Starting Up 2016: the Latest in FinTech, IoT, Data Analytics, showcased in Hong Kong
January has been one of the coldest in Hong Kong for nearly 60 years. Yet, the chilly breezes and frequent showers haven’t been all the city has had to offer to begin the year 2016.
During the last week, Hong Kong has offered a glimpse to the startup ecosystem of the SAR. Budding entrepreneurs, business angels, venture capitalists and job seekers have come together in StartMeUp HK Festival 2016. The buzz has been easy to grasp, as one has been able to witness pitching competitions, forums, lectures, discussion panels and many inspiring keynote speakers.
The festival showcased the hot and new ideas in many rising sectors, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Financial Technology (FinTech), Health Technology, Big Data and green initiatives. As this year’s focus points, however, they didn’t steal the show completely. There was also an abundance of entrepreneurs from other highly touted and somewhat established fields of mobile applications, delivery services and sharing economy.
The Startup ecosystem in Hong Kong has been given major attention in recent years. Countless square metres of co-working space have been built, incubator and accelerator programs have been launched and funding schemes have been made increasingly available. Last year, the size of the startup scene grew by roughly 50% on multiple major factors, such as the number of startups, people employed and number of work stations.
Naturally, much of the development of the ecosystem can be attributed to the Hong Kong economy. As the freest economy in the world – currently for the 21st year in a row and on the way to the 22nd – Hong Kong provides an environment that encourages and facilitates entrepreneurship. Hong Kong’s role as a major financial centre cannot be undermined either. From the get-go, local startups have access to capital like not in many place else. The vast ranks of venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity companies are constantly looking for the next Alibaba that will change the world.