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IDS Distinguished Speaker Series #5 - Captain Hoff from Founders Space

Host: HKU Musketeers Foundation Institute of Data Science
Co-Host: HKU Techno-Entrepreneurship Core

Title: The Future of AI & Entrepreneurship – Direct from Silicon Valley
Speaker: Mr. Steven Hoffman (Captain Hoff), Chairman & CEO, Founders Space
Moderator: Prof. Yi Ma, Director of HKU IDS; Professor, Chair of Artificial Intelligence, HKU
Date: April 12, 2024
Time: 5:00pm – 6:15pm HKT
Venue: Rayson Huang Theatre / Zoom

Mode: Hybrid. Seats for on-site participants are limited. A confirmation email will be sent to participants who have successfully registered.


See the latest breakthroughs in AI from Silicon Valley and how entrepreneurs are leveraging the power of generative AI to transform the world. Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff) will show you how AI is set to upend every aspect of our lives and society, as he takes us on a journey into the future.


Mr Steven Hoffman (Captain Hoff)
Chairman & CEO @ Founders Space

Steven Hoffman (Captain Hoff) is an expert on AI business strategy and author of three award-winning books: “The Five Forces” (AI) published by BenBella and distributed by Penguin Random House; “Make Elephants Fly” (innovation) published by Hachette; “Surviving a Startup” (entrepreneurship) published by HarperCollins.


Hoffman is also a venture investor and Chairman & CEO of Founders Space, a global startup accelerator and innovation hub, with over 50 partners in 22 countries. Founders Space was ranked #1 accelerator for international startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines.

Hoffman has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs launch their companies in Silicon Valley and around the globe. He has also advised corporations on innovation strategy, including Qualcomm, Huawei, Bosch, Intel, Disney, Warner Brothers, Ad Age, MetLife, NBC, A&E, Siemens, Viacom, Turner, Gulf Oil, etc.

Prior to this, Hoffman worked as a TV development executive at Fries Entertainment, which produced over a hundred TV shows, movies, and mini-series that were acquired by MGM. He went on to pioneer interactive television with his venture-funded startup, Spiderdance, which produced interactive TV shows with NBC, MTV, Turner, Warner Brothers, History Channel, Game Show Network, and others.

While in Hollywood, Hoffman served on the Board of Governors of the Producers Guild of America’s New Media Council. He was also founder and Chairman of the Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter and a founding member of the Academy of Television’s Interactive Media Group.

As a serial entrepreneur, Hoffman combined new technologies with entertainment, producing groundbreaking games and interactive shows, like WebRIOTNo BoundariesWeakest LinkYumby, and RocketOn. He was also Head of Infospace’s Mobile Games Studio, whose play-for-prizes games included TetrisWheel of FortuneTomb RaiderThiefHitmanSkee-BallX-Files, and more.

Hoffman earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of California and a master’s degree in film and television from the University of Southern California. He currently resides in California but spends most of his time helping entrepreneurs and innovators around the world bring their dreams to life.


Professor Yi Ma
Director; Professor, Chair of Artificial Intelligence @ HKU IDS & Department of Computer Science 

Professor Yi Ma is a Chair Professor in the Musketeers Foundation Institute of Data Science (HKU IDS) and Department of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong. He took up the Directorship of HKU IDS on January 12, 2023. He is also a Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published about 60 journal papers, 120 conference papers, and three textbooks in computer vision, generalized principal component analysis, and high-dimensional data analysis. 

Professor Ma’s research interests cover computer vision, high-dimensional data analysis, and intelligent systems. For full biography of Professor Ma, please refer to:

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