Pursuing Your Entrepreneurial Ambitions in Hong Kong

Looking for the right place to bring your entrepreneurial vision into reality? Hong Kong has always been an entrepreneur’s haven, facilitated by a strongly ingrained startup culture, business-friendly policies and supporting measures. According to InvestHK’s 2023 Startup Survey, the number of startups and their number of staff employed have reached a new record high, with a total of 4,257 startups across a diverse range of industries employing 16,453 staff.

Quick to gain traction in emerging technologies, the Hong Kong government has been stepping up in 8 major areas: increasing resources for R&D, pooling together technology talent, providing investment funding, providing technological research infrastructure, reviewing existing legislations and regulations, opening up government data, enhancing procurement arrangements, and strengthening popular science education. The results are significant: These initiatives not only expedite the development of digital economy, but also transform Hong Kong as the hub for AI, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), green technology and FinTech startups in recent years.

Additionally, along with the rising global demand in new technologies and revolutionary business models, where e-commerce, supply chain management, logistics, information/computer technology, and education/learning startups are prospering closely behind the leading sectors in Hong Kong, traditional enterprises are also undertaking digital transformation. Aside from the outward-looking ecosystem, businesses in Innovation & Technology industry operating in Hong Kong can also look inward and benefit from local opportunities and government-led digital transformation incentives, while contributing to the digital economy and the development of the smart city vision at the same time.

Supporting startups and startup communities in Hong Kong

The startup community in Hong Kong is more than just physical coworking spaces and online forums, and Hong Kong has an enormous community thriving on a vibrant ecosystem enabled by infrastructure. Ambitious and young entrepreneurs like you can network, exchange ideas, or even seek mentorship with little resistance, largely owing to close physical proximity of talents in the city’s key technology and Research &Development (R&D) hubs. This includes Cyberport, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation and the upcoming Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park. Each innovation & technology hub has its own specialties and advantages when it comes to setting up your first business base in the region — let’s take a look:


Quick overview Resource highlights and advantages
Cyberport One of the region's largest business parks and Hong Kong’s digital tech hub, that is home to one incubate-turned listed company and eight unicorn companies, including Animoca Brands, KLOOK and WeLab, amongst over 2,000 tech startups and companies specialising in AI and Data Science, Web3.0, Blockchain, FinTech, SmartLiving/Smart City, Digital Entertainment and more.
  • Serial entrepreneurial programmes with funding of up to HK$1.1million and two years’ free working space to support startups in different developmental stages, especially Cyberport Incubation Programme and Cyberport Creative Micro Fund for early startups or innovators.
  • Extensive networks of over 350 partnering entities connect startups to highly sought-after business opportunities and venture capital, privileged access to forefront technologies and professional services for scale-up and expansion into overseas and GBA markets
  • Smart-Space: One of the largest co-working spaces modernly equipped with state-of-art facilities and technology infrastructure for tech startups
Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) Major business park comprising Hong Kong Science Park in Pak Shek Kok, InnoCentre in Kowloon Tong and three modern InnoParks in Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long,to support the R&D efforts of over 1,800 technology companies from 28 countries and regions focused on developing healthtech, AI and robotics, fintech and smart city technologies, etc.
Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) A massive business park infrastructure project aiming to provide extensive open spaces that connect technology innovation with the regional ecology and natural habitat.
  • Opportunity for cross-border collaborations and knowledge exchange with institutions and startups in Mainland China

Operating with the full support from the government and established enterprises, these business parks boast a proven track record of launching startups from the ground up to international stardom. Cyberport alone has incubated and supported a sensational portfolio of highly successful local startups, including a home-grown listed company and the first app-based logistics platform in Asia, and 8 unicorns in crypto, e-payment, finance retail, travel and Web3 industry. In particular, high-potential startups have also had a history of making their way to Cyberport for further development in recent years, as demonstrated by a virtual bank for example, a virtual bank that has broken through to the mainstream public with online banking and financial services, and has since earned government licenses to run virtual banking and virtual insurance, and become a leading player in fintech and online insurance.

Facilitating growth with tailor-made funding schemes

Any seasoned entrepreneur will acknowledge the critical role funding plays in a startup. The abundance of angel investors and private venture funds aside, a catalogue of government-backed investment funds is readily available for budding startups to make their first steps, and for mid-transition companies to accelerate to the next stage.

Cyberport’s investment arm, Cyberport Macro Fund with an investment fund of HK$ 400 million (US$ 52 million) and Cyberport Investors Network of over 170 global investors are ready to hand to drive co-investments for startups and enhance their dealmaking capabilities through targeted investment matching, coupled with the annual Cyberport Venture Capital Forum to gather venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from home and abroad to explore investment collaborations. The HKSTP Venture Fund, for another example, is a highly efficient combination of HKSTP resources and private sector investor funds — HKSTP Ventures would invest in early-to-growth stage startups, while making direct co-investments with private investors into seed-to-Series A stage startups. For startups still in their inception stage, Cyberport Creative Micro Fund and HKSTP Ideation Programme can be a great option, providing diversified financial, technical and networking support, and even mentorship programmes for young entrepreneurs.

If you’re interested to learn more about funding supports, feel free to visit Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) SME ReachOut’s website. You can find the most up-to-date funding and business enhancement resources here, including an extensive selection of funds dedicated to improving different aspects of your business, such as the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF), Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund), Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS), New Industrialisation Funding Scheme (NIFS) and the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP). You can even schedule a 1-on-1 consultation and form review advisory services at free with their dedicated team directly.

Programmes in place to foster cross-institution collaboration

On top of direct funding and an array of vital business support, the government has shown immense interest and eagerness in promoting entrepreneurship, the startup culture and technology innovation. Multiple government-led Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) supporting programs are in place to share invaluable knowledge and resources with entrepreneurs, and help startups gain their footing in Hong Kong:

  • Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS), for example, is the government information and advisory centre for SMEs, including startups. If you’re running, or considering to launch a startup in Hong Kong, SUCCESS is your first stop to look for free business information and practical consultation services;
  • Similarly, SME One is a one-stop platform run by HKPC to help local SMEs and startups by providing timely assistance and comprehensive information on market insights, technology transformation and government funding schemes through its InnoPreneur Network, which provides unparalleled sources and expertise to support the technology transformation and commercialisation efforts of SMEs and startups.
  • There’s also SME Centre by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), a centralised resource and interactive service hub that provides free consultation support for businesses looking to find a footing in the Hong Kong market.

Whether you’re looking for funding resources or business opportunities, there are ample resources to help you get started with your big plans in hand. You may also visit our social media platform to watch our previous seminar on Development and Opportunities for Innovation & Technology Talents.

As decades of success have demonstrated, Hong Kong infrastructure and policies are extra accommodating to entrepreneurs from around the world, well equipped to be the incubator for your next big idea. Are you ready for a venture? Go to our Supporting Services section to find out more about setting up a business in Hong Kong with our partners; and apply for the investment as entrepreneurs entry permit today, and set your ambitions in motion!