Tag Archives: Startup

Alibaba backs $2bn GBA startup fund

Tech giant Alibaba has announced it will be the anchor investor in a HK$2 billion fund to support startups in the Greater Bay Area.

The fund will target new companies in the region that focus on “sustainability, deep tech, health tech, artificial intelligence, automation and digital transformation of traditional manufacturing”, according to a company statement.

More on SCMP

Slush comes to Shenzhen

Slushhas arrived in Shenzhen. Not the stuff that comes after a heavy snowfall, but Europe’s leading startup and tech event – all the way from Finland.

Slush has been described by its organisers as the coolest tech conference on the planet, a description that has been well-earned since it was founded in Helsinki over a decade ago. Spreading from Finland to Japan, Singapore and China, the brand is growing in its efforts to bring together thousands of start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors under a global umbrella of cool.

Continue reading Slush comes to Shenzhen

Shenzhen’s Segi raises over RMB100m

Shenzhen Segi Information Technology, a digital service provider of real estate operation management, has completed a B+ Round of financing of over RMB100 million co-led by Genilink Capital, Shenzhen Investment Holdings and Jun Yuan Capital

Founded in 2013 in Shenzhen, Segi provides digital operation solutions for various real estate developers as well as property management companies, such as those in industrial parks, office buildings, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals, towns and public construction projects.

Segi has more than 700 clients, including majors such as China Merchants (Shekou), China Resources Land, and China Overseas Property Management. About half its clients are SMEs. 

Unlike a traditional service provider, most of Segi’s 300 employees are involved in R&D, with three R&D centers in Shenzhen, Wuhan and Nanjing. The firm has offline service offices in more than 20 cities across the country.

Dongguan youth base launched

The Songshan Lake Hong Kong and Macau Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base is now open, with 40 start-up projects at its launch over the weekend. Only 15 of these are actually from the two SARs, the rest being local startups engaged with SAR partners, in projects such as smart wearable devices, smart cities, new energy, medical devices and e-education. 

The base is connected to other innovation and incubation centers in Songshan Lake, including the International Robotic Industrial Base, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Cultural Innovation Industrial Park, Hi-Tech Entrepreneurship Base, and Hi-Tech Creative Space. 

Initiated by Professor Li Zexiang from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the robotics base was the first provincial-level incubation demonstration base in Dongguan. Launched in 2014, it is home to 57 enterprises and 33 start-up teams, including 10 enterprises with founders from Hong Kong. The robotic base has also cooperated with Dongguan University of Technology, Guangdong University of Technology and HKUST to build a Guangdong-Hong Kong Robot Academy which currently has 400 students. 

The Cultural Innovation Park was initiated in 2010. It is home to 5 projects including comics, sports and communications. 

The Hi-tech Entrepreneurship Base in Songshanhu is seeking cooperation with the world-class incubation platform FoundersSpace and plans to introduce projects like Natilus, SeeVider, and Taikwan Tech. 

The Hi-Tech Creative Space is being jointly operated by Hong Kong and Dongguan with the plan to cultivate unicorn companies in the sectors of AI application, smart robotics, AI education, and Synapse Auto robots. 

Read morein Chinese. 

Nansha rolls out red carpet for youth

Now that all cities in the Greater Bay are able to offer the same tax-equalization subsidies for talents from Hong Kong and Macau, what are they left to compete with? Guangzhou’s Nansha District, the special zone on its southernmost tip, has no fewer than 66 goodies in its bag for youth from the two SARs. These include subsidies for housing, which most, if not all, other GBA cities have. But they go significantly further, covering costs for transportation, communication, company setup, funding, and a whole lot more. 

The new policies are currently undergoing “consulting” and will be officially launched in August. 

The big push is focused on filling up Nansha’s “Innovation Valley”, which is its incubation and acceleration base for youths from the two SARs. The park can hold 200 start-up teams in its 20,000-sqm premises, and it is currently at 135. In addition to an “Entrepreneurship Academy”, the government provides legal, accounting, and tax consulting services, while local companies have thousands of internships open for graduates seeking to get their careers started. 

These internships will not be the end of the line, either: the government is currently planning to offer designated job opportunities in large enterprises offering a starting annual salary of RMB250,000. And for those who would prefer to do post-graduate study, Nansha will offer special programs in mainland universities. 

Read morein Chinese. 

OnTime to launch in Guangzhou

OnTime, a ride-hailing platform backed by Tencent Holdings and Guangzhou Automobile Group, will become the latest player to enter China’s mobility market, the world’s biggest, when it rolls out services later this month, reports the South China Morning Post. 

The Guangzhou-based start-up, positioning itself as a new challenger to the market leader Didi Chuxing, will begin services in the city before expanding in the Greater Bay Area. To kick start the service, OnTime announced that users would be able to hail a ride for a mere RMB0.01 amid soft operations in Guangzhou this Thursday and Friday, before the full launch.Readmore.

Zhongshan targets SARs

Zhongshan has joined the GBA talent wars, recently releasing a plan designed to keep up with its bigger neighbors and attract talented young people from Hong Kong and Macao. It will include – you guessed it – building an “innovation and entrepreneurship platform for young talents from Hong Kong and Macau”. The plan aims to establish an incubator by next year, presumably in temporary space while it constructs a dedicated Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Park by 2025.

On offer will be the usual menu: subsidies for rent and startup businesses, apartments for the smartest, and other incentives. The city plans to build a well-rounded supply chain centered on these youth from the two SARs.

[Greaterbayinsight.com will be publishing a special introductory report on the lively, lovely city of Zhongshan, birthplace of modern China’s founding father, Sun Yat-sen, very soon. Keep an eye out for it.]

Read more in Chinese.

Hengqin opens center for young Macanese

Zhuhai’s Hengqin New Area has opened a center to support young aspiring business leaders from Hong Kong and Macau, joining Guangzhou and Shenzhen in rolling out the red carpet for under-40 entrepreneurs, reports the Xinhua New Agency.

The Guangdong-Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base (Hengqin) will support young entrepreneurs and startups with personnel training and counselling services on issues including business registration, tax, policy and financing, according to the Hengqin government.

Guangzhou goes after HK, Macau youth

The provincial capital is raising the bar for other Greater Bay Area cities, rolling out incentives for Hong Kong and Macau youth to live and work in Guangzhou. These include a RMB1 billion seeding fund, apartments, and other subsidies under a new program that will launch this weekend.

The key focus of the plan is to “encourage innovation and entrepreneurship”. The city government will build 10 innovation and entrepreneurship bases over the next three years, supported by more than 1,000 apartments, all underpinned by a RMB1 billion investment fund. Young talents from the two SARs can enjoy free company registrations, discounted office rents and a bunch of other support services at these venues.

Cold hard cash will be up for grabs, too. Subsidies for individuals of up to RMB200,000 per year will be available; for partnerships it will rise to RMB300,000 per person; and for enterprises it can rise as high as RMB3 million per company. Moreover, loans of up to RMB5 million per project will be offered.

That is not all. Talented youth who don’t feel terribly entrepreneurial just yet but would like a career to start, worry no more: Guangzhou will provide around 2,000 internship opportunities in the fields of information technology, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, autonomous vehicles, finance and government-related institutions.

Did we hear you say tax exemptions? Of course, those will be on offer, too. Details to come.

Read more (in Chinese).