IC START-UP TAKES OFF IN HONG KONG
“It took us only 10 weeks from the initial business idea to have a company up and running thanks to InvestHK’s support, advice and introductions.”
Dr Niek van der Duijn Schouten, Director and Founder, RediSem Ltd
Within 18 months of setting up in Hong Kong entrepreneurial start-up RediSem has exceeded all its business targets.
It has been a record-breaking year for RediSem, the fabless semiconductor company. Using Hong Kong as the R&D base and the headquarters of the company,the start-up has grown from its two founders to employing 15 staff.
“Hong Kong was the perfect location to set up the new business and it offered many advantages. It’s very simple to set up a business here, and the setup cost is low. I am particularly impressed by how fast things move here – within three months we had developed and manufactured our first prototype and from there the business has grown very quickly,” Dr Niek van der Duijn Schouten, Director and Founder of RediSem Ltd, said.
RediSem designs and supplies low-cost, energy-efficient power management integrated circuits (ICs). The company’s patented technology can double the lifetime of energy-efficient lighting and significantly improve the energy efficiency of power supply products such as laptop and phone chargers, increasing energy efficiency of the transformers from 80 up to 90 percent.
Hong Kong advantage
Redisem chose to set up the company in Hong Kong and conduct R&D here because of its pro-business culture, government support to R&D, availability of high quality talent pool, robust intellectual property protection, easy access to key markets and customers in Mainland China and Taiwan, and also because English is the language of business.
With the advice of InvestHK, Redisem successfully joined the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks’ Incubation Programme, and obtained a HK$3 million interest-free loan from the Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme (SERAP) under the Innovation and Technology Fund. The three-year Incubation Programme offers practical support and funding including free office space for year one and heavily discounted office space for years two and three. It also offers immediate access to design and research equipment at low costs as well as mentor support in the form of seminars, advice and introductions. The SERAP loan, which matches the initial investment of the founders, helps to manage the all-important cash flow for a new start-up like Redisem.
“InvestHK has been with us all the way. It took us only 10 weeks from the initial business idea to have a company up and running thanks to InvestHK’s support, advice and introductions. HKSTP has also been great,” Dr van der Duijn Schouten, said.
RediSem has already found several customers and is working with one of the top lighting companies based in Hong Kong to jointly develop a new integrated circuit that can extend the lifetime of light bulbs at minimal extra cost. In five years’ time the company plans to have double digit market share in this growing market.
“Hong Kong is a dynamic business environment for entrepreneurs. It is easy to make contact with people looking for new opportunities who are ready to make quick decisions. Coupled with the available government support I would definitely recommend Hong Kong to would-be entrepreneurs,” Dr van der Duijn Schouten said.
Fast Facts: RediSem
- RediSem’s founders and directors are Dr Niek van der Duijn Schouten and Russell Jacques. Dr van der Duijn Schouten has a background in electronics and Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor design and holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Cambridge University. Jacques has over 20 years senior management experience in the powersupply applications sector
- The company takes a fresh approach to the development of power management ICs and power supply systems. It has patented several proven core technologies covering a wide range of power converter applications and energy efficient lighting
- It is dedicated to reducing energy consumption and minimising waste by applying green technology
- Established headquarters in Hong Kong in January 2009 and all its work including research and development is carried out in Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.
- In 18 months the company has grown from its two founders to employing 15 professional staff including IC designers, IC applications engineers and administration staff