Alumni Kaleidoscope: Jack Lau - PhD(ELEC), Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA
As the first PhD alumnus from HKUST and a faculty member of the university, Jack is a well-known name to students, staff and alumni alike.
After attaining his tenure in the ECE Dept, he founded Perception Digital, a pioneer in technology solutions for digital sequel processing and turn-key consumer electronics. It was one of the first companies accepted by the HKUST Entrepreneurship Program. Jack eventually took Perception Digital public on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, becoming the first HKUST spin-off to go public
Despite their success, Jack remembers struggling through tough times: "It was not a straight road when we started out. We had to find ways to resolve issues such as capital shortfall, research and prototyping bottlenecks. The biggest lesson is to be ready for whatever surprises come your way, and to learn from mistakes and use them to grow." His perseverance and dedication eventually paid off, and in recognition of his achievements, Jack was honored with the 10 Most Outstanding Young Persons in Hong Kong in 2000, the Young Industrialist Award 2005, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year China in 2009.
Jack is passionate about sharing the joy of learning with others. He is a generous donor to HKUST and was the pioneer donor to the HKUST Alumni Endowment Fund (AEF) in 2012. He also set up a scholarship at HKUST for talented mainland students and launched the first e-learning community for primary and secondary school students in the mainland. In addition, Jack and his fellow Council member Catherine co-founded the HeadStart@HKUST program in 2016 to help first and second year undergraduate students to kick-off their career journeys. Students in the program are matched with a summer internship and mentor, and have access to a wide range of professional development opportunities to help equip them for overcoming challenges after graduation.
Jack now serves on the Council of the University and is the Chair of the Institutional Advancement and Outreach Committee of the Council.