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Festival celebrates dramatic growth of business start-ups

Hong Kong Financial Secretary John C. Tsang highlighted the phenomenal growth in Hong Kong's start-up scene at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum 2016.

Thousands of start-ups, investors and business leaders took part in the StartmeupHK Festival 2016 (January 23-30) to exchange views on the next wave of growth in the Internet of things, financial technology, health technology and data analytics.

Speaking at the opening, Financial Secretary John C. Tsang highlighted the phenomenal growth in Hong Kong’s start-up scene, with more than 1,500 start-ups in Hong Kong, a 50-percent surge compared to 2014.

Mr. Tsang also spoke about the incubation programs supported by the Hong Kong government.

The Cyberport has nurtured more than 160 start-ups over the past decade, with a smart focus on information and communication technology.

The Hong Kong Science Park is home to a great diversity of companies, from multinationals and SMEs to start-ups working in its various incubation programs. When the Park's Phase 3 is completed, later this year, it will count some 240 start-ups in clusters ranging from electronics and green technology to biomedical technology and information and communications technology.

Science Park start-ups are focused primarily on robotics, smart cities, IoT and healthy ageing - all areas of significant interest to Hong Kong.

CEO and Product Designer of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the fireside chat at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum 2016.

“We are setting up a new Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living to finance projects that make good use of ITto improve daily life,” said Mr. Tsang. “There is also the new Innovation and Technology Venture Fund. Itwill be used to invest in local innovation and technology start-ups - on a matching basis with private-venture capital funds.”

Hong Kong’s angel investment scene is also gathering steam, taking in US$324 million in 2015. That's well more than double the US$139 million in institutionalized venture capital in 2014.

Among the luminaries speaking on entrepreneurship and innovation was Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and founder of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, Paypal and Zip2. Mr. Musk lauded Hong Kong as the “beacon city” for electric vehicles, and expected the city to be the “leader in the world” in electric vehicle adoption, following phenomenal growth last year. Musk also praised the Hong Kong government’s policies for promoting electric vehicles.


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