The Startups Have Risen: Hong Kong Startup Community Weighs in on #RISEconf

11850486_1005116322855752_2334939232662026985_o

We went out and asked a bunch of people that helped make RISE such a huge success their thoughts on the whole event and we got back a bunch of tweets, Instagram photos and just an outpouring of emotion that we had to put it altogether into one post to close out the week.

Enjoy!

[Read more...]

Startup Island: Applications for Hong Kong Startup Visas Now Open

hong-kong-264528_1280

A lot is written about Hong Kong as a startup ecosystem, but one thing is for sure: a working visa isn’t a breakpoint anymore!

As startup mentor and as co-director of the Founder Institute in Hong Kong, I often get questions from founders about working visas in Hong Kong and I did my share of visa applications so far (6 applications, 100% hit rate). So when I got a meeting invitation (hat tip to Gene Soo) about Attracting Talent from Outside Hong Kong in the Legco office by Charles Mok and the Immigration Department, I went to brush up my knowledge on visa applications in Hong Kong.

The meeting was on knowledge migration working visas in Hong Kong and especially the new “Start up visa” regulations. I will spare you the standard visa applications and arrangements for Chinese nationals and dive right into the “start up visa” details.

[Read more...]

Eye of the Distro Tigers: 500 Startups Growth Lessons Learned in Hong Kong

distro_tiger_500_Startupshk

I just got back to the Valley from a Distro Tour of Asia with a group of mentors from 500 Startups.

It sounds glamorous… AND IT WAS.

Aside from doing lots of eating, we also helped 60+ companies in Taiwan and Hong Kong (from a pre-selected applicant pool) tackle their biggest questions in growth marketing, b2b sales, fundraising / pitching, and team leadership with workshops and lots of hands-on office hours.

We learned a LOT about the realities of growing and funding a startup in Taipei and Hong Kong. These are two talent-filled ecosystems in the “Asian Tiger” constellation of developed economies, and they have a lot going for them.

In Hong Kong the companies we met had a solid grasp on their initial customer needs and how to find those first customers.

But, startups and their founders in these regions also face some big, non-obvious realities that pose unique challenges.

From our perspective focused on startup growth and distribution, here are the challenges that stood out to us the most.

[Read more...]