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Entrepreneurs on fast-track for GBA opportunities


InnoClub’s visit to the region shows start-ups, SMEs opportunities in AI, robotics and more.


The InnoClub integrated platform for SMEs, jointly run by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hang Seng Bank, launched its Start-up GBA Study Tour programme last month.

The programme helps Hong Kong SMEs and start-ups learn more about the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the region’s business opportunities, especially in AI, robotics, medtech and financial services.

The study tour group was jointly led by 10 representatives from the HKTDC and Hang Seng Bank. The 24 delegates were drawn from InnoClub members, winners of the HKTDC’s Start-up Express entrepreneurship development programme as well as GBA start-ups. The innovators come from a wide range of sectors, including foodtech, edutech, medtech, biotech and more.

The study tour included a visit to the HKTDC’s Futian GoGBA Hong Kong Business Service Centre, visits to well-known Shenzhen enterprises, such as Tencent, Guohong Jiaxin Capital, Jingtai Technology and Hang Seng Bank’s Futian branch. The group also visited the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation Shenzhen branch, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology's Blue Bay incubator and other start-up incubators and accelerators.

In her welcome speech, HKTDC Shenzhen representative Yvonne Kan said: “As a national base for innovation and entrepreneurship, the GBA provides a number of entrepreneurial support policies and funding, making it an ideal location for Hong Kong start-ups.

“The HKTDC has also launched a number of support services to help start-ups settle in the GBA and expand business opportunities. Currently, the GoGBA Hong Kong business support centres established by the HKTDC cover all nine mainland cities in the GBA, providing free on-site support to Hong Kong businesses and GoGBA Business Support Centre at Shenzhen Futian Station, the first service centre located in a high-speed rail station.”

Yvonne Kan (left), Director of HKTDC Shenzhen Office, and Nancy Cheng (right), Hang Seng Bank’s Head of Partnership and Innovation, Strategic Planning and Corporate Development Nancy Cheng

In her welcome speech, Hang Seng Bank’s Head of Partnership and Innovation, Strategic Planning and Corporate Development Nancy Cheng, said: “The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is developing rapidly, especially in the field of innovation and technology. Many Hong Kong start-ups and SMEs have expressed their intention to expand into the GBA. This study tour allows Hong Kong SMEs to explore GBA development and opportunities in person. During the trip, they can also build business relationships with representatives of mainland enterprises, which will help when exploring the GBA market in the future.”

Jointly established by the HKTDC and Hang Seng Bank in 2021, InnoClub is committed to assisting SMEs in Hong Kong and the wider GBA region to accelerate their digital transformation and adopt innovative business solutions to enhance their competitiveness and accelerate Hong Kong’s development into a leading innovation and technology hub.

Study tour participants said the activities helped them deepen their understanding of the GBA business environment and meet potential partners.

Angela Xie, Marketing Director, V&Win Technology Ltd, said: “Through this visit, we learned about the support and assistance policies in the GBA for Hong Kong businesses and the tech sector, which made us more confident in setting up a branch in Shenzhen in the future.”

Sarah Tang, Co-Founder of Big Bang Academy, said: “Our company is actively developing in the Greater Bay Area market, and through this study tour, we connected with partners and investors who are interested in our business and seek more collaboration opportunities.”

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