The Advantages for Startups in Hong Kong
Author: Gloria Mopotu
Startups have become the number one driver of economic growth in Hong Kong. With the ecosystem proven to be worth over US$ 2 billion, the startup ecosystem in Hong Kong has become the main game player on the startup stage. Some of the reasons why Hong Kong is recognized as such a successful city for startups include location, a trustworthy economy, political environment and support from government and private entities.
Hong Kong is the home to some of the top startup conferences in Asia including FinTech and Rise, and with a boom of startups in Hong Kong, more companies and business minded people have joined this flourishing startup community. To contribute to this growing industry, the government of Hong Kong and private entities have joined forces with the common purpose of developing Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem especially in all areas including innovation and technology, e-commerce, logistics, technology and more.
One of the first steps in achieving this is that the Hong Kong government launched a fund valued at over HK$ 1 billion to support and build the startup community. Furthermore, the government of Hong Kong has collaborated with the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to fill the funding gap for local technology startups which the government hopes will eventually standout as the “AsianTech Hub” according to the executive authorities. In essence, Hong Kong wants to be the top startup city and is willing to improve in all of the areas. This is evident enough that the economy of Hong Kong only keeps growing and getting better and proves to be one of the best cities to start a business.
With the development and success of startups in Hong Kong for economic growth and job creations, organizations in Hong Kong have merged with the commitment to grow startups. Here a few of the top organizations that assist startups in achieving success:
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
For all tech and science related startups, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is one to consider. HKSTP supports new science and technology businesses through its incubation programme. This incubation programme is divided into three main areas: web and mobile technology, technology and biotechnology.
The aim of Cyberport is to support innovation and technology by opening the door for start-ups to access various entrepreneurial programmes, taken meet-ups and community of budding entrepreneurs. Moreover, it offers marketing support for startups and the Cyberport Incubation Programme smooths the way for entrepreneurs and startups, such as Snapback and Air Button, with the necessary resources and materials to ensure the growth of the incubators. Cyberport incubators can receive over HK$ 300,000.00 over a period of 24 months. Some of the advantages under the Cyberport incubation programme include advertising subsidies up to HK$ 50,000.00, rent-free working space for up to 24 months and training, trade fair or exhibition services subsidies to 75%.
StartmeupHK is an initiative that was launched in 2013 by InvestHK. The purpose of this initiative is to create awareness by promoting the Hong Kong startup ecosystem and bring together local and international startup communities. Its objective is to advance the startup ecosystem in Hong Kong as a whole by bringing global entrepreneurs to Hong Kong to take part in the startup community of the city. Some incubators under StartmeupHK include Ablaze, Lime HK, SuperCharge.
For all financial startups, the DBS Accelerator has partnered with NEST to help evolve financial services with the primary focus of seeking innovative solutions. Each year 8 startups are selected to accelerate their fintech business and are guided and supported by DBS. Some benefits that DBS offers is mentorship from a specialist in banking, technology, and startups provided by DBS and NEST.
Becoming your own boss is not an easy decision to take. There are risks involved as well as successes and opportunities for your business to thrive and Hong Kong is a city that offers great opportunities for startups.