How General Assembly’s Allison Baum is Developing Startup Talent in Hong Kong

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General Assembly, with the wide variety of classes it offers, has condensed the educational gap between those that know-how and those that don’t. Technology influences our everyday life tremendously, so it comes as no surprise that more people are looking to learn its language.

GA not only offers an educational environment but also builds a community where people can share their skills with those that need them. We connected with Allison Baum, Director of General Assembly HK, to get a peek inside what GA has in store for the rest of 2013.

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JFDI’s Ray Wu Talks About What’s Happening in the Singapore Startup Scene

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A common question circulating in the minds of many entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific is: “Which is a better place for startups—Hong Kong or Singapore?” Answers vary depending on who you ask.

Ray Wu, program manager of JFDI, would heartily say Singapore, the birthplace of The Joyful Frog Digital Incubator. Wu’s laidback and comical personality warmed up The Hive last week as he delved into the lifestyle of Singapore as well as the JFDI accelerator program. A 100 day commitment to live in Singapore and learn how to pitch in front of valuable investors may sound brutal to some, but to those willing to accelerate their startup see it as a great opportunity.

It all begins with a good pitch, one of the main aims of JFDI. Wu broke down the dynamics of a solid pitch into ten easy steps, from problem to vision, demonstrating the importance of communicating ideas to investors. Funders want to see a scalable business, something that can produce an income in a predictable fashion over a short amount of time. JFDI not only perfects pitches and introduces entrepreneurs to investors but also connects with each participant on a more personal level. Wu stressed the importance of getting to know the person behind the idea because this added element can strengthen the interest others have in the startup.  With 60 percent of startups funded after graduation from the program, JFDI creates an environment where ideas are welcomed and pursued.

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Project Startup: Hong Kong’s Digital Community is Launching Start-ups to Rival Other Silicon Centres

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We’re excited to have the South China Morning Post Money supplement publish the story on the Hong Kong startup scene today!

The story by Jenni Marsh and photo by May Tse, covers some of the leaders in the start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong from angel investors to startups to the connectors. It’s a great read and you can try and grab a copy today or have a look at the Scridb document embedded below or follow this direct link to SCMP.com:

Now, tech angels excited by the Tumblr sale for US$1.1 billion to Yahoo! last month and Instagram being acquired by Facebook for US$1 billion last year, want to know, can Hong Kong produce a global tech star?

American entrepreneur Paul Orlando believes so. He saw the city’s “silicon” potential during a trip in 2011. Impressed by its techpertise, digital innovation and attractive taxation laws, all at the gateway to China, the founder of Chatfe and Inticiti Consulting relocated from New York to Hong Kong, positioning himself on what he hopes was the brink of a breakthrough. “I saw the city was ready to grow. A lot of what I experienced reminded me of New York’s tech community in 2008.” What it lacked, he says, was the infrastructure to connect venture capitalists with the right outfits.

Essentially, Hong Kong needed a “scene” – an answer to London’s Silicon Roundabout in the East End or New York’s Silicon Alley in edgy Flatiron and Chelsea (Google’s stomping ground) that would enable like-minded entrepreneurs to network, and give investors a portal to find projects. Casey Lau – a charismatic, social-media man about town – spotted the same weakness several years earlier, and made it his mission to connect the dotcoms.

Have a read of the story and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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