Innovation is Everywhere - Hong Kong innovation ecosystem

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Information about Innovation is Everywhere - Hong Kong innovation ecosystem

Published on March 17, 2014

Author: AgenceTesla



Hong Kong is a very particular place in China. After a long British rule, it's "Chinese" again, but keeps its identity as the financial hub of Asia.

How Hong Kong is trying to become a startup Hub for both China and Asia? What are the best practices of the local tech ecosystem? What are the startups to remember?

Mixing an analysis of the history of technological innovation, present-day trends and identifying both top connectors and good ideas to foster entrepreneurship, this report aims to give a broad overview of what's happening in Hong Kong right now in 2014.

Innovation is Everywhere is a project where we visit one country per month to discover, explore and share stories on local innovation, startup, and the tech ecosystem.

Follow us on to get more reports, we also publish our news in tech blogs here and there.

Hong Kong innovation ecosystem Following Protei Sailing hackathon February 2014

Innovation has no place in a global world, it’s everywhere Innovation ecosystems can learn from one another Local context matters and should be a source for innovators This is why… We’re on a world tour of innovation ecosystems! We believe…

History & context of innovation in Hong Kong Turning manufacturers into entrepreneurs

A brief history of Hong Kong innovation ecosystem • 1997: After 155 years, Great-Britain retrocedes Hong Kong to China, which keeps it as a “Special Administrative Region” • 2001: the dotcom burst washes away the startup scene for the next 6-7 years, the city is still entrepreneurial, but not innovative as such

A brief history of Hong Kong innovation ecosystem • 2009: HK’s first coworking space, Boot HK, is setup, after several events like Startup Saturday gathered an embryo of a community • 2011: Weekly events at Boot HK keeps the community growing, and new coworking spaces (The Hive, Cocoon) open, as well as the first Hackerspace (Dim Sum Lab), more focused on hardware

A brief history of Hong Kong innovation ecosystem • 2011-2012: The first startups re-emerge from this community-driven environment, with Makibox (crowdfunding & hardware), 8securities (Fintech) which raised 8M$ • 2013-2014: The government kicks in, open incubators (Science Park, Cyberport) • 2014: The historical players of the ecosystem launch StartupHK, to sustain and manages to attract attention from InvestHK, a gov agency who supports SMEs and int’l expansion

Manufacturers, bankers turn entrepreneurs • Li Ka Shing, Asia’s richest man (retail, property development) is an early investor in Facebook, Spotify, Summly, Siri, and Bitcoin-related apps • Jonathan Buford comes from the manufacturing world, now runs Makibox, onf of HK’s top startups • Other popular founders come from the finance industry and startupify it

Online & tech landscape of Hong-Kong Forums Social media Blogging E-commerce Finance Gaming Apps

Startups to watch for (top: funded; bottom: promising) Source: Casey Lau

A top connected country in Asia… Source: We are Social

... And an entrepreneurial mindset.. Asia 27% Source: Seedstars World

To be found everywhere in the city! Asia 27% Source: Casey Lau

2020: the Pearl River Delta Megalopolis Asia 27% • Hong Kong already rebuilding Kowloon & “New Territories” • 2020: Pearl River Delta Megalopolis with 50M+ population

Honk Kong innovation ecosystem today Pros & Cons, Top Connectors & local best practices

Pros and cons of Hong Kong innovation ecosystem • High expertise in finance and bored bankers make good new startupers in fintech + access to bankers capital for insiders • Cheap manufacturing prices both in HK and nearby China • Easiness of starting a business and getting a visa, with no obligation to have HK residents in capital or employees • Community-driven ecosystem with true dedication and hunger for success • Entrepreneurial mindset • Uncensored Internet, not so common in Asia, and not the case in China • Small market of 8M inhabitants, not really connected to China (culturally, economically) • No culture of risk from banks, which will not support startups until 2 years of revenue can be shown • Lack of talent in specific areas, in particular design and UX/UI • English is an official language but not always understood everywhere • Not quite a gateway to China which has strong rules on startup (capital requirement, licences…) • 0.73% only of GDP dedicated to R&D • Real estate prices 30% > New York PROS CONS

Top connectors in Hong Kong WilliamLiang (Profile), Adjunct Professor atUHK and co-founder of Boot HK, HK’s first coworking spae. Now heading Dim Sum Lab, HK’s first hackerspace Casey Lau (About), co-founder of BootHK, catalyst at IBM for Asia-Pacific and founder of StartupHK, the new-born community movement of the startup scene Jonathan Buford (Twitter), co-founder of BootHK and now founder/CEO of Makibox, a startup creating new ways of manufacturing items Cédric Delzenne (Twitter), ex-founder of Shop Des Créateurs (marketplace for designers), now heading the HK chapter of the Founders Institute

Top connectors in Hong Kong César Harada (Website), founder of Protei, which makes a DIY boat with sensors to monitor environment data, ex-MIT, TED fellow Mikaal Abdulla (AngelList), founder and CEO of 8securities, one of the top fintech startups in HK, previously worked for E*TRADE Tony Vet (FB), Community Curator at The Good Lab 好單位 and Co-Founder at TEDtoChina Gregory So (Profile) Honk Kong Secretary of Commerce and key player of Start Me Up, the tech focused program of Invest HK

Best practices of HK innovation ecosystem • A quarterly “Introduction to the HK startup ecosystem” talk, by Casey Lau, founder of StartupHK, to get in touch with newcomers and update the available resources for the community

Best practices of HK innovation ecosystem • StartupHK, a coffee shop and new umbrella name for the local scene (5000 members), which runs StartbaseHK, a crowdsourced directory plugged to Crunchbase in the US (300 companies registered)

Best practices of HK innovation ecosystem • A reality show on startups on TVB, the biggest local channel, in Cantonese, to educate local youth on entrepreneurship (“I am boss”)

What’s next for Hong Kong? “Coopete” with neighboring Shenzhen: take advantage of low costs of China with skills and financing of HK Help Asian entrepreneurs bootstrap and relocate in HK, which has huge benefits compared to other Asian countries (easier visa than Singapore, easier setup of business than surrounding countries, better and freer internet than in China, etc) Open HKTech “embassies” in like-minded places (Dubai, Singapore, London…) with learning tours to help local startups scale in similar markets

Eager to learn about the other innovation ecosystems?

Documenting innovation through key events Hot posts, interviews, live-tweet, Google Hangouts Identifying key connectors on & offline Discovering alternative and emerging innovation ecosystems Beyond the Silicon Valley, local innovation hotbeds Tech, Social impact, Education, Life Sciences… Increasing mobility of innovators and ecosystem enablers Connecting doers and thinkers through monthly Hangouts Offering innovation ecosystem enablers to learn and exchange from peers About our project A world tour of innovation ecosystems

Martin Pasquier Entrepreneur in Singapore (social media agency), long- time traveller Mixes economics, politics and travels to analyze ecosystems, reports on innovation About our team Analysis, community & network Anne Lalou CEO of Innovation Factory & Web School Factory in Paris Transfer knowledge of ecosystems to new generation and to a network of top French companies Nicolas Loubet Serial entrepreneur in Paris with 3 companies, growth hacker Manages and nurtures creative communities on & offline

A world tour of innovation: 2013-2014 SUPPORT US! Travel & time of exploration isn’t free  Custom reports on emerging markets & trends Workshops, talks on innovation trends Connection to key local players for VCs, brands, tech communities

• Hong Kong Internet & Social Media Landscape (Slideshare) • Hong Kong, Startup Eldorado in a Financial Hub (Infographics) • Is Hong Kong China’s Number One Tech Hub? (Article) • Startme Up HK, the government’s initiative (Website) • Startup HK, the community’s initiative (Website) • StartBase HK, a directory of startups & people (Website) • There’s life after banking in Hong Kong, and it often involves taking banks’ business (Article) More on Honk Kong startup & innovation scenes Resources

Thanks! Martin Pasquier, for Innovation is Everywhere

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