Why Hong Kong is an ideal spot to set up businesses, according to seasoned entrepreneur Ben Chien and leading architect Nicholas Ho
- Hong Kong offers an easy path to establish a limited company as well as access to global venture capitalists, says Chien, who is also an angel investor
- Many overseas companies and start-ups choose the city because it can be a springboard to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and mainland China, Ho notes
Hong Kong enterprises are vouching for the city’s continuing viability as an international hub for business growth and development. The South China Morning Post caught up with Ben Chien, founder of digital advertising monetisation company Acqua Media, and Nicholas Ho, an architect and chairman of Ho and Partners Architects Engineers and Development Consultants (HPA), to hear their personal takes on setting up successful firms in Hong Kong.
Chien – who is now an angel investor in addition to working as managing director of greater China for digital ad company AnyMind Group – can relate to new entrepreneurs, having previously been one himself. “I can help [new founders] not only connect to the right people, but also provide mentor support for overseas companies or international start-ups,” he says.
Chien particularly remembers how seamless the experience was when he first started out. “It’s fairly easy to create a limited company in Hong Kong, start a bank account and transfer funds,” he says. “Most of the biggest venture capitalists globally or from China are already established in Hong Kong, and can guarantee you a great portfolio, experience and exit. It is very unique in that aspect.”
Meanwhile, Ho took charge of HPA – a leading multidisciplinary architectural practice founded in Hong Kong nearly 44 years ago by his father, Bosco Ho Hin-ngai – with an eye towards the future.
“About five years ago, we started looking into Hong Kong start-ups,” Nicholas Ho says. “Once we invest in these young entrepreneurs, we’ll help them challenge their product and get it ready for market. We also prepare them to form global partnerships to help them grow.”
But setting up a business in Hong Kong has perks that go beyond accessible support. Ho points out that the opportunities can be extensive, saying: “Overseas companies or international start-ups really want to come to Hong Kong and use the city as a platform and a springboard to go into the Greater Bay Area and other cities in mainland China.”
Check out the video to hear Chien and Ho get candid about their experiences with growing and sustaining their businesses in Hong Kong.