HKBU Spin-off Company Highlight: From Post-doctorate to CEO: The Entrepreneurial Journey of HKBU Alumna Dr Ashley Ho

Dr Ashley Ho

HKBU Alumna


Contributed from the development of medical science, human population reached an all-time height. Longevity and healthier lives are no longer just a blessing. However, with greater proportion of older citizens in our population, chronic illness like dementia also became increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives.


With the implementation of Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU), our professors and researchers are supported to commercialise their scientific and technological researches to bring positive impact to the society. In this article, we would like to share with you, an aspiring story of a young entrepreneur, Dr Ashley Ho – the CEO of MIND and Tech Limited, who is also a graduate in HKBU's Department of Chemistry, on her journey of developing a solution for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.


MIND and Tech Limited - a solution for detecting early Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer disease, being the most common form of dementia, is incurable, and its underlying cause is still unknown. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), early diagnosis of dementia could significantly improve the quality of life for the patients themselves, as well as their families.


To ensure people with dementia receive timely treatment, MIND and Tech aims to launch a detection kit for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, providing a faster, more sensitive, affordable and less invasive way than traditional method of detection. The company is working with medical professionals to identify the accurate diagnostic benchmark for the detection kit, meanwhile, they have been actively seeking collaborations with local elderly homes, offering talks and screen tests to raise public awareness of the disease. "Our first group of target customers would be medical experts like researchers and doctors but our ultimate goal is making this product available to general public." said the CEO of the company.


Where the journey begins

The idea of starting a business only stroke Ashley two years ago when her research group officially announced their findings on early detection of Alzheimer's disease in a press conference. "I was happy to receive positive feedback from the public, from there, I can see there is a market with people demanding this detection kit. It was when I started to explore ways to commercialise our research." said Ashley. With a helping hand from HKBU's TSSSU, one year after the press conference was held, Ashley was awarded HKD1.06 million in kick starting her start-up, MIND and Tech Limited, dedicating in commercialising the foregoing technology.


The transformation of the company and the CEO

If we ask Ashley about the product and the underlying technology of her research, no doubt she would know the best, however, business acumen, pitching or marketing skills, which are essential skills in business establishment, never came into Ashley's mind before she started the company. "I remember the first time that I met with an angel investor, I was being asked questions that I have never thought of." said Ashley.


We asked Ashley what she had done to equip herself with the business skills required for this position. "I have been learning a lot from hands on experience. By that, I am able to develop commercial awareness which helps me to understand how to approach and attract potential investors." Indeed, over the past year, Ashley participated in numerous conferences and competitions, and in every single one of them, she took away invaluable experience, knowledge, and the necessary skillsets, which got herself closer to establishing a successful business.


Ashley's team was one of the winning teams in the HKBU Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2019. "The Bootcamp certainly boosted my confidence as our project received recognitions from the judges not only from Hong Kong but also from UC Berkeley. The best part of this Bootcamp was that I was able to team up with students from Oxford University and receive feedback from the mentors, their input was valuable and they helped us to improve MIND and Tech's business model and identify the blind spot." said Ashley.


Ashley's success in establishing her business is only the beginning, in years to come, she will continue to polish and refine her business practices and continue to make the world a better place. For sure the journey of running a Bio-tech company will be full of challenges, but from Ashley, we can see her passion and perseverance in developing this novel technology. We anticipate the future development of MIND and Tech, and we believe, just like Ashley, that our young entrepreneurs will create, a better future, not only for themselves, but for the whole mankind.