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How to Fund your Startup or SME in Hong Kong

At some point in your journey, you will begin to explore or proactively look for sources of funding for your startup.

There are many ways you can go about this and it will also depend on the nature of your business. Here, we'll give you a rundown of a few of the resources available in Hong Kong.

  1. Government Support

The government in Hong Kong is committed to strengthening and growing the startup ecosystem. There are a number of resources available to support start-ups and SMEs get funding, connect with investors and get advice on everything from set-up to expansion and maintenance.

Check out govt.hk to find out more about the different funding schemes available for SMEs. Another great source of information is startmeup.hk which gives in great detail a vast list of funding resources as well as a list of government bodies supporting startups.

  1. Crowdfunding

Another way to raise money is by crowdfunding. Crowdfunding refers to raising capital through contributions, whether small or large, made by a vast number of people, mostly via crowdfunding platforms and social media.

Crowdfunding allows you to raise money from a larger pool and tap into your network of friends, family, investors and other interested parties. One of the main benefits is that it's a great opportunity to test and validate your business idea. You can get feedback from potential customers and further define your business product.   

Some crowdfunding platforms in Hong Kong include:

SparkRaise - A crowdfunding platform for the socially conscious

One Business Asia - A funding platform focused on the needs of Asian-based startups

FringeBacker - Bilingual crowdfunding platform available in English and Chinese, offering a range of options for online fundraising

NextChapter - A rewards-based crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.  

  1. Incubators/ Accelerators

There is an increasing number of incubators and accelerators in Hong Kong, focusing on different areas of interest. Joining one of these programmes is a great way to get not only funding, but also mentorship and a support network.

Check these out to see which best fit your needs:

Ablaze - An accelerator program focusing on startups looking to innovate in industries such as travel, eating/dining, fashion/lifestyle, beauty and parenting.

Betatron - This accelerator program does not focus on any specific technology vertical. Instead, they empower founders so they can refine their business model and fast-track their business.  

Cyberport Incubation Programme - Programme targeted for early stage Hong Kong startups looking to grow in areas related to digital tech.

DBS Accelerator - Focuses on technology startups with innovative solutions for the financial industry

Fintech Innovation Lab - For early stage and growth-stage companies in the financial industry

Founder Institute - Pre-seed startup accelerator, with chapters across 180+ cities. Works with entrepreneurs and startups in different stages of growth.

Lime HK - A tailored accelerator programme for early stage and mature stage startups

SOW Asia's i2i (incubation to investment) Accelerator Programme - First and only accelerator in Hong Kong focused on social enterprises.

SuperCharger - Fintech accelerator helping startups in both early stage to established scale-up stage

Zeroth.ai- Asia's first accelerator for early stage startups in the field of Artificial Intelligence.  

  1. Startup Events

And last but not least, startup events are a great place to meet people, network and of course where you will find the investors. There are many events going on year-round in Hong Kong whether they be big conference-style events, or smaller ones organized by various co-working spaces. A few of the most popular ones include Startup Grind, TiE, Metta, RISE, JumpStarter.

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