Hong Kong’s first startup programme initiated by commercial developer
Swire Properties today unveiled the first batch of eleven startups which were selected from over 150 applications from around the world to join blueprint’s accelerator, Hong Kong’s first startup initiative organised by a commercial developer.
The eleven startups collectively represent a diverse mix of business-to-business (B2B) technical solutions, developing innovative concepts in fields including e-Commerce fulfilment, energy consumption, defect management and luggage tracking. They will enjoy six months of free work space, mentorship support, connections to capital and market testing opportunities to accelerate their business. Swire Properties’ approach is unique in that it does not charge the startups a fee to enter the space, nor does it require equity in return.
“Over the past several years, the startup scene in Hong Kong has gained huge momentum,” said Swire Properties’ Chief Executive Guy Bradley, who presented this initiative as a mentor at the opening ceremony. “As a core member of the business community, we’re happy to support these startups with our resources, be it a place to work, a contact to capital, encouragement and advice to keep them on track and motivated. In return, blueprint will nurture a culture of innovation and creativity at Taikoo Place, reinforcing its status as a key business hub in Hong Kong.”
The growing blueprint mentor network includes over 70 top executives and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, including 14 C-suite executives and 16 directors. External to Swire, other blueprint mentors span a diverse spectrum of companies including Uber, Tesla Motors, Rackspace and Lenovo. Together, they will form organic relationships with the startups and provide invaluable technical and business advice to propel the teams toward further success.
In addition, blueprint has announced a partnership with Seedcamp, Europe’s leading pre-seed and seed investment fund and mentoring programme. Seedcamp Partner Carlos Espinal will fly to Hong Kong to see Asia’s burgeoning startup ecosystem first-hand, with a view to finding investment opportunities in startups that could be attractive to the European market. He will also be conducting regular workshops with blueprint’s startup community.
The eleven blueprint accelerator startups will share an open workspace of around 10,000 sq ft within Cornwall House. The unconventional design encourages collaboration and interaction among the startups. It also incorporates recycled furniture collected from other Swire companies, including a discarded Hongkong United Dockyards’ shipping container which now serves as a casual meeting room and retired Cathay Pacific Airways’ seating which provides a comfortable recline for users in the café area.
In addition to the accelerator, blueprint also contains a co-working space of an additional 10,000 sq ft which is available to startups at a monthly individual membership of HK$2,000. Since its opening in December, over 60 members have moved into the dynamic co-working environment.
Interested parties please visit blueprint’s website at http://blueprint.swireproperties.com.