Networking in Lan Kwai Fong: Hong Kong’s Nest setting up Metta as membership club for start-ups to network, mingle, collaborate

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 8:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 8:01am

Early stage venture capital firm Nest will open a membership club and community space in Hong Kong in March to connect the city’s entrepreneurs with multinational companies and capital, giving local start-ups a dedicated space in which to network.

Called Metta, the venue will be invitation-only and housed in a 3,000-square-foot space inside California Tower in tourist party spot Lan Kwai Fong. It will host live events and provide a virtual social network for the city’s entrepreneurs, Nest said this week.

“We believe innovation is driven by collaboration, and Mettaā was borne out of this realisation,” said Tony Verb, head of Metta.

“Through this platform, our aim is to bring together all the key stakeholders from the ecosystem and build a concept that is both relevant and meaningful to them.”

Announced on Tuesday during the StartmeupHK Festival in the city, the club is designed to bring together start-ups and multinationals through workshops, networking sessions and product showcases.

“We are very excited about the launch of Mettaā in our flagship entertainment building” said Allan Zeman, founder of Lan Kwai Fong Group.

“Not only is California Tower a great place for people to have fun and relax, it will soon become an important hub for cultivating entrepreneurship and innovation in Hong Kong.”

READ MORE: Business incubator Nest to launch health care startup accelerator in Singapore

This is just the latest venture from Nest, which backed three start-up accelerator programmes in the city in 2015. It has invested in 53 companies since it was founded by entrepreneur Simon Squibb in 2010.

Its 12-week accelerator programmes have supported entrepreneurs working on smart city technology in partnership with carmaker Infiniti Motor, financial technology start-ups with DBS Bank, and smart wearable technology with insurer AIA Group.

In 2015, Nest expanded to Paris, Singapore, London and Nairobi among other cities.

Nest plans to roll out the Metta club idea to other markets this year to create a global network, it said.