Hong Kong’s
Startup Ecosystem


Hong Kong was listed as the third most innovative location in South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania in the Global Innovation Index 2019, and is a new entrant in the world’s top 25 startup hubs in the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report. lnvestHK’s own 2019 startup survey reports a significant increase over 2018 on all key parameters, with a total of 3,184 startups {+21 %) employing 12,478 employees {+31 %) across 92 co-work spaces, incubators and accelerators. The group of multi-cultural startup founders, who are the backbone of Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem, continues to create job opportunities for the Hong Kong economy. The number of co-work spaces, incubators and accelerators, which is supported by a strong network of ecosystem builders and stakeholders, has also shown remarkable increase over the years.

A bar chart to show the increase in the total number of startups since 2014
A bar chart to show the increase in the total number of employees since 2014
A bar chart to show the increase in the total number of co-work spaces/incubators & accelerators since 2014

"Hong Kong's startup ecosystem has been making great strides. Investment in startups reached US$720 million in 2019*, we have seven official unicorns and together with low taxes, progressive visa policies for tech talent and government funding for innovation and technology initiatives, we expect to see this growth continue."

Jayne Chan
Head of StartmeupHK, InvestHK

Major origin countries/ territories of non-local founders

While 59% of the startup founders who provided origin information were Hong Kong locals, and 7% were Hong Kong returnees, 34% of the startup founders were non-locals, from countries/ territories as diverse as the United States, Mainland China, United Kingdom, France, Australia, India, Singapore, Canada, Italy and Germany, among others.

A bar chart to show the number of startup businesses and their origin countries or territories

Startups access a wide range of industries

Hong Kong’s appeal as a startup hub extends to a wide variety of industries. In 2019, fintech, e-commerce/ supply chain management I logistics technology and information, computer and technology had the largest numbers of startups.

A pie chart to show the breakdown of the total number of startups by industry sector

The above information is based on an on line survey conducted by lnvestHK with results finalised in September 2019. The survey was conducted in collaboration with a total of 54 operators of co-work spaces, incubators and accelerators covering 92 locations. Information is based on answers from respondents who provided data for the questions.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is for general reference only. While every effort has been made to keep information current and accurate, lnvestHK does not accept any responsibility whatsoever in respect of such information. There is no implied endorsement of any material or recommendation of a company or service provider over another.

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