Hong Kong's Cyberport has a vision to "be the hub for digital technology, creating a key economic driver for Hong Kong".
Wholly owned by the Hong Kong Government, Cyberport works with start-ups and entrepreneurs to help them grow in the digital tech industry — which the Government has identified as a key to success for businesses and an essential economic driver.
Cyberport's campus — 100,000sq m of office space 20 minutes from Hong Kong's centre — is tailor-made for the creative digital community. It is home to over 1000 technology companies and start-ups, consisting of established big names in tech including Microsoft, Lenovo and IBM — as well as fledgling start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs, and is designed to "foster creativity and innovation," and provide a platform to connect start-ups and entrepreneurs to investors, academic and industry partners and mentors.
Cyberport says Hong Kong "is well positioned to be a centre of international talent, a gateway for Greater Bay Area cities, and a fintech hub to connect Belt and Road countries to the China mainland and the world". With that in mind, it places an emphasis on particular tech sectors — smart living, fintech, and digital entertainment — areas it says are essential for Hong Kong's digital transformation and new industry development. Alongside these, it focuses on blockchain and AI/big data — platform technologies applicable across many digital tech areas.
The Hong Kong Government recently allocated HK$100m (NZ$18.7m) to Cyberport, with half to go towards creating a competition venue for large-scale e-sports (video game) tournaments, as Hong Kong plans to become a regional hub for what is expected to be a billion-dollar industry this year and continue to grow rapidly.
"Cyberport was chosen because it has strong network facilities," said Secretary for Information and Technology Nicholas Yang. "To develop e-sports, to provide live streaming of competitions, we need a strong and stable network — this is something that Cyberport can provide… Our goal is to create a new industry."
GoGoVan became Cyperport's — and Hong Kong's — first unicorn (a term given to privately held start-ups valued at over $1 billion) in 2017. The app-based logistics platform connects van drivers with customers, creating an efficient logistics on demand service for the delivery of freight and goods.
Founded in 2013, in its early days GoGoVan received HK$100,000 (NZ$18,750) in seed funding from the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund, then joined the Cyberport Incubation Programme to develop its business further. It went on to secure funding from Alibaba and other investors, and now has a presence across Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan and India.
Several New Zealand companies have made use of Cyberport's facilities to springboard into Asia. Just Service is one example — a fintech company that provides support applications for independent financial advisers, insurance companies, and banks.
Chief executive Phil Neilson established the business in 2014, starting with a workstation at Cyberport.
He says Cyberport provides a low-cost solution for start-ups with facilities "like you would imagine at Google in the US," along with access to support services and a network of start-ups and other young, successful companies.