From November 11 to 15, Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and 36Kr Global jointly hosted a series of webinars as part of JUMPSTARTER 2022.
Twenty successful entrepreneurs and industry experts of various fields shared their insights on solving common business challenges, as well as their motivations for setting up businesses in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. The event’s guest speakers also delved into other topics, including analysis of the business climate and development opportunities of emerging industries in the Greater Bay Area. These talks were aimed at providing valuable knowledge to companies currently considering global expansion, especially those planning to operate in the Greater Bay Area.
All sessions are now available on the official JUMPSTARTER website. If you missed these webinars, you can check them out here. Read on for recaps of each discussion.
November 1, Shenzhen Edition: Leveraging Hong Kong’s world-class financial system to expand internationally
Hong Kong is a favored market for startups that are exploring overseas expansion. Its financial, industrial, cultural, and commercial networks are outstanding, and the city holds the attention of international investors.
Hong Kong’s investment landscape encapsulates a mix of Asian and international investors. Some form collaborations that may have otherwise been impossible. Few cities offer the same level of diversity.
Compared to other mature economies around the world, Hong Kong maintains a low tax rate. Plus, the city has signed agreements with other jurisdictions around the world to eliminate double taxation and develop exemptions from overseas income tax, making conditions favorable to entrepreneurs and startups that are exploring the possibility of establishing a presence in overseas markets.
Hong Kong has an international logistics and offshore settlement center, and is well-connected with global commerce networks. Additionally, the Greater Bay Area presents many opportunities in terms of capital, talent, and market conditions. All of these qualities, which are unique to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, can support startups in their quest to form a global presence.
November 3, Shanghai Edition: The benefits and trials of scaling your business overseas
Business expansion is of prime importance for entrepreneurs. When a startup has a competitive advantage, it should expand to a new market or create new products to maximize the total value of its life cycle. So, how do startups enter new environments and develop operations in unfamiliar markets?
Some startups link up with local partners to commercialize their solutions and facilitate direct entry into the market. This is a way to validate a firm’s key technology and product application in the new market. Additionally, collaborations across borders reflect a globalized mindset. The internet gives businesses access to a global customer base, creating renewed fervor for international expansions.
With that said, startups do face many challenges when developing operations overseas. Oftentimes, establishing a presence in a new market requires standardizing and refining products, which involves hiring a local team. Adapting to the local systems and standards is also a key consideration. Startups need to be mindful of the different regulations and certifications in other countries and regions.
Balancing the rate of expansion against cash flow is another challenge that startups encounter. Entering a new market is costly and bears the risk of cash burns. Yet, on the flipside, holding back means a business may lag behind competition. Startups must have the confidence to make quick, substantiated decisions to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
November 5, Guangzhou Edition: Key opportunities in Hong Kong
The business world changes daily, with trends and opportunities showing up in emerging industries. What are some of these sectors in Hong Kong that entrepreneurs should focus on?
Hong Kong is undoubtedly a noteworthy market for fintech. The city has strong financial infrastructure, with major financial institutions and pioneers embracing and developing innovative financial solutions. Hong Kong itself offers a large customer pool for fintech companies and is a location with many business opportunities.
Climate change is a common challenge for humankind. As extreme weather becomes more frequent, human survival and development is being threatened. In response, sustainable technologies and business practices are evolving, driving change in consumers’ lifestyles. Efforts such as reducing carbon emissions and transparency around product traceability are increasingly common in Hong Kong. Startups need to pay more attention to the environmental, social, and governance demands in the city to foster sustainable development.
Also, new applications for 5G in art and interactive entertainment have been developed in recent years. Art and technology complement each other. Visual art, music, installation art, are being reinvented as new mediums by introducing augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other technologies. The Hong Kong Arts Development Council has set up a series of funding initiatives for digital art projects to encourage development at the intersection of art and technology.
The healthcare industry has a profound impact on society, and healthtech startups continue to introduce new solutions into this traditional space. In the wake of the pandemic, Hong Kong citizens are actively embracing new technologies and applications such as remote consultations and virtual nursing. In addition, many have also become more receptive to clinical trials. This means more patients are willing to try innovative therapies, shortening the time to commercialization for biotechnology developers. These new conditions are advancing the state of health care.
This webinar series was a highlight of JUMPSTARTER 2022. The Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund launched the JUMPSTARTER 2022 Global Pitch Competition, sponsored by HSBC. Startups that have been operating for no more than five years, in between their seed stage and Series C, and are interested in expanding into Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area are welcome to participate. Applications will close on November 28, 2021. A panel of judges will evaluate the submissions and create a shortlist for the top 100 startups, which will then compete to be featured among ten finalists in December. At the beginning of 2022, the finalists will compete for an investment of up to USD 4 million (subject to compliance and completion of due diligence processes) and other awards.
JUMPSTARTER 2022 is open for registration. Interested parties can check out the official JUMPSTARTER page for more information.
About the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund
Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund is a not-for-profit initiative launched by Alibaba Group in 2015. To vitalize the development of innovation and technology, AEF’s mission is to help Hong Kong entrepreneurs and young people realize their dreams and visions for a Hong Kong that is vibrant and engaged regionally and globally. As part of its investment program, AEF provides Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs with investment capital and strategic guidance to help them grow their businesses and penetrate the mainland Chinese and global markets by utilizing Alibaba’s ecosystem. For more information, please visit ent-fund.org.
JUMPSTARTER is a nonprofit initiative created by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund that provides a platform for all entrepreneurs and young people to jump-start their dreams in Hong Kong. It is a first-of-its-kind startup event focused exclusively on showcasing quality startups and providing high-impact networking opportunities. Its goal is to build, empower, and boost Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship by bringing entrepreneurs, corporations, investors, and the public together, helping to transform Hong Kong into a leading hub for global innovation and technology. For more information, please visit jumpstarter.hk.
This was published in partnership with the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.