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Hong Kong sees a burgeoning tech startup ecosystem

Peter Yan and David Chung (Computerworld HK) | Nov. 6, 2013
Hong Kong's startup ecosystem has been taking shape in recent years amid rising availability of private co-working space and media hype as well as growing support from the government and industry organisations.

Hong Kong startups are capable of expanding beyond Hong Kong and China via Cyberport to join world-class incubators and accelerators such as StartX, 500 Startups, Techstars, Y Combinator and similar ones set up by TiE and InnoSpring.

Joining these world-class programs enables startups to bolster their businesses by gaining access to the world's best network of professional trainings, business consultation, mentorship, as well as business and institution investment.

Apart from the public sector, contribution and support from industry associations are also of paramount importance in livening up the startup ecosystem. The Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS) — founded in 1970 with over 9,000 members -—has been the leading non-profit organization that strives to promote ICT professional development and talent cultivation, as well as driving industry development and collaboration in Hong Kong.

HKCS has been bringing Hong Kong startups to the international stage, raising their profiles, and increasing their exposure to venture capitalists and other investors. Being an EXCO Member of the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) that organizes the annual APICTA Awards, HKCS leads a Hong Kong delegation to compete with entries from other Asia Pacific economies every year. In 2013, HKCS will soon host the annual APICTA Awards in Hong Kong.

HKCS — together with MoDevNetworks LLC and Cyberport — has organized the first "MoDev 2013 Conference" in April this year. Originated in the US, MoDev is a fast growing international platform for leading mobile application developers, designers, and marketing professionals to network and exchange views on the evolving trends and applications of mobile computing. Riding on the success of the MoDev 2013 Conference, HKCS will continue to organize the 2014 edition in April next year.

All in all, joint effort between private sectors, the public sector, industry associations, and grass-root associations has fuel the growth of the burgeoning local tech startup ecosystem.

Although we haven't seen a Facebook-like tech giant from Hong Kong yet, there are definitely many strong local tech startups that have pierced and made their names in the international scene. Some of them include CoachBase, Leovation, Aldiko, Frenzoo, Aftership, and Perpetu Other startups, such as Timable, IT Wake, Bulb B, Innopage, and Nuthon IT Solutions, are seeing robust growth in the local market. With the growing support and a vibrant startup culture, we can expect more and more Hong Kong tech startups achieving global success in the near future.


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