“I haven’t seen such a phenomenal growth in startups before.”

James Giancotti, Founder, Bigcolors 

Established in Hong Kong in 2013, Bigcolors is a private investing firm for early stage startups and has a presence in Singapore, Melbourne and San Francisco. It was founded by Australian James Giancotti and Hongkonger Jackie Lam who have both worked at global management consulting firms and seen the difficulty experienced by startups in raising seed funding, particularly in Hong Kong. Bigcolors not only invests in early stage startups, and helps them raise money, but also helps startups grow by providing business advice and support. The startups that Bigcolors has invested in range from mobile and tech apps, to co-work spaces and headphone suppliers.

An assessor of the StartmeupHK Venture Programme 2014, Giancotti is also an angel investor and helps with acquisitions of startups. Companies that Bigcolors has invested in include Taxiwise and Kiss Hugs.

“I haven’t seen such a phenomenal growth in startups before but particularly this year, we have seen so many acquisitions – Hong Kong companies getting sold and getting started. Hong Kong is definitely becoming the startup hub in Asia,” Giancotti said.

Bigcolors’ office in Sheung Wan is decorated with colourful mail boxes. Giancotti explained, “These are old mail boxes that you see everywhere here in Hong Kong. And each colour represents a company we’ve invested in and we want to make colourful ideas reality. So far, we have invested in 12 startups and they are growing fast. We are expecting to see many more boxes in future as we expand into Asia and other places around the world.”

Giancotti found the energy, access to people and networking opportunities the key attributes that make people fall in love with Hong Kong. “It’s a great place to start your business. If you can’t be a successful entrepreneur here, you can’t be anywhere,” he concluded.