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Hong Kong’s Startup Ecosystem

Asia’s Opportunity Hub Fuels Innovation, Agility and Diversity

Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem had demonstrated remarkable resilience and its growth momentum continued in 2022, despite the ongoing challenges brought about by the pandemic.

InvestHK’s 2022 Startup Survey showed that both the number of startups and their number of staff employed reached a new record high, with a total of 3,985 startups employing 14,932 staff.

Why Hong Kong?

The encouraging result is a testament to Hong Kong’s attractiveness to startup founders contributed by favourable factors such as our simple tax system and low tax rate, accessibility to funding, accessibility to international and regional markets, business opportunity in Mainland China, and free flow of information, further demonstrating our unique role as a stepping stone for businesses to access the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the rest of Asia.

Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem returned some impressive results in the past year, despite the ongoing economic challenges of the global pandemic. The growth in the overall number of startups, employees and co-working, incubator and accelerator locations across the city is testament to Hong Kong’s attractiveness to startup founders. An increase in the number of startups from overseas and Mainland China, and a continued diverse mix of nationalities choosing Hong Kong as their base, further demonstrate our unique role as a bridge for innovative companies to access the Mainland and Asian markets through Hong Kong.

"Adversity so often drives innovation. For the second year running we’ve seen just how agile and innovative our startup community really is, despite the great challenges that face the business world right now. In Hong Kong, we pride ourselves on providing robust support for the startup ecosystem to grow, focusing on access to talent, market and funding."

Jayne Chan
Head of StartmeupHK, InvestHK

Hong Kong Continues to Attract the World

While 72% of the startup founders who provided origin information were Hong Kong locals and 4% were Hong Kong returnees, 25% of the startup founders were non-locals. Mainland China continued to have the largest share this year, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which was the same order as in 2021. Singapore overtook India and occupied the fifth position.

Individual percentage figures quoted above do not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding

Major origin countries/ territories of non-local founders

Percentage based on total number of non-local founders with origins provided

Startups across a Wide Range of Industries

Hong Kong remains attractive to the startups in a diverse range of industries. The “Fintech” sector retained its top spot, followed by “E-commerce/ supply chain management/ logistics technology”. The pandemic had catalysed the popularity of specific sectors, which led to a healthy increase in the number of startups under “Education & learning”, “BioTech” and “Health & medical”.

The above information is based on an online survey conducted by InvestHK with results finalised in September 2022. The survey was conducted in collaboration with a total of 64 operators of co-work spaces, incubators and accelerators.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is for general reference only. While every effort has been made to keep information current and accurate, InvestHK 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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