Recently I've been learning more about the Hong Kong startup scene. Last week I went to an event hosted by InvestHK, who are doing a lot of work to help startups from London expand into the UK. The more I've looked into it the more it looks like a fantastic place to startup if you're looking to tackle the Asian market or even relocate too if you're looking to expand into Asia.
Here are 5 reasons why Hong Kong is the next startup hub to look out for:
- Gateway to Asia. Hong Kong is close to a growing Asian market. Within 5 hours of half the worlds population (India, Mainland China, Japan, Indonesia etc...).
- No restrictions. Internet not restricted by Chinese government so companies have access to Twitter, Facebook and Google, but also the equivalent Chinese social networks such as Weibo, Renren and Baidu.
- Low and simple tax rate. Hong Kong has one of the lowest tax rates in the world which is a huge attraction to startups looking to make savings where possible. Here's some more info: http://bit.ly/1vp8y0m
- Startup support. Still growing but the level of support is getting better and better. For example government organisations such as InvestHK are providing a lot of help for new startups. Right now is a great time to take advantage of the governments willingness to back startups entering Hong Kong.
- Infrastructure/Culture. Hong Kong is very startup friendly. As one of the worlds smart cities, Hong Kong as an excellent IT infrastructure, good transportation, health care and governance systems. There is also lots of highly educated local talent. English is also spoken throughout Hong Kong, helping British startups entering the market settle better.
To show just how much Hong Kong is embracing startups, co working spaces have grown from just 3 three years ago to 32. Shared workspace helps lowers costs for startups, which is obviously a key concern.
Much like London, Hong Kong is not a cheap city to live in, but the increase in shared workspaces and initiatives to help startups helps cut costs for entrepreneurs whilst still staying at the heart of the action is hugely beneficial.
Here's a nice video which puts it all together:
InvestHK are even helping early stage and growing startups with the opportunity to set up in Hong Kong with a competition, StartmeupHK. With benefits totaling over $500,000 including support and workspace in Hong Kong, you'd be crazy to not even consider it. Here's more about StartmeupHK. But be quick, applications close on the 31st July, 12pm Hong Kong time.