New Government-Backed Incubator Opens Applications To Startups


March 20, 2018 | BY Lee Williamson

HKTDC’s Start-up Express is designed to give local small businesses a boost

Do you run a startup under five years old with less than US$10 million in funding? If so, you could be eligible for a new programme launched by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong businesses.

Start-up Express is our new initiative to connect entrepreneurs with potential partners and investors, and help them expand businesses in the global market through a wide range of programmes,” says Raymond Yip, acting executive director of HKTDC, in a statement.

A total of 40 startups will be invited to a closed-door pitching session, with 20 finalists selected to attend a public pitching contest at the HKTDC Entrepreneur Day event on 18 May. The top 10 will be invited to join the Start-up Express programme. 

The programme features five components, including workshops, high-level meetings, ‘study missions’ and marketing opportunities at overseas trade events—the most high-profile of which is the opportunity to join the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

“Start-up Express is unique in that it helps startups quickly penetrate the business world and build global business connections in world-class events,” says Yip.

Successful applicants will also have access to industry leaders for advice and inspiration, including Victor Fung, group chairman at Fung Group, and Generation T lister Daryl Ng, deputy chairman at Sino Group. Generation T lister Wesley Ng, founder of tech accessories company Casetify, was present at the incubator’s launch event as an example of a local entrepreneur to emulate.

The programme boasts a bit of star power courtesy of actor and entrepreneur Nicholas Tse, whose project NiCubator is also supporting the project.

Applications for Start-up Express close on 16 April.

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