Next Gen Hong Kong: A Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting Up

Next Gen Hong Kong: A Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting Up

Written and Curated by Brandon LaBella

Startup Eco-System

This is the most exciting time to be in Hong Kong as the amount of opportunity is endless, yet the movement over here is just getting started.  The Sky is The Limit J

“The technology startup ecosystem is booming in the city and we are excited about the enormous opportunities to co-create smart city solutions with different partners.”

“Hong Kong was our starting base because it is a dynamic and entrepreneurial city with tremendous opportunities”

Overview:  Hong Kong's business appeal was also shown in our just-released "2018 Startup Survey". Our startup ecosystem has skyrocketed in the last few years. The survey saw 2,625 startups operating in Hong Kong's various co-work spaces, private or government incubators. This is an 18 percent year-on-year increase, while jobs created surged by 51 percent year-on-year. The startup community is also highly international in nature with 35 percent of founders coming from outside Hong Kong. The UK, US, the Chinese mainland and Australia are the top origins of non-local founders. They are engaged in businesses such as fintech, e-commerce, supply chain management, logistics technology, professional or consultancy services, information, computer and technology, etc.

The continuous rise in the numbers of foreign companies and startups are testament to the enduring business advantages of Hong Kong where companies tap into opportunities in Hong Kong, across the Chinese mainland and Asia.

Hong Kong, of course, enjoys an enviable and strategic location at the very heart of Asia. The city is connected to half of the world's population within five hours of flying time, and direct flights to cities across the region and around the world allow business to be done efficiently.

Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem has skyrocketed in the last few years. On top of its enduring commercial advantages, Hong Kong’s legendary spirit of enterprise and its boundless energy create the perfect environment for starting a business. This is supported by a strong network of incubators and accelerators, a pool of experienced angels and venture capitalists, a host of government backed programmes and a welcoming community of startups knit together by dozens of networking events, seminars and associations.  The survey was carried out in collaboration with 48 co-work spaces, incubators and accelerators covering 79 locations. The objectives are to better understand the startup community and to promote Hong Kong as a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Resources  (Goal Is To Drive Traffic From All These Places To Next Gen Hong Kong Facebook Community Which Can Curate All Events/Content To Inspire Hong Kong

1. HKFYG Jockey Club Social Innovation Center (Hosted 2 Day -> Entrepreneurship Forum In December (Hong Kong and China)

The Ministry of Social Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship not only provides entrepreneurs and social innovation education and training for young people, but also provides practical financial and diversified services for young people who are interested in entrepreneurship, and practices entrepreneurial ideals. At the same time, they encourage young people to use innovative ideas to solve social problems and establish business. A sustainable model of operations that improves the state of society.

The Social Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship Department provides the following three core services, including "incubation", "network support" and "enlargement of investment" to support youth entrepreneurship and promote social innovation.

Incubation and development

Launch different training programs and trainings, and provide start-ups with resources such as start-up funds, office space, entrepreneurial tutors and training to reduce their financial burden.

Network Support

Hold a variety of gatherings to bring together people from different industries and provide business referral opportunities to broaden the network of start-up businesses.

Expanding investment,

providing fundraising channels, establishing opportunities for start-ups in China, and overseas markets

2.     One Salon (Brandon Has Led Talk Here For 22 Members)

Started at Stanford, Salon is a place to learn, to draw inspiration, and to be surrounded by doers and creators. It is a place to let our creativity run wild and to expose ourselves to new topics and new viewpoints.

With 13 chapters and growing, Salon is also growing to become an international community around these values, so that a Saloner can visit any city and immediately have a community of people that hold our values important.

Most Salons include a scheduled talk, on diverse topics as Creativity, Coaching, Technology, or Education. Some talks are meant to teach, some to create an experience, and some to inspire. All talks however, invite participation - either through activities, discussion, or thoughtful responses.

While Salon is planned around a talk, it is only a diving board - the real magic of Salon happens between the attendees. We create an open environment, bringing together a group of thoughtful, creative, and passionate minds - and we just let sparks fly.

To connect all potential change-makers and create a better platform for sparkling inspirations, incubating projects and sharing resources.

3.     ChangeMakers (Brandon Has Co-Led Event With Them)

To connect all potential change-makers and create a better platform for sparkling inspirations, incubating projects and sharing resources. A discourse on life choices A community  of inspiration meaningful conversations.

HKU’s entrepreneurship series – forums, mixers, events, hub and portal – covering all tech, biz, social, cultural and media spheres. Cross sectors and cross generations of students, alumni, friends old and new and people with passion and determination!

4. Hong Kong Science Park

Hong Kong Science Park is a living laboratory where innovative technologies are tested and applied, and valuable data and feedback are collected to enable future innovation. It is also piloted as a smart region to further Hong Kong’s Smart City vision.

Leveraging Hong Kong’s core strengths and unique position in the global technology revolution, we focus on five key technology clusters   – Biomedical Technology, Electronics, Green Technology, Information and Communications Technology, Material and Precision Engineering - that are consolidating Hong Kong’s role as an epicentre of technological innovation.

Science Park companies are grouped together in these clusters to facilitate communication and to create opportunities for cross-fertilisation of ideas, sharing of expertise and business collaboration.

Through encouraging team work in the clusters, we have established a cohesive and powerful base from which we are building impetus for the development of three key technological platforms – Smart City, Healthy Ageing and Robotics.

5. Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd opened an innovation center in Hong Kong in 2018 with the goal to co-create data-driven solutions and insights with its partners to drive business growth and foster social innovation development.

The innovation center in Hong Kong is a first-of-its-kind by Hitachi in Greater China region to carry out its new business concept. The HKSAR government released the Smart City Blueprint in end 2017 with a vision to develop Hong Kong into a world-class smart city by making use of innovation and technology. The company believes Hong Kong is an ideal place for the new rollout. “The government’s emphasis on technology development creates a favourable environment for innovation in the city,” explained Andrew Sampson, Vice President and General Manager, Hong Kong and Taiwan, “we are seeing a lot of potential for our center to grow here.”

“Companies in Hong Kong also have a long history and good reputation of being creative and entrepreneurial, which makes the city an excellent base for our operations,” he added.

6. Tenacent Westart

Tencent WeStart HK spans over 16,000 square feet and can host around 200 enterprises. By pursuing Tencent’s open platform strategy with the focus on digital content and AI, the Hong Kong centre partnered with VS Media (a YouTube certified MCN company) and Hong Kong’s reputable developer New World Development’s K11 with the aim of attracting local and overseas digital content creators to contribute to the startup ecosystem. Through promoting entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, Tencent WeStart hopes to attract overseas companies to come to Asia and help Mainland entrepreneurs to go global.


The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund), as a catalyst for social innovation in Hong Kong, connects our community with different sectors, including businesses, NGOs, academics and philanthropies to create social impact through innovative solutions that address poverty and social exclusion. Mostly through intermediaries, the Fund provides visionary individuals and organisations with diverse resources in support of research, capacity building and the entire life cycle of innovative ventures, from idea incubation and seed funding to implementation and eventual scale-up. The ultimate goal is to foster an ecosystem where social entrepreneurs can thrive and innovative ideas, products and services can benefit society by meeting underserved needs, unleashing underutilised talents, promoting social inclusion, as well as enhancing the well-being and cohesion of the society.

The objectives of the SIE Fund are – To establish or support schemes and experiments with a view to attracting, inspiring or nurturing social entrepreneurship to develop innovations that aim at creating social impact and build social capital for supporting poverty relief in Hong Kong.Through the intermediaries' programme, the SIE Fund will distribute funding on Innovative Programmes and related Capacity Building programmes which are targeted to nurture the social entrepreneurs and their ventures.

8) Impact Incubator Ideas For Good

is a one-stop supporting platform to support and incubate social entrepreneurship and innovative projects from various stages including prototype, start up as well as scale up that address and relieve poverty problems and prevent social exclusion. We provide holistic supports to successful applicants to implement the innovative projects covering a series of capacity building programs and consultancy sessions.

9) Hong Kong Green Drinks (Spoke With Head Of Group)

Hong Kong Green Drinks Where environmentally and socially conscious people come to meet! This page helps to continue the conversation outside of the events. It is NOT A PLACE TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. Green Drinks is an informal monthly opportunity for anyone interested in CSR, social / environmental justice issues, sustainable development etc. to meet, chat, and network. It is held every second Wednesday of the month somewhere in Central from around 7:30pm onwards. It's a self-organising network, there are no fees, so make sure to spread the word to friends and colleagues. If you'd like to speak at the Green Drinks or want to receive a reminder on future events please send an email to

10) The Entrepreneurship Club Hong Kong

Established in 2002, The Entrepreneurs Club has impacted many entrepreneurs throughout the years and is one of the longest running English speaking organizations for Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. With an impressive track record for getting iconic entrepreneurs to give inspiring talks for events, The E Club’s speaker list reads like Who’s Who in Hong Kong.

Unlike other entrepreneurs associations in Hong Kong, the E Club does not focus on start ups and instead, aims to assist established and evolving entrepreneurial businesses in getting to the next level.

We present speakers, opportunities and networking events to enable you to meet like-minded individuals and get insights on how to grow your business. We will focus on areas such as differentiating yourself, going global, up-scaling, as well as getting funding, valuation and planning an exit strategy.


High Schools

1.     Australian International School At Hong Kong (Have Met In-Person With Community Service Co-ordinator Paul McGunnigle To Discuss Involvement With Yes)

As a non-profit organisation, AISHK is committed to instilling a strong sense of community service and ongoing civic engagement and leadership in our student community. Community service programs exist through every year level at the school through our House system, with each House having a specific organisation that students support throughout the school year. The idea behind this initiative is for students to not only fundraise for projects, but to develop a strong connection with the work of their House's charitable organisation. As students get older, they may even have the opportunity to have a first-hand experience visiting and assisting in projects as part of the Secondary Activity Week options.

In March 2015, a group of students from Year 10 to Year 12 were able to see community action and social responsibility in its purest form when they attended the opening ceremony of the Tan Nghia Kindergarten in Vietnam, which was established through a joint venture between AISHK and the Christina Noble Children's Foundation (CNCF). This kindergarten will provide essential and ongoing education for 60 children per year who otherwise would not have had access to an early childhood education.

Beyond House-related community service activities, our students partake in various projects both locally and internationally - from harvesting and donating produce from our very own Green Roof to being part of the annual World Vision 30-Hour Famine as well as the Running to Stop the Traffik 24-hour race at the Peak. Our secondary students offer their services to local schools and community organisatios. In particular, AISHK continues to foster our strong relationship with the English teaching staff and students of Hoi Ping Chamber of Commerce School, where each Friday students discuss a variety of topical issues, designed specifically to enhance the Hoi Ping students conversational English. The spirit of Christmas is demonstrated annually as AISHK students and staff participate in the Hong Kong wide Box of Hope project, helping to provide hundreds of educational gifts to those children most in need in Hong Kong, and further afield in Southeast Asia.

A fantastic student initiative has been the YES Club (Youths Experiencing Service) formed in 2014 by senior students Evelyn Chan, Vernice Chan, Audrey Ling and Marsha Lui. Under the girls' guidance, students participate in a wide variety of service activities such as assisting food kitches, reading to younger children and visiting the elderly.

This is just a small snapshot of the community service projects our students and teachers at AISHK are involved in each year. Through these projects, students learn to become global citizens who recognise the importance of assisting those most in need.


Have Already Partnered With Changemakers Hong Kong University For Their DreamCatchers Group

City University of Hong Kong Social Innovation Center (Have Met With Head Research Professor

Chinese University Of Hong Kong Center For Entreperenuership

Founded in 2005, the Center for Entrepreneurship (CfE) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is an interdisciplinary association. It has united scholars in the areas of research, education and community service to inspire the spirit of entrepreneurship and nurture entrepreneurship thinking.

To instill an entrepreneurial mindset and motivate the passion, we work across multiple disciplines to provide education, conduct research and organize activities for members of CUHK and the society to create cultural, social and economic value.

Our vision is to advance understanding of entrepreneurship and inspire entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, China, and other parts of the world. Entrepreneurship predisposes a person to action. Entrepreneurs ceaselessly search for potential value creation and build organizational platforms to deliver the value. Because entrepreneurship - in both new and existing enterprises - contributes to economic growth and social development, we believe that it should be understood and promoted as a vital part of education in the business school and other faculties.


The Center pursues research, education and practice in entrepreneurship. We bring together scholars from different departments within the University, attract talent from the business community, involve CUHK in promoting entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, and provide a nexus for fundraising.

Coworking Spaces

Conferences and Events

They are literally happening every single day here!!! Way Too Many -> Went to a startup blockchain conference and the intelligence of the students are overwhelmingly bright!!

Hong Kong Next Gen Community Outline  

Preparing the leaders of tomorrow

Proving A Safe Space of Discovery and Exploration of Genuine Relationships and Meaningful Interactions To Create  Epic Experiences Surrounding Innovative Topics To Positively Change The World With Like-Minded People

The Why

Students rarely get exposure to global leaders and industry experts; instead they’re in a classroom learning about the past. We need to inspire and motivate high-potential students to start thinking big. The world is very different than it was 10 years ago. The youth are more empowered than ever to create real change and make a significant impact in the world.  

Next Gen Hong Kong is designed to prepare young people (ages 10-18) to become leaders in reaching their full potential. The learning space is optimized for creativity, collaboration, and ambition. NGHK encourages students to take risks and think big while giving themselves a chance to fail freely.

What Don’t 10-18 Year Old’s Have In Today’s Society -> It is clear that the world has so many students who have the potential to make a significant impact, but they lack the environment and people to encourage them to tap into their full potential.

·    They aren’t exposed to the latest trends on how to help the world through social innovation

·    They don’t have proper mentors guiding them to help them understand what the real world is like and how to positively cope with stress and break free from societal expectations

·    They aren’t surrounding themselves with the right people because they don’t have enough risk tolerance to go against comfort

As a result, NGHK has developed a world-class experience designed for young people who want to create the future, become leaders, and influence change.

We need to expose young people to emerging global trends, while helping them build the skill set to lead their generation.

Program Outcomes

Grow professionally and find your passion.

HKNG focuses on developing comprehensive skill sets that students can leverage in the real-world to accomplish their goals.

·       Develop Real-World Skills

Successful executives have one things in common: they are great communicators. HKNG students will develop their presentation skills, hone their written communication skills through slide decks and one-pagers, and become captivating speakers.

·       Learn How To Learn

AT HKNG, students explore problems that don't have solutions. The program is designed to purposely create an environment of debate and uncertainty. Students will develop the skill set to seek out and adapt to new information and 'figure it out'.

·       Make Informed University/Career Decisions

HKNG helps students understand what they’re passionate about, so they can make better decisions with: university, field of study, and career path. The assets they create at HKNG will differentiate them in their university applications, scholarships, and job interviews.

Build Your Professional Network

Meet like-minded individuals that you can partner with to pioneer new technologies and sciences, while extending your corporate network with HKNG Mentors.  HKNG Mentors provide a diversity of different thoughts

Haley Smith