What is next for Hong Kong after its first billion-dollar start-up?

September 6, 2017
Industry News
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Bien Perez
bien.perez@scmp.com

City’s start-up community needs support from a bigger pool of funding resources, while it should sharpen its focus on building an international business, industry experts say

Hong Kong will need to step up development of a sustainable ecosystem for a growing hi-tech start-up community to help foster the city’s next US$1 billion “unicorn”, according to industry experts.

It would mean plugging the city’s big gaping hole in funding resources to support these entrepreneurs, said Gary Chan Shueng-han, director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

“The ecosystem in Hong Kong will remain incomplete without a large pool of funding being established and made widely available to the start-up community,” said Chan on the sidelines of a forum on innovation and entrepreneurship on Wednesday.

New ventures remain hard-pressed to raise cash, particularly for expansion and development after the initial start-up period, despite government incentives and early support from the city’s small band of angel investors, according to participants in a panel discussion under the “One Step Ahead Series” organised by the Asia Society of Hong Kong and sponsored by J P Morgan.

Brandon Ng, co-founder and chief executive at local start-up Ampd Energy, said his company is an example of one that tapped investors from overseas to push forward its business, which aims to make diesel generators obsolete with its advanced battery-powered energy storage system.

Both Ng and Chan said they are hopeful that Hong Kong logistics company GoGoVan’s recent success in joining the ranks of unicorns – start-ups valued in excess of US$1 billion – would encourage the city’s banking sector to increase its support of local technology entrepreneurs.

“We’re not going to see the effects of that in the next few weeks, but we’ll certainly start to see that over the next few months,” Ng said. Continue Reading
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