HK: springboard for startups
Hong Kong is an ideal springboard for startups looking to bring their ideas and products to Asian markets, said Kathy Chan, the director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO) at an innovation conference titled “Hong Kong Meets Toronto: Innovation Showcase” last week.
“Not only do we speak the same language, practise the common law system, have an open and transparent market, implement a vigorous intellectual property regime and adopt a simple tax system with low tax rates, we also maintain an international trade network and in particular enjoy preferential access to the vast mainland … market,” Chan said.
“Hong Kong also has professionals who have the ties and knowledge to help you do business with (the mainland) and the rest of Asia,” she added.
The conference co-organised by HKETO and the Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) attracted numerous innovation and technology startups from Canada and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, an innovation hub based in Hong Kong and led by CEO Herman Lam, joined the conference.
According to Chan, Cyberport has played a key role in grooming information and communications technology (ICT) talent and has successfully nurtured more than 160 startups in the past 10 years.
MaRS and Cyberport announced a partnership focused on driving financial technology (fintech) innovation and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Canada in November 2015.
“Looking into the future, Cyberport plans to step up its support for startups through various initiatives, such as increasing incubation scheme quotas, establishing new clusters for areas such as fintech and e-commerce to meet the latest development of the industry and the market, increasing the provision of small offices and workstations by 50 percent within the next year to cater to the needs of the ICT industry, and launching a new fund for investment in its ICT startups,” Chan said.
The number of incubation and co-work locations in Hong Kong has increased from just a few six years ago to more than 40 now. There are around 1,600 startups in Hong Kong.
“We encouraged more collaboration between startup agencies between Hong Kong and Toronto and welcomed Canadian talents to approach the HKETO or Invest Hong Kong for information and advice,” Chan said.
Hong Kong ... has professionals who have the ties and knowledge to help you do business.”