Finance from Hong Kong in this – Prism news – Author: Geng charge
In the past five years, under the momentum of Internet entrepreneurship sweeping across the country and the north and the south, Hong Kong has also been “suddenly eager to move”, trying to expand new growth drivers beyond the traditional financial, real estate and other pillar industries. This new driving force is a science and technology enterprise. A top-down entrepreneurial wave is being carried out in Hong Kong. The government has guided the real estate developers, big companies and big funds to respond.
Hong Kong’s established real estate companies New World (7.960, -0.08, -1.00%) (00017), Sun Hung Kai (00016), and Xinhe (00083) provide entrepreneurs with a low-cost shared office space. The Hong Kong X Fund, in which Sequoia Capital China participates, is already the capital driver for excavating Hong Kong startups.
Today, the entrepreneurial atmosphere in Hong Kong is getting stronger. In early January 2019, the Hong Kong Investment Promotion Agency released data. By the end of 2018, the number of Hong Kong startups reached 2,625, an increase of 18% year-on-year. These companies cover financial technology, e-commerce, supply chain management and logistics technology. More than one-third of the founders are from outside Hong Kong.
The “Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District Development Plan” promulgated in February 2019 proposed the construction of an international science and technology innovation center, which brought new policy support to Hong Kong, and even the entire Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and Dawan District development science and technology enterprises.
Hong Kong began to expect that the city can breed more Xinjiang and Shangtang. Opportunities for young people to move upwards
Chen Guanhua is a witness, witness and promoter of the entrepreneurial tide in Hong Kong in recent years.
In 1996, after finishing his postdoctoral research at the University of Rochester, Chen Guanhua became a teacher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong. At that time, Hong Kong was still a regional financial center. Hong Kong universities have no place in the field of basic research.
After witnessing the development track of Hong Kong over the past 20 years, Chen Guanhua told Tencent’s “Prism” that after the return of Hong Kong, a large number of talents poured into Hong Kong. Some people joined the financial industry. They combined with Hong Kong’s local and foreign talents and capital. To gradually transform Hong Kong into the current international financial center.
There are also some people who have joined the universities in Hong Kong and promoted the basic research level in Hong Kong.
“The combination of these two talents is very beneficial to Hong Kong’s science and technology. Just like the Hong Kong X Technology Entrepreneurship Platform, any venture is a combination of talent and capital.” Chen Guanhua said that Hong Kong does not lack these two core resources.
In 2013, Yan Wenhao, who served as CEO of two well-known companies in China.com and Gigamedia, returned to Hong Kong to establish Langqi Technology, a children’s programming education organization.
“At the beginning of the business, the entrepreneurial atmosphere in Hong Kong was not very good at the time. The threshold for entrepreneurship was high, the rent was expensive, and the government did not support much for SMEs.” Yan Wenhao did not receive government subsidies during his entrepreneurial period. “I believe in the power of the market. If a company relies on government funding from the beginning, then life will not be too strong.”
The entrepreneurial environment in Hong Kong has clearly improved, occurring in the past five years.
The Hong Kong government is aware that in addition to the booming traditional industries of finance, real estate, trade and tourism, it is necessary to tap new economic growth drivers and create more opportunities for young people to move upwards while making the economic structure more diverse. .
In 2017, Lin Zhengyue became the chief executive of Hong Kong and clearly supported the development of science and technology enterprises in Hong Kong as one of the priorities of her administration.
In many public occasions, Lin Zhengyue repeatedly stressed the government’s determination to promote the development of venture companies. Over the past two years, the Hong Kong Government has successively introduced a series of measures, including increasing financial support for the Hong Kong Cyberport and the Academy of Sciences, and allocating HK$20 billion to enhance the scientific research strength of the University of Hong Kong.
The top-down policy support of the Hong Kong Government has given confidence to the market and entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurial opportunities in Hong Kong have emerged, and those entrepreneurs who are full of dreams need support. At the end of 2015, Chen Guanhua and Li Zexiang, a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, pondered the establishment of a platform to support Hong Kong Science and Technology.
At that time, Dajiang, founded by Li Zexiang’s student Wang Wei, has stabilized the position of the world’s first drone. Chen and Li found Shen Nanpeng, the founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China Fund, about meeting on the second floor of Shuxiangmen, the Hunan cuisine restaurant in the West Ring of Hong Kong. “Can we do this entrepreneurial platform in Hong Kong? When we had the first meal with Shen Nanpeng, he felt that this was a good thing and should be done.” Chen Guanhua said. After half a year, in July 2016, Chen Guanhua, Li Zexiang, and Sequoia Capital, Everbright Holdings, and Gefei Asset Management jointly launched the Hong Kong X Technology Entrepreneurship Platform. The focus of Hong Kong X is on those early-stage science and technology enterprises in Hong Kong, especially the research projects that have come out of colleges and universities.
“We named the platform Hong Kong X, X represents the future, infinity and imagination.” Shen Nanpeng said at the ceremony of the establishment of Hong Kong X. At the end of 2016, the first phase of the Hong Kong X Fund fundraising was completed, with a size of HK$300 million. Chen Guanhua and Li Zexiang are general partners. Sequoia Capital, Everbright Holdings and Goofy Asset Management are limited partners. There are also many university professors in Hong Kong. Over the past two years, Chen Guanhua and the team have inspected more than 2,000 projects and invested in 30 of them. Many of these projects have come out of the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. For example, Hong Kong X Fund’s individual companies investing in microelectronics are valued at five or six times the value of investment. Although three companies are close to bankruptcy, they are better than expected. Now, Chen Guanhua will tell everyone that Hong Kong is currently the most suitable place for Chinese entrepreneurs. “There are high-end talents, strong technical accumulation, and more academics than many places.”
Backfeed from big real estate developers
In Hong Kong, if office rents can be compressed, the cost of starting a business will be greatly reduced. “In recent years, there has been more and more sharing space in Hong Kong. In the meantime, the support of big real estate developers is indispensable. Entrepreneurs can rent office space at low prices. It can be said that the cost of starting a business in Hong Kong is not high compared with before.” Chen Guanhua said.
Hong Kong X is also a beneficiary. Sun Hung Kai and Sino Group are providing free space for Hong Kong X in Kwun Tong and Jordan. They are also available to investment companies through Hong Kong X for free.
Kwun Tong is an area on the eastern side of Kowloon, Hong Kong. Time returned to the 1960s, and a factory was housed in the building, which opened the industrial era of Hong Kong.
Since the 1990s, a large number of Hong Kong factories have travelled to the Mainland, and the industrial buildings in Kwun Tong have been gradually vacant. The old industrial area has since faded, old and decadent, and it has become a visual impression of Kwun Tong. Statistics from the Hong Kong Government show that Kwun Tong has been “connected” to the poorest districts of Hong Kong for many years.
Since 2010, the Hong Kong Government has initiated the re-engineering of the Kwun Tong Project. It hopes to improve the infrastructure and transform the old industrial area into a commercial centre in eastern Kowloon. Many of the industrial buildings located in Kwun Tong have been “activated” and transformed from industrial buildings into commercial buildings or office buildings.
In 2013, Pengli Assets purchased Jianda Industrial Building for HK$980 million, and then invested HK$170 million to revitalize it into an office building. The building was named KOHO, meaning Kowloon Head Office. KOHO is the first successful industrial building in Kwun Tong and is of iconic significance.
The following year, New World Development, one of Hong Kong’s four largest real estate developers, spent HK$1.6 billion to purchase KOHO. Today, this 12-story building is home to a number of startups, Eureka Nova, the new world-based startup accelerator, and Tencent’s first WeStart space in Hong Kong. While the Kwun Tong Industrial Building is being revitalized, the Hong Kong Government has stepped up its efforts to encourage young people to start businesses.
In 2017, Hong Kong Chief Executive Lin Zhengyue proposed in the Policy Address to provide a space for youth entrepreneurs and artists, and to launch the “Youth Sharing Space Plan”, which will revitalize the industrial space to a discount of half the market price. , rented to young entrepreneurs or artists.
Under the call of the Hong Kong government, 10 companies, including Sun Hung Kai Properties, Sino Group and Emperor Group, participated in the first batch of support and leased their office space to entrepreneurs. As the Kwun Tong Industrial Building is the most dense, with large space and low rents, the 10 shared spaces under the above-mentioned large companies are located in Kwun Tong. Their demonstration role has attracted more space for people to enter Kwun Tong. Now walking in the streets and alleys of Kwun Tong, from time to time will see young people with “technology”.
Outside of Kwun Tong, other areas of Hong Kong have also created a lot of space in the past few years.
For example, the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences in the New Territories and the Cyberport in the Southern District of Hong Kong are the science and technology institutions and platforms under the guidance of the Hong Kong Government. The government provides funds to provide entrepreneurs with a range of support including work spaces. WeWork, which originated in New York, USA, has established nine spaces in Hong Kong since it established its first space in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong in 2016.
Founded by former Vanke executive Mao Daqing, the excellent guest workshop invested by Sequoia Capital and Zhenge Fund also entered Hong Kong in early 2018. Looking forward to more Dajiang and Shangtang
Back in the end of 2016, Liang Zhenying, then the chief executive of Hong Kong, said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the expansion of the Academy of Sciences. At that time, there were about 1,600 start-ups in Hong Kong, with only more than 40 incubators and shared workspaces. Alan Chan founded the precision marketing company Easychat with his friends at the end of 2017, which is his third venture. He told Prism that Hong Kong currently has more than 300 shared workspaces, and he chose to settle in the Tencent WeStart space in Kwun Tong. WeStart has been officially opened since August 2018. So far, 70 start-up companies from 8 countries have settled.
Tencent (00700) WeStart People’s Space General Manager Yin Yingyi told Prism that many of these start-ups are valued by Tencent’s network effects. For example, some companies want to know about overseas markets, or some overseas companies want to understand the Chinese market. Get support with Tencent Hong Kong’s creative space. Note: VS Media is responsible for the day-to-day operations of WeStart’s space in Hong Kong, and Tencent does not participate.
“The rent here is flat and the atmosphere is good. Moreover, for entrepreneurs, the network is really important. You can reach different people here and have more opportunities to know big companies. If you need funds, space can also Help,” Alan Chan said to Prism. For Alan Chan and Easychat, February 27 is a good opportunity for them to get connections and resources.
In the evening, more than 300 people gathered in the Tencent WeStart space on the 6th floor of KOHO. Six companies went on stage to introduce their projects, and 18 companies set up booths to showcase their products. Most of the audiences who come to listen are big business executives, some are the heads of the investment department, and some are the heads of the business departments, who hope to explore startups or investment startups. After the event on February 27th, two or three big business executives contacted Alan Chan, who were interested in Easychat’s products and hoped to get in touch with the cooperation opportunities.
Not just Tencent, Hong Kong’s large local companies are also focusing on start-ups, and SnapPop co-founder Leo Lau has a deep understanding. Founded three years ago, SnapPop is a merchandising platform based on augmented reality and image recognition. The company was selected in the first phase of the Eureka Nova Incubator Project launched by New World Development in 2017. The Eureka Nova incubator project was initiated by Zheng Zhigang, Vice President of New World Development, with the intention of discovering start-ups in the smart retail industry. Selected companies can use Eureka Nova’s shared workspace on the 9th floor of KOHO for free. In addition, Eureka Nova organizes weekly workshops to provide financial, legal and design training to these founders. Leo Lau said that the reason for being selected for Eureka Nova is because SnapPop’s services can be used for some of New World Group’s businesses.
For example, strolling on the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, open SnapPop’s mobile app, aiming at the star’s statue, and the virtual animation of the star will pop up on the screen of the mobile phone.
“The Avenue of Stars is responsible for the renovation of New World Development, so the cooperation opportunities for this project are also introduced by them.” Leo Lau said: “After being selected into Eureka Nova, SnapPop has become more and more popular.”
Since September 2017, SnapPop has been different. The agency has collaborated on more than 30 projects, most of which were introduced by New World.
Unlike the start-up entrepreneurs, Langwen Technology, founded by Yan Wenhao, has been the largest children’s programming education institution in Hong Kong after more than five years of development. Today, he is planning to step out of Hong Kong and embrace the larger “stage”, which is an important path for Hong Kong start-ups to open up the market.
Many start-ups in the Mainland are good at using the natural single market in the Mainland to win the business model. Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong also need the mainland market, but they hope to build the technology and R&D capabilities of higher barriers based on the research strength of local universities. “Resolutely not invest in companies that only do business model innovation. In the past few years, Hong Kong X Fund has helped start-ups with core technologies, and with technical barriers, they have to find a market.” Chen Guanhua said.
The road to entrepreneurship is a life of nine.
For Hong Kong start-ups, technology and the market can go even further if they can do both. The global drones overlord Dajiang, the Lumos smart helmet that was best invented in the 2018 of the American Times, the early cancer detection company Cirina, and the face recognition company Shangtang Technology, are not.
These unicorn companies, which were born in Hong Kong, are already an annotation of Hong Kong’s development of science and technology. Under the policy support of the “Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and Dawan District Development Planning Rules”, the fire of the stars of Hong Kong’s entrepreneurship may be punished.