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Hong Kong: Highly diverse ecosystem with highly wired population

Although the Hong Kong startup ecosystem is still relatively young, it is one of the top 5 fastest growing startup ecosystem worldwide. Hong Kong has a very diverse ecosystem, with around 50% of startup founders being local and the other half from overseas. And Hong Kong startups are disrupting all sectors and industries, from e-commerce and logistics to real estate and EduTech.

Moreover, the Hong Kong population is also known for being highly wired. Around 50% of the Hong Kong population use Facebook and 96% of smartphone owner browse the Internet daily. According to the latest GfK Connected Consumer Index, Hong Kong has the fastest internet speed.

Want to know more about the Hong Kong Startup Ecosystem?


Hong Kong: Highly diverse ecosystem with highly wired population 


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You have ownership and pride in your own work

March 31, 2016 by Heather Lo, W Hub - Easycare

Easycare is a one-stop platform that connects healthcare care receivers and caregivers. It is an online marketplace with matching, scheduling, payment and call center services. With a passion to serve the society and transform the healthcare servicing industry with tech, the one-stop platform provides reliable and affordable healthcare services to households.

After the success of winning the Social Impact regional category at the Asia Social Innovation Award, Easycare will be launching more care services soon, and believes it will be active in Singapore, the Philippines and Australia in 2 years.
Easycare wonthe Social Impact regional category at the Asia Social Innovation Award

The daily life at Easycare is very dynamic, as one day they might be building partnerships with governmental organizations, and the next day they are talking to caregivers of the elderly in order to understand their needs and educate them on practical healthcare.  

It is a challenge every single day and we believe over time with collective effort, each of our small actions can combine and make a great impact to the society” says Xiayi Zhang, Co-Founder and CFO. 

Easycare also collaborates with other startups such as Acesobee on health record tracking and Longevity Design House on home renovation for the elderly.

Easycare believe that understanding customers’ need and service quality is of vital importance. “We understand customers’ pain,” says Xiayi.

“Thus we have built a product that can tackle the existing problem with user-friendly design.

Easycare team members have been personally effected by shortcomings in the healthcare system, and now want to help others handle the pressures of caring for loved ones.   Because of trust families put in external caregivers, Easycare conduct interviews with all caregivers.  They run background checks on their identification, certifications and test their experience with a practical exam.    

Despite the challenges of startup life, Xiayi says that the knowledge that they are helping society keeps the team going.  Being a startup also challenges them to learn something new everyday. 

“You have ownership and pride in your own work.”   Says Xiayi. 

“Within the team and through the connections that we make, we know that people believe in the idea and the vision which will help us grow.”


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How startups are the 51st shade of grey

April 7, 2016 by Victoria Lai - myfairtool

Courtesy of Victoria Lai , Marketing Manager of myfairtool, first published at Dec07 on LinkedIn. See the original post here.

You’ve probably heard or seen people talking about “startups” in the past few years.

Names such as “Uber”, “Airbnb”, “Snapchat”, “Spotify”, and so on certainly sound familiar. All these are startups. But do you know what startups really are?

The startup world

Put simply, a startup is a company. Where it really differs from traditional companies is in the way startups start and grow.

The standard model for a startup involves investments. Sometimes LARGE investments.

Where the traditional Mom&Pop’s shop uses personal savings & bank loans to start then survive based on turnover, startups require investors to inject large amounts of money from day 1 to grow.
Very often, profit isn’t really the objective for startups – at least not in the short term. The goal is growth; Becoming international and having as many users / customers as possible as fast as possible.

To achieve that, startups go through “rounds of investment”. Regularly, they call for investors to provide them with always more money (Uber has recently raised 1.2 billion USD) in order to keep growing their business without having to worry about profitability and expenses.

Such approach comes with real opportunities and risks.

Grow, grow, grow!

The opportunity is obvious: growth. Imagine what your local sandwich shop could do if it was given a few million USD to develop its business.

Growth means more employees, more products, more offices, more countries, etc.

It also means more challenges, more problems, more cultural differences, more adaptation, more regulations, etc.

As a result, working for a startup is very appealing for most people: you canrocket your career faster than in any other traditional companies and enjoy acool working space. Most startups try to re-create the Google-dream-office with leisure activities, comfortable working environment, happy-Fridays and flexible working hours to make up for the extra workload.

Early hires often become head of departments and lead people faster than they could have done following the traditional path.

They are also given the opportunity to test new things, make decisions, wear multiple hats and have a real impact on their industry. Employees are rarely given more freedom than in startups!

Be aware of the risks

With great power come great responsibilities

Startups are great for personal growth, but it comes with risks and challenges.

The first challenge is the workload – companies using this model grow rapidly because there is no such thing as “holidays” or “days off” (I am exaggerating, yet the intensity and workload is higher than in normal companies) and there is no standard path to follow. When you try to disrupt an industry with a new model, you have to create your own path and invent your own solutions. People who can’t handle the intense rhythm don’t last long.

For the same reason, people turnover tends to be high – not everyone is fit for the pressure specific to startups. Keeping your motivation and energy at high levels each and every day of the year isn’t easy. Seeing your role change and evolve can be confusing too. Some people love it, others don’t.

Also, you accept the fact that you will be paid less than the usual market price – don’t expect too much yearly salary increases, 13th month or bonuses. Often, startups will reward their employees with “options” or “shares”. This method helps increasing the employee’s loyalty and motivation: if the company grows, you can become really REALLY rich. If it doesn’t, you get nothing. All the more reason for devoting yourself to give your best!

Should I work for a startup?

There is no “perfect profile” for a startup. That being said, there are a few characteristics that should tell you whether you are the right fit for the adventure.

You need to identify where you stand on the career ladder and what you expect from the future. If you have a family and you seek stability, startups should not be your first choice.

If you need certainty and don’t like to take risks, if you like your job to be easy and predictable, if you don’t want to work extra hours or expect yearly salary raise… that might not be made for you either.

On the other hand, if you just started your career and you want to reach the top faster than anyone else, if you want your work to matter, if you want to make a difference, have an impact, if you want freedom in the way you work, if you seek innovation and creativity, if you like the prospect of potentially making a lot of money… you should definitely consider joining a startup!

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5 in 5 minutes - April 04th

April 4, 2016 by W Hub - W Hub

1. Uber is recruiting engineers through an in-app coding game

Uber is using a game called "Code on the Road" to recruit engineers from its pool of passengers in selected cities, if one successfully complete 3 coding problems within 60 seconds each, he/she will get a link to a job application. Among the passenger there is the Microsoft engineer Joshua Debner, Debner has no idea how the company knew he is an engineer. Uber insists that they are identifying geographic areas where tech jobs are concentrated to find candidates.

Click here to see more!

2. Tesla Model 3 online preorders are now live

Tesla is now taking preorders on its website for its Model 3, which is the more affordable electric car for the general public. After Hong Kong transport officials finally approve use of Tesla autopilot functions in policy reversal, will you consider ordering one?

See the full article here

3. Sorry, the MTR ticket fare is not coming down in anytime soon.

Starting from this summer, commuters will have to pay more for the MTR ticket as there will be another fare increase of 2.7 per cent based on the fare adjustment system. Shortly after the request from the government last week for an early review on the fare adjustment mechanism, the railway giant announced on Mar 28th for another fare increase. This will be the seventh consecutive year that the corporate has upped the rail fare, despite the HK$13 billion profits last year.

The fare adjustment mechanism has been widely criticized as unfair and as safeguarding the listed company’s profits rather than the interests of the community, but at least before the system has been reviewed and adjusted, commuters have to be ready for spending even more on traveling around the city.

Read more

4. HK tram operator shares real-time information

The Hong Kong tram operator has decided to share real-time operational information via the Citymapper apps in aims to attract more passengers. However, the city is lagging behind global standards in opening up transport data for public use.

For more information, click here.

5. Standard & Poor’s downgrades Hong Kong sovereign credit outlook to negative

The rating service company Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Hong Kong sovereign credit outlook from "stable" to "negative" shortly after the company downgraded China's outlook from stable to negative, due to the high degree of financial and economic linkage between HKSAR and China. The company also stated that they might lower the rating "if Hong Kong’s political polarization worsens to a point where it compromises policymaking and the business environment"

Click here to see the full article 

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5 in 5 minutes - April 11th

April 11, 2016 by W Hub - W Hub

1. Hong Kong will soon be seeing food trucks on the streets, but not the way citizens want. 

According to the government's Food Truck Pilot Scheme, which was announced in the 2015-2016 Budget Speech, we are expecting some food truck serving delicious food by the end of this year. However, it is not going to be as cool as those food truck in other major cities like London and Sydney. With the attempt to boost Hong Kong tourism, the government will allow 12 food truck taking turns to run in 6 specified sightseeing spots in Hong Kong. To participate, one has to first summit a proposal detailing your idea and plan, then enter a cooking competition after passing the governmental evaluation.

Click to know more

2. Hong Kong biotech start-up Prenetics enters China, introducing 48-hour DNA tests to the big market

Hong Kong biotech startup Prenetics has secured US $10 million in series A funding in a round led by a subsidiary of mainland insurance company Ping An. Danny Yeung, the CEO of Prenetics said they are planning on bringing 48 hours DNA test into the China market.

See the full article here

3.  HK Start-up “WeMine” prosper in China

After getting into IBM SoftLayer's accelerator programme Catalyst earlier this year, WeMIne, a HongKong startup that develops WeChat marketing tools, joined Nanshan Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth and Innovation & Entrepreneur Hub recently. WeMine will be granted a year tenancy free of charge in Nanshan Intelligence Industrial Park.
WeMine has assisted brands like Swire Foods, Maserati exclusive, Lazada and more to build custom WeChat management platform as well as execute marketing strategies to strengthen their power.

More about

4. HKU releases 2016 Q2 Hong Kong macroeconomic forecast

According to the forecast, the real GDP is estimated to moderate to 1.4% compare to the same period last year. And Hong Kong GDP is expected to grow by 1.5% in 2016 as a whole, slower than 2015.

See the full report here.

5.  Sha Tin most populated district while individuals in Wan Chai most well-educated

According to the 2015 Population and Household Statistics Analysed by District Council District report, Sha Tin is home to more than 660K people, while Islands only had a population of around 150K. On the other hand, individuals in Wan Chai district were the most educated, 91.5% of the population received secondary education or above and 46.2% held tertiary degrees.
Moreover, Sai Kung has the highest labour force participation rate, with 66.1% of the population were in the labour force, while 19.2% of those who live in Island were full-time student. The average age of the workers in Hong Kong was 41.

More facts about Hong Kong

Why starting up in Hong Kong?