Over Two-Dozen Canadians Applied for Hong Kong’s StartmeupHK

Over two-dozen Canadian entrepreneurs have applied to Hong Kong-based StartmeupHK Venture Programme, a four-day incubation program that will provide 12 entrepreneurs with financial, intellectual and social capital.

In total, 380 entrepreneurs from 43 countries applied for the few spots available. 26 of those came from Canada. The ideas the entrepreneurs are currently working on range from mobile marketing apps to new medical and health-care technologies to cleantech management, and more.

StartmeupHK was developed in order to “propel the development of Hong Kong as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub, contributing to the development of a more prosperous economy and society.” Given that just three percent of applicants will be granted a spot in the program, it appears to be a promising four days.

InvestHK’s Simon Galpin felt that the high number of applicants reflected Hong Kong’s appeal as an emerging global startup hub. “Hong Kong offers an ideal foothold and a great opportunity for entrepreneur-led businesses from all over the world to scale up and go global,” said the director-general of investment promotion.

The 12 finalist entrepreneurs will pitch to potential investors and business partners, receive mentorship from business leaders, network with investment and business communities and attend leading design, innovation and technology trade shows.

Initially 20 applicants will be selected among the 380. Those 20 will undergo a series of interviews later this month that will determine who goes to Hong Kong. On December 5 venture capitalist Tim Draper will announce the three grand award winners at the Venture Programme Forum. A panel of judges and forum attendees will determine who the winners are.

InvestHK is overseeing StartMeUpHK. It acts as a department within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Established in July 2000, the department is responsible for foreign investment and support for businesses that set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customized services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong’s economy. As of June 2013, InvestHK “has completed over 2,900 investment projects creating more than 33,000 new jobs” in the first year of operation or expansion and over HK $76 billion (US $9.8 billion) of investment.

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