UPDATE: The government got around to creating a site that covers what I proposed here. Check it ou at StartMeUp.hk
Welcome to my newest project (anyone want to co-found?), Startups.hk, a website which soon become a searchable directory of/for all the players in the Hong Kong startup scene, including:
- Startups: ideas, seed stage, funded, exited
- Money: Angel groups, VC firms, Private Equity, Government programs, etc.
- People: entrepreneurs looking for co-founders/teams, college student interns, college graduates wanting to join a startup, etc.
- Programs, Incubators/Accelerators: Private programs like Cocoon, BootHK, and public programs like the HK Science Park, etc.
- Networking: Startup groups, meetings, business plan competitions, etc.
- Housing: what areas to reside, possible future “entrepreneur enclaves”, etc.
This idea first sprang to mind while I was attending the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Angel Investors Conference. There seemed to be a communication disconnect between the two camps, investors and entrepreneurs. Only the problem came to mind, though, not the solution. For the past several weeks I’ve just been complaining that:
- Those investors don’t seem to know who I am (or other HK startups)
- I can’t find any co-founders or qualified graduates. Not that I can’t recruit ones I’ve found, I can’t even find them.
- I don’t know how to start organizing or looking for investors
- I have to find a new place to live soon, entrepreneurs can’t afford Hong Kong real estate unless we team up
- There doesn’t seem to be an open, inclusive, and regular social gathering of ALL entrepreneurs (not just people that look like you) in Hong Kong
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is complaining about these things. Another entrepreneur, Paul Orlando, has created a simple directory of startups in Hong Kong. My idea is to use profiles for each category (startups, money, people, programs, etc) and make each one searchable by different parameters so that a person could go to the site and find exactly what they are looking for. A person could search for “seed stage investors, invests HK 300,000 to HK 1 million, interested in medical devices”, or search for “startup, seed funded, social media”. Or they could look at aggregated data such as how many seed stage investors are there in HK, how many clean energy startups are at the Science Park, how many startups have been funded, number of college grads interested in a startup career etc.
The directory should be used for networking and matching. So that investors can find startups to invest in, startups can find employees to hire and investors to invest, founders can find co-founders and programs to join, people can find a place to live and groups to network with. We can all team up, find a way for ourselves and our ideas to survive in Hong Kong.
You can read an interesting post I started discussing this idea at the StartupsHK group on LinkedIn.