Reviewing the Blueprint: Lessons Learned Running a B2B Accelerator in Hong Kong

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We’ve been following Swire Properties’ Blueprint B2B accelerator in Quarry Bay ever since it opened and so we asked Michelle Buultjens, Brand Strategy & Communications for blueprint – what lessons the team has learned over the past 365 days and this is what she told us:

“B2B” is perhaps not the sexiest buzzword, but it has recently attracted a lot of positive attention. With a significant increase in funding for B2B startups year-on-year, selling to businesses during a time of investment downrounds may just be where the future of startups lead.

In early 2015, blueprint began as a vehicle for corporate inovation and has burgeoned to become a thriving ecosystem of tech and B2B startups. One year on, we look back at lessons learned and how our startups have grown:

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Swire Properties’ Blueprint Accelerator and Co-Workspace Shows the World Hong Kong is Serious About Startups

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Of all 35+ spaces that have opened since the original BootHK and The Hive (who we still hold as the gold standard that showed everyone how co-workspace is done here in Hong Kong) nothing has made us more excited about the possibilities of doing a startup in Hong Kong than Blueprint in TaiKoo Place, Quarry Bay.

Brought to life by Swire Properties and designed by PDM International mixes Swire’s deep footprint in Hong Kong (which also makes up a lot of the furniture found within culled from its many businesses like seats from airplanes and vintage Coca-Cola machines) with a well thought out workable and creative space puts many of the “property plays” that have been popping up around the city to shame. So from now on lets not focus on the amount of spaces we have in Hong Kong and focus on the ones that add value to the community.

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

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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.

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