Asian Stars & Diversity in the UK startup scene

July 4, 2017

Asian Stars and Diversity in the UK startup scene


27 June 2017 


As a pledge for diversity and inclusion in Britain, we were proud to witness think tank DiversityUK's '100 Asian Stars in UK Tech' event to honour and showcase the wealth of Asian talent in the UK tech scene. Honorees included startup founders, social entrepreneurs, technologists, venture capital and angel investors to policy makers and game changers. 


Our CEO at Cocoon Networks, John Zai, was delighted to serve on the judging panel after having himself been honoured as one of the 'Top 5 Investors' of 2016 for his successful Sino-British startup ecosystem. The initiative celebrates diversity in the digital sector with a focus on disruptive technologies. Through highlighting the ground-breaking business models, apps, funding and support networks being created by Asian digital entrepreneurs, it addresses the perceived lack of diversity in the tech sector and showcases the wealth of talent that is currently growing the British tech scene.


'100 Asian Stars in UK Tech' was originally founded by digital entrepreneur Lopa Patel MBE, who is also the mastermind behind and Diversity UK digital entrepreneur and the first Asian woman to the receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion. She has long been recognised as an evangelist for STEM and the tech industries in the UK.



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At the event, this year's coveted Chairman Award was granted to Professor Dr Shafi Ahmed who is not only a surgeon but also a teacher, futurist, innovator, entrepreneur and an evangelist in augmented and virtual reality. The award was presented by HRH The Duke of York and sponsors Simon Collins, Chairman of KPMG; Anil Bhanot OBE, Chairman of the Ethnic Minority Foundation and Dilip Joshi MBE, Chairman of Diversity UK.

Professor Dr Ahmed has been working on new technologies enhancing surgical education globally, his online videos have earned him the accolade of most-watched surgeon in human history and he is also the cofounder of Medical Realities, a group offering surgical VR and AR training products. 

Other 'Asian stars' honoured were leaders in the categories of Business, Fintech, Investors, Startup and Women.


Congratulations to Professor Shafi Ahmed and the Top 100 Asian Stars in Tech that are driving forces and contributors to the UK startup eco-system in 2017!  


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Cocoon Networks is thrilled to see the Healthcare field thrive, as we view MedTech as one of the most promising areas of tech development which will continue to play huge role globally. Especially in China, due to factors such as an aging population and higher personal consumption, Healthcare and MedTech are key fields expected to be at the forefront of achieving strategic technological breakthroughs in the upcoming years. special foci lie on Augmented Reality and 3D visualisation techniques and China's medical equipment market has seen a 16-fold increase over the past 10 years from 14.5 billion RMB to 255 billion RMB.


Secondly, as the CEO of a Sino-British company, John Zai is delighted to see Asian contribution recognised in the UK and together with many tech leaders believes the building of bridges will continue, inspite of any uncertainty in the wake of Brexit.


'Embracing diversity and losing any remaining reserve in connecting globally is such an important issue. I founded both my primary venture Cocoon Networks and the British Chinese Young Entrepreneurship Association upon discovering the missing connection between UK entrepreneurial talent, which exists so abundantly in London and the UK, and Chinese investors like myself, who are very excited to collaborate with the UK but thus far have been faced with limited infrastructure to do so. Cultural differences in my view enhance the work environment, which is why our headquarters in East London comprise one of Europe's largest co-working spaces, where we encourage startups from all over the world to cultivate their ideas and collaborate' 


'As we are Chinese-capital backed, we can utilise our Chinese roots and links, but we are very much embedded in the city's tech ecosystem and the UK's market. We define ourselves first and foremost as a local company, as Londoners. As this year's leading partner for the London Tech Week we therefore celebrated the theme of #LondonIsOpen and will host a range of events to foster Sino-British entrepreneurial collaboration from our London headquarters. We believe in embracing our global market and bringing the best international talent together to create, connect and collaborate' 


As LTW's leading partner and together with over 800 tech enthusiasts we continued to celebrate diversity at the #LondonIsOpen-themed 2017 London Tech Week Launch. Left to right: Scott Thompson (CCO, London and Partners) and John Zai (CEO, Cocoon Networks)


Following on from the such great initiatives like 'Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech' and the buzz of the 2017 London Tech Week, during which we hosted our global China-UK Hi! Technology Festival, Cocoon Networks is busy hatching new initiatives, ideas and collaborations under the motto of Create. Connect. Collaborate., so stay tuned! 



About Asians in Tech
The Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech is the definitive list of Asians working in the digital and technology sectors in Britain. The aim of the list is to showcase diverse talent; from startup founders, technologists, venture capitalists and investors; to the game changers and digital influencers in business and social enterprise. | @asiansintech


About Cocoon Networks

Cocoon Networks is Europe’s first Chinese capital-backed, international, startup ecosystem. Leveraging a full suite of support spanning VC investment, business accelerators, events spaces, marketing and business consulting expertise, and IP management, Cocoon Networks is dedicated to supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and ideas to grow in a nurturing global environment.

About British Chinese Young Entrepreneurship AssociationBritish-Chinese Young Entrepreneurs Association (BCYEA) is a UK based nonprofit organization helping young entrepreneurs from both British and Chinese sides to establish cooperative, professional, and sustainable business relationships.
Founded on 8th August 2013, our association has taken in more than 300 members across UK and China covering a wide verities industry and professional sectors, including: media, property, legal, financial, accounting, marketing, and so on, and our association is still growing. 

About Diversity UK
Diversity UK is a think tank to research, advocate and promote new ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in Britain. Diversity UK delivers its objectives by undertaking research, facilitating debates, hosting roundtable meetings, producing white papers and publishing a monthly newsletter focusing on contemporary equality issues. Diversity UK is a registered charity (No: 1155189) in England & Wales. | @diversityuk

About The Ethnic Minority Foundation
EMF is a national registered charity created in 1999. It is an independent organisation that seeks to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice in society, and address the growing inequalities in the world system. EMF's social justice programme has sought to tackle some of the most difficult issues facing societies today. It has worked to try and protect children from exploitation; safeguard the rights of women and other vulnerable groups; tackle poverty and seek social applications for new technologies. Currently most of its work is focused on social enterprises and providing services and opportunities to local communities.

About KPMG Tech Growth
KPMG Tech Growth is a team based in Shoreditch, London focussed on helping early stage and high growth technology companies succeed through providing business advice and more specific tax, accounting, fundraising and cyber security related support. The team supports companies at all stages of their development - from those with just an idea to those looking ahead to a listing. They host a range of industry and networking events for the startup community in London and support a number of startup accelerator programmes as coaches and/ or mentors. | @KPMGTechGrowth

About is a news, business and entertainment website for the South Asian diaspora. With an ambition to usher in a new era of high quality citizen journalism, focuses on the ‘untold stories and unheard voices’ of the community. It publishes the ‘Asian Power Couples Hot 100’ and ‘Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech’ lists. | @newasianpostMentor Mayor of London Business Programme

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