是按現金流來看估值,更依賴內部營運,例如能不能按時達到認證、技術、營運或生產上的里程碑。

以醫療科技為例,須於不同市場取得不同階段的認證,他稱,「可能每個階段都分為三期,每一期過關都要花錢,例如是聘請研發人員,做臨床試驗,疫情影響下,臨床試驗會可能延遲數月才能回復,醫院亦會削減本來會投資的金額,變相需要多數個月的營運資金。」

早期投資考紀律眼光

不過,疫情也為部分公司帶來機會, 例如從事過敏測試的初創公司,可以加入研究測試新冠病毒,「這樣可獲取額外的政府補貼,亦可能加快取得認證的過程,並考驗團隊的靈活性,而我們作為熟悉加拿大、香港市場及政府的創投基金,便可幫忙申請補貼或給予建議。」

今次疫情之後,市場資金顯然對生物科技、遙距辦公及外賣等產業提高興趣,馮尚賢指出,的確看到多了創投基金將較多資金配置於生物科技,惟他強調,早期投資一定要嚴守紀律,挑選熟悉的行業、市場環境,因為很多時候沒有直接的公司比較,「初創未有收入之際,是考驗你對行業和技術的知識,以及對創辦人的判斷,除了研究與營運,還包括有沒有籌集資金的能力等。」

採訪、撰文:張浚浩

轉載自信報 https://www1.hkej.com/dailynews/finnews/article/2605278/

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Saltagen Ventures

Saltagen Ventures, launched by Fairchild Capital Management, connects Canadian and Hong Kong startup ecosystems and invest in early-stage startups

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