Entrepreneurs and corporate executives highlight the irreplaceable value of start-ups in Hong Kong amid the COVID-19 pandemic, agreeing that they are instrumental to developing new ideas, keeping society future-ready and creating job growth, according to the third annual study on Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by KPMG China and Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

Building on two years of research, this year’s study features a survey of 134 Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs and executives at start-ups, 200 Hong Kong-based corporate executives and 866 Hong Kong-based university students; insights from in-depth interviews with start-up founders, corporate innovation leaders, academics and venture capital executives; and an analysis of venture capital and government funding directed to Hong Kong-based start-ups.

The study finds that the pandemic has caused both start-ups and larger corporates to re-evaluate their business models, with a refocus on purpose top-of-mind for organisations.  It examines how priority innovation and technology sectors including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, biotechnology and smart city can be better enabled through supportive policies ─ calling attention to the need to support growth-stage start-ups as they expand beyond Hong Kong, as well as more cross-collaboration between start-ups and corporates to enrich the ecosystem.

To continue to foster an entrepreneurial mindset and innovation culture in Hong Kong, the study points out that more entrepreneur success stories and role models are needed to inspire younger generations.  In addition, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education needs to be better supported – including providing viable career paths for STEAM graduates. 

Irene Chu

Irene Chu
Partner, Head of New Economy and Life Sciences, Hong Kong
KPMG China

Featuring: Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, Social Ventures Hong Kong, The Purpose Business

Featuring: Beyond Ventures, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Sanomics

Featuring: Beyond Ventures, CoCoon Ignite Ventures, Eureka Nova

Featuring: Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, Beyond Ventures, CoCoon Ignite Ventures, Sanomics