Hong Kong is trying its darndest to be taken seriously as a hub for fin-tech startups in the region, with increasing efforts from both government and the private sector in this drive.
The city’s financial secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, for example, laid out in his 2015 budget speech plans to inject around US$650 million into the Innovation and Technology Fund. Meanwhile, new accelerators and co-working spaces continue sprouting across the city.
Corporates and banks are also sitting up and taking note. Today, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) and Nest, one of the city’s top startup incubators, have announced a new fin-tech accelerator due to kick off in early August. Last year the bank announced plans to invest around US$150 million into new digital technologies.
The accelerator will be housed in a ‘newly-renovated 5,000-square-feet workspace in the heart of Wan Chai’, with applications open now until midnight on July 1. Batches will be for three months, culminating as per tradition in a demo day on November 5.
Commenting on the partnership, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) CEO Sebastian Paredes said he expects “the exchange of knowledge and best practices with the dynamic community of entrepreneurs in the fin-tech startup ecosystem will not only help produce tremendous innovation, but strengthen and boost the talent base and fuel further growth in startups.”
Nest, meanwhile, has been busy on many fronts, announcing a new 12-week accelerator programme in partnership with AIA back in November, and more recently in January inking a deal with London-based Level39, one of Europe’s largest accelerator spaces for businesses in financial, retail and future city technologies.
Nest also made it onto e27‘s list of top early-stage VCs in Hong Kong.