It has also been a test for both resilience and the ability to thrive in changing conditions. Whilst Silicon Valley still takes a lion’s share of the international startup community, there are many other international startup hubs that can better cater and serve to nurturing early-stage startups to fully-fledged scaleups.
With the work from home culture and the great exodus from metropolis city centres to remote working environments in full swing, the need to move your startup to a buzzing city centre has come into question.
Yet there are some iconic startup hubs that still deserve our full attention and ideally full physical presence to unleash all our full startup and scaleup potential.
Hong Kong is one of these prime locations for entrepreneurs looking to launch a new business and ultimately develop their visibility across Asia and beyond.
It is no secret that Hong Kong has endured much international attention over the past two year mainly due to the long-running US-China trade war, as well as the social unrest. Despite this, the resilience of Hong Kong’s startup scene and agility of the business community to adapt to changing market conditions and develop new ways to stay competitive and relevant in a highly complex global business environment has been testimony to Hong Kong’s dedicated and solid startup infrastructure.
Many contributing factors have led to this success story. There has been an influx of support from government agencies such as Invest Hong Kong to institutional VC’s, to the advent of local accelerators and rapidly growing network of angel investing bodies.
Hong Kong has a very international startup ecosystem with one in four founders being from outside Hong Kong. Additionally, four of the universities in Hong Kong are named the top 50 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021 report.
Hong Kong is literally ripe for the picking. The fruits of your startup hard work just might be rewarded in this welcoming, inclusive and business friendly city.
Championing these efforts is Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Department (HKSAR) responsible for attracting foreign direct investment and supporting overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong.
How to set up in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a population of 7.48 million and it welcomes talent from all over the globe with business-friendly immigration policies. If you’re looking to set up in Hong Kong or simply want some experienced advice of best practice solutions, let us introduce you to the Hong Kong Inc Family. Yes, that’s right thanks to InvestHK, a global body of specialists can help you gain direct access to key initiatives and institutions that provide connections to funding, housing, education and infrastructure that will prove invaluable to any business looking to broaden their horizons.
InvestHK provides free advice and customised services for overseas and Mainland companies. With international offices throughout the world including North America and South America, I’m pretty sure you have an InvestHK representative and sector specialist in a city near you that can help guide and advise you options for setting up business in Hong Kong.
Dimitris Horiatis, Senior Innovation & Technology Manager of InvestHK as based in New York is a key contact for those who are looking to maximise your business exposure in Hong Kong and tap into the unique startup culture and support opportunities in Hong Kong. We spoke to Dimitris on exactly what sets Hong Kong apart from other international cities and makes Hong Kong a vibrant and dynamic hub to live, invest and work in.
Hong Kong is in a unique position to serve as the gateway into China and the rest of Asia for western businesses. Under the “One Country, Two Systems” constitutional principle Hong Kong still practises Common Law and has one of the most robust IP protection systems in Asia. Hong Kong is not just an international business and finance hub. It is also quickly becoming an Innovation Hub and has always been a fantastic place to live in and visit. It has exquisite natural beauty. Within 15 minutes, you can be at the beach or hiking within its dramatic rock formations, such as the Dragon’s Back, which is one of the best urban hiking trails. The city provides the perfect balance of work and play opportunities for companies that want to set up and be able to attract the best talent from around the world. Finally, its government talent attraction schemes will continue to attract the best talent, and make it easy for companies to bring in the human resources they need to thrive.”
Dimitris can connect you to key stakeholders that can help take your startup to the world! The top 5 countries of origin that look to set up businesses in Hong Kong are Mainland China, UK, US, Japan and Singapore. However, Hong Kong welcomes everyone to its shores, and this is why it has one of the most diverse and welcoming startup cultures in the world!
The Wall Street Journal has referred to Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world and Hong Kong consistently outperforms in international rankings. Historically Hong Kong is characterised by free trade, free market, free flow of capital and importantly a stable currency with no foreign exchange control. Thanks to its proximity to Mainland China, it also acts as a strategic gateway to growing Mainland China markets, regional financial and logistics hubs across Asia.