Hong Kong position themselves as Asia's premier startup destination

- July 15, 2013 3 MIN READ

Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) has announced the launch of its StartmeupHK Venture Programme 2013 to attract local and overseas entrepreneur-led businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong.

The Venture Programme features a global competition for innovative and high impact entrepreneurs. It culminates in a week-long event in December 2013 which 12 shortlisted finalists will be provided with access to business partners, financial capital, market knowledge and marketing opportunities. They will also compete to win prizes including free advisory services like accounting, legal, design and branding services, plus free work/retail space provided by sponsors and programme partners.

Entries can be lodged until the closing date of August 26, 2013. First-time or serial entrepreneurs who have an interest in expanding globally via Hong Kong and lead an early to growth stage venture are eligible to enter.

An assessment based on the team’s vision and competency, the value proposition of the business, the business model and the potential benefits to Hong Kong will see the 12 overseas finalists flown to Hong Kong for the final stages of the competition between 4 and 7 December. After pitching their businesses to a panel of judges and Hong Kong’s business community at a forum, six finalists will be selected to compete for three Grand Awards.

Judges and speakers at the forum on 5 December will include heavyweights in the local and global start-up and venture capital industry: Timothy Draper, founder of global venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Michel Crochon, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Schneider Electric; Mike Yahng, Chief Representative of Silicon Valley Bank, China; Max Burger, CEO of investment firm Golien; Andy Liu, Vice President of Asia Pacific, China and Japan, Strategy and Business Development, for global health services provider IMS Health; Yat Siu, founder and CEO of digital solutions company Outblaze; Alvin Miu, Executive Director, Group Chief Financial and Operating Officer of MF Jebsen; Elsa Pau, Publisher and CEO of WealthAsia Group; and Marvin Lai, Co-Chair of the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association’s Venture Committee.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So, said, “Make no mistake,

start-ups and entrepreneurs have significant contributions to Hong Kong. At a time when the world is facing ongoing economic uncertainty, we need new drivers to be able to generate economic growth, jobs and innovation in future.

“What InvestHK is doing to promote Hong Kong as a premier start-up destination in Asia and attract start-up entrepreneurs will help build the city’s start-up ecosystem – an ecosystem where overseas and local entrepreneurs can meet, exchange ideas, discover synergies and access markets, capital and talent together,” he said.

The Director-General of Investment Promotion, Simon Galpin, said that in the past two to three years, InvestHK has seen a rising number of entrepreneurs setting up business in Hong Kong; the percentage of such projects in InvestHK’s portfolio has risen from less than 10 percent to over 15 percent in 2013.

“These businesses may start small and employ only a few people in the beginning but they also create jobs through outsourcing some of their activities to local service providers. In fact, some of these businesses grow very quickly, employing 50 or more people within one to two years,” Mr Galpin said.

“And just as, if not more important, are the innovative business ideas and skills they bring to Hong Kong, which lend further competitive advantage to our economy in the long run,” he added.

Details and the online entry form for the StartmeupHK Venture Programme 2013 are available on InvestHK’s dedicated website www.startmeup.hk . The site offers a one-stop portal to the start-up community in the city, and is the first such Hong Kong Government portal on start-ups for entrepreneurs. It also lists the latest start-up events and signposts browsers to various government incentives and incubation schemes.