Australian entrepreneurs have the chance to access international mentoring and investment in Hong Kong, with a new venture program launched this week.
StartmeupHK Venture Programme is seeking 12 entrepreneurs with “innovative and high impact ventures” to attend a four-day program in December.
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Charles Ng, associate director-general of investment promotion at InvestHK, told StartupSmart Hong Kong presents unique opportunities to entrepreneurs.
“As the shift from the West to the East is happening, we’re seeing a lot of opportunities here,” Ng says.
“When you come to Hong Kong, if you wanted to develop a service for the rest of the world and penetrate China, we have a different platform than London or Tel Aviv. We’re a financial capital, and there is great access to financial and human capital here.”
Entrepreneurs need to have early growth stage businesses that are innovative, scalable and sustainable. Applicants need to be interested in developing their business presence in Hong Kong.
Ng says entrepreneurs across all industries are invited to apply, including information and communications, technology, green sustainability and creative start-ups.
He added that Hong Kong’s proximity to the evolving Pearl River Delta manufacturing area was especially valuable for technology start-ups.
“You can do the research in Hong Kong, and when you’re ready you can move to the next stage of massive scale of production of technology products. The Pearl River Delta area is transforming from low-end manufacturing to high-end manufacturing. The whole industry is going up the value chain, and this is unique opportunity for those in the technology industry,” Ng says.
Attendees will be able to pitch for free advisory services such as legal, design and accounting, as well as office and retail space in Hong Kong.
The event will give start-ups the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges and investors.
The panel includes Mike Yahng, the chief representative of Silicon Valley Bank; Michael Crochon, the executive vice president of strategy at Schneider Electric; and Marvin Lai, the co-chair of Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association’s Venture Committee.
Six finalists will be selected from this pitch process to compete for three investment grand awards.
The program is an initiative of InvestHK, a department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government that is responsible for foreign direct investment. It has completed over 2900 investment projects and managed $HK76 billion ($A10.6bn) in investments.
Applications close August 26.