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My presentation for the Blue Startups conference East Meets West 2014 on November 6-7 at the Modern Honolulu on Oahu, Hawaii - this was a 30-minute talk on the history of the Hong Kong startup scene and snapshots at other Asian startup hubs.
• Born and raised in
Vancouver, spent a few years in Kahala Elementary and been in HK since the handover. • Co-founded and sold HK’s first e-commerce Dotcom in 2000. • 3 more startups - 1 sold, 1 crashed and 1 continues without me.
HONG KONG AS TECH HUB
‣ Silicon Valley’s ecosystem is currently 3X bigger than New York City, 4.5X bigger than London + 12.5X bigger than Berlin. London is the largest technology ecosystem in Europe. ‣ SV’s ecosystem has 22% more companies in the “scale stage” than in NYC and 54% more than in London.CYBERPORTCIRCA 2009
‣ Singapore government has allotted
massive funding, schemes and matching budgets for startups. ‣ Lots of co-workspace. ‣ Lots of angels and investment groups. ‣ Government subsidies. ‣ Growth forces them to look Pan-Asia. ‣ English/Mandarin. SINGAPORE
‣ Low-cost, good English, Taipei
is great. ‣ Major tech hardware brands. ‣ 23 million population. 17 million+ online. 60% Facebook penetration. ‣ Low seeds and NO Series A. ‣ Good place to start if you want to go global but NOT China. TAIWAN
‣ Think big. Then think
even bigger. Then x100. ‣ A billion dollar startup < 10 different billion dollar startups. ‣ Can create a hit in a single A-class city. ‣ Barriers to entry/exit. ‣ Beijing is Silicon Valley East. ‣ HK no longer a gateway to China: IF you want to go to China, GO to China! CHINA
‣ Next big tech sector
in Asia. ‣ K-Pop, Korean Dramas = viki.com = US$200million. ‣ Samsung not driving innovation. ‣ Government set aside $4B for creative economy, $400mm just for startups early stage investments. ‣ Not a market, Korean ideas don't always translate. KOREA
‣ What works in Japan
not always scalable, cultural. ‣ Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka startup hubs. ‣ NOT a naturally entrepreneurial country. ‣ Amazing ideas, all in Japanese. ‣ Preach globalization, but long way to go, but who cares seed to IPO all in Japan. JAPAN
‣ Malaysia: Growing, angel funds,
tax benefits. ‣ Thailand: Growing market. ‣ Indonesia: Mass growth market. ‣ Vietnam: Developing market. ‣ Philippines: Geeks on a Beach! SOUTH EAST ASIA
• Look to Asia to
expand your startup. • Look to Asia to build a startup (something missing in the cracks = A LOT!). • Look to Asia for talent. TAKEAWAYS
• APAC is growing super-fast.
Korea and Singapore have money and drive. • SEA coming in fast with market boom. • Japan and China doing their own thing. • Hong Kong a soft landings but no longer a “gateway to China.” • Trends: Hardware, eCommerce, Uber of whatever. WRAPPING IT ALL UP