An Open Letter from the Founders of StartupsHK: Forward into the Greater Bay Area


It’s been ten years since a group of us went to listen to some talks by Silicon Valley people like Dave McClure at Cyberport and him telling us to start “your own ecosystem.”

That story, which we’ve repeated many times over, is what kicked-off the startup scene in Hong Kong for us back in 2009 — and look at how much its grown. From startups raising no money to a handful of unicorns today, one co-workspace to 150+ of them, vertical accelerators, multiple international tech conferences, corporate and governmental innovation labs, huge turn-outs for demo days – wow, its just incredible to see what’s happened over the past ten years and we are so happy to be part of it and to you, reading this, to have joined us on this journey.

We’ve decided though, on this monumental anniversary, to take a look at the next ten years and we see the next decade including a lot more of Southern China.

Today we are announcing a full NGO rebranding from StartupsHK to StartupsGBA – to signify our expansion from just Hong Kong to the 10 other cities that make up the Greater Bay Area – those include: HK, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen as the four core cities with key-node cities being Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, and the whole of Huizhou and Zhaoqing.

Sure you haven’t heard of some of the cities, but they will get a lot more interesting for startups over the next few years. And so we thought, since we started out to be a group that helps startups make connections and grow their networks that this was the perfect time after ten years of growing our amazing ecosystem to now expand it to add in 60 million more people.

We believe making HK great again via technology and innovation we will be able to build a stronger community that works for a better Hong Kong.

As Gene and I travel the world meeting startup ecosystems the desire to work with China has big value, and so we, maybe superciliously, think we can try to bridge the rest of the world with this tiny part of China, with the resources and good-will we’ve built over the past decade.

We will need your support, and we promise to keep Hong Kong’s best interests at heart. We will still be based here, we are scoping out the best location for our headquarters, but as usual we will be mobile and the office will be in the community at large across co-workspaces, innovation labs and government facilities.

The idea is to keep all of this as transparent as possible and to put the pieces of the puzzle together for startups and investors around the world to access the GBA. Although we will no longer update this site, we will keep it live so that the history of stories can still be found and hopefully be helpful to whoever may need them.

Thank you for following and supporting us in all our crazy endeavors from Startup Saturday to Pitch Club (where if it was your first time, you had to pitch) to Mobilliance to our Crowdfunding conference (which we got an enquiry letter from the HK Securities and Futures Commission for) to RISE’s Community Events — and now, how the next chapter unfolds: keeping the community together is the only way we know how to make it work.

To steal (and enhance) the immortal words of Captain America:


Casey and Gene
July 9, 2019

Doing Cross-Border E-commerce? Go Both Ways and Check Out the Cross Border Summit

crossbordersummit2017 startupshk
Buying from Chinese factories and selling overseas? Or, even better – taking foreign products and selling into the Chinese market? Whichever way you’re going – the Cross Border Summit is the place you need to be. Learn from industry experts, network with other business owners, and have an overall great atmosphere of good food and good people.

This is the second annual Cross Border Summit, taking place on April 21-22, 2017 in Shenzhen, China. Over 20 speakers, 150 attendees, trade booths, this is a 2 full day event with 2 tracks:

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From Startup Founder to Book Author: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Wall Street to Business in China


I remember Startup Mondays hosted by StartupsHK back in 2010/2011 days in the Hong Kong startup scene.

Each week awesome stories from awesome entrepreneurs.

I was invited to speak at one and was so nervous.

I was known as the “Shenzhen guy in Hong Kong” hopping back and forth in across the China / hong Kong border. I spent time making a full powerpoint slide deck showing how I came to Asia knowing nothing, hustling at the Hong Kong trade show and Canton fair. Learning how to hire, to setup a company, deal with Chinese fapiao receipts.

Discussed the factory quality control problems, the attempted law suits. It was an edge of your seat 2 hour chat I shared with the audience of about 30 people (quite a few for those of you who know how small the BootHK coworking space was in Wan chai! After the sharing session, a lot of people really enjoyed the talk and I was asked to present it in other events in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and eventually in Los Angeles, Florida, and Shanghai at various events.

This became the outline of the book I published today – Destination: China is a book about my story quitting my day job working at a trading assistant on Wall Street in 2007 and moving to the other side of the world to do factory sourcing and e-commerce full-time.

Here is an outline of the book and what to expect:

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