Applications For New B2B Accelerator ‘blueprint’ Closes November 20th; Which 10 Startups Will Make The Cut?

If you’re a B2B startup looking for a boost, don’t forget to send in an application to ‘blueprint’ before November 20th!

The six-month program backed by Swire Properties employs a “no string’s attached” approach allowing startups to tap into a wealth of resources without having to give up equity. Besides a free workspace, 10 lucky teams will have access to professional support to merge startups with the corporate world, connections to investors and market testing opportunities within Swire’s network. This would include the 300+ companies in TaiKoo Place and the neighboring Cityplaza. The two-floored ‘blueprint’ will also include a co-working space which will also double as a venue for workshops, meetups and pitch events.

We had a chat with Hilary Szymujko (pictured second from right in the above ‘blueprint’ team photo), who heads up all things startups, mentors and investors for ‘blueprint.’ Szymujko has just moved to Hong Kong from London, where she was the investment manager for pan-European accelerator Seedcamp. Back in the UK, Szymujko facilitated the investment deal process for startups and ran ‘Seedcamp Academy’ the fund’s internal learning program for its 125+ portfolio companies.

Szymujko isn’t just lending her expertise to our startup scene but she’s also bridging ecosystem gaps – as Seedcamp has just announced a partnership with ‘blueprint.’ Besides visiting Hong Kong twice a year to run workshops, Seedcamp will also be using ‘blueprint’ as a launchpad for its companies that are keen on expanding into Asia.

Now ready to take on new challenges in Asia, Szymujko worked on compiling one of the most diverse and adept mentor networks we’ve seen in Hong Kong so far. Besides corporates such as Lenovo, Lane Crawford and Cisco, ‘blueprint’ also brought on seasoned entrepreneurs in the B2B space to ensure expertise covers the whole range of business development.

“Besides local players like David Zhu and Casey Lau, we also wanted to bring on investors to help startups raise money – we have Seedcamp partners, 500 Startups’ Rui Ma and local players like Fresco Capital,” she said. “We’ve tried to approach the whole community with what it takes to build a business – whether it’s in building a sales network, raising funds or learning how to hire talent.”

As Hong Kong has primarily been focused on consumer tech, nurturing the growth of B2B entrepreneurship will be an essential building block in our city’s startup future. Szymujko, who has just moved from one of the world’s hottest tech startup scenes, looks positively on our ecosystem’s speedy growth – but cites the funding landscape as an area of improvement.

“I’m really encouraged by how quickly it’s moved – there’s co-working spaces that have cropped up and it’s nice to see the groundwork laying itself quickly in the city, she said. “I’d like to see the investor network mature a little more, but I’m optimistic about it.”

The accelerator program will launch in January 2015 – join us in welcoming both ‘blueprint’ and Hilary to Hong Kong!

Apply for ‘blueprint’ here – before November 20th!

blueprint on Startbase.HK: blueprint

Hilary Szymujko on Startbase.HK: Hilary Szymujko

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