Why Hong Kong?
Hong Kong, Asia’s most vibrant city, is the ideal place to do business. Ranked the world’s freest economy for 25 years by the US-based Heritage Foundation, its excellent infrastructure, pro-business policies and strategic location make it the preferred destination for businesses large and small, and the best gateway to opportunities in mainland China and the rest of Asia.
Besides its enduring commercial advantages, Hong Kong’s legendary spirit of enterprise and its boundless energy create the perfect environment for starting a business. The local startup ecosystem is supported by a strong network of incubators and accelerators, a pool of experienced angels and venture capitalists, and a welcoming community of startups knit together by dozens of networking events, seminars and associations.
It should come as no surprise that Hong Kong is Asia’s most dynamic startup destination, home to 7 unicorns and a rapidly growing number of startups in areas as diverse as fintech, retail tech, healthtech, IoT, smart city technologies and many more.
Recent Innovation & Technology Landscape in Hong Kong
Development of I&T has been a top priority on the Hong Kong Government’s agenda, which has committed HK$100 billion to introduce various I&T policy initiatives. In recent years, the government has significantly stepped up support for scientific research and I&T sectors by developing infrastructure, promoting research & development, nurturing talent, promoting re-industrialisation and enhancing financial support to enterprises
In terms of I&T infrastructure, the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, a 87-hectare world-class innovation hub, is well underway, along with the Data Technology Hub, the Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Tseung Kwan O and Cyperport 5, with expected completion dates in 2020, 2022 and 2024 respectively. In addition, two research clusters – Health@InnoHK and AIR@InnoHK at Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) will significantly enhance research collaboration between local, Mainland and world renowned universities and reinforce Hong Kong’s widely recognised R&D capabilities.
The funding landscape for startups in Hong Kong is maturing, with a total of US$ 720 million invested in Hong Kong-based startups by October 2019 (Source: Oddup). The new listing regime of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has allowed technology companies with weighted voting rights, pre-revenue and pre-profit biotechnology companies to raise funds in Hong Kong. Subsequently, we have witnessed a number of high profile public listings of innovative firms in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In addition, the government has also set up a co-investment fund with a pilot group of venture capitalist firms named Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF) to stimulate private investment in local startups.
The Greater Bay Area Factor
With a robust rule of law, stringent intellectual property rights protection and a deep pool of international talents, Hong Kong has always been an ideal destination for international companies to set up offices. Going forward, Hong Kong is presented with unprecedented opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area (GBA) development, which provides a sizable market of 70 million consumers, a base for rapid prototyping and high-end manufacturing, together with access to an expanding pool of shared talents and R&D facilities.
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