This morning we went to Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP). This non-profit entity, created in 2001 by the Hong-Kong government, tends to boost the innovation in order to diversify the local economy. Hong-Kong would like to reindustrialise its economy by supporting company working on Healthy Aging, Robotics and Smart City. Thank this transformation, Hong Kong hopes to become the “new epicentre of tech innovation”.
Later in the day we had the chance to visit the company Lalamove which is the new “Uber for logistics”. The presentation of their company made clear that customising services by country is essential in a scale-up phase.
After that, we had the great opportunity to go on a containership. OOCL allowed us to come on board of one of its ship, the Houston. Its size was very impressive even though it is “only” a 4’500 twenty-foot equivalent units boat. OOCL has been bought in July 2017 by COSCO, a Chinese shipping company. This 6.3 billion deal makes COSCO the third largest shipping company in the world.
In the evening, we all pitch at BRINC. BRINC is an IoT accelerator which sells its services to entrepreneurs. BRINC has different programs to assists startups in designing products and start manufacturing. Their feedbacks helped us a lot to enhance our presentations and technical aspects of our projects.
What we can remember from this day are:
1. The economy of Hong Kong is under pressure and it is experiencing a tough competition with China. Shenzhen is the 3rd largest port in the world by throughput. In the same time last year, Hong Kong had a decrease of 9.7% of its throughput and slipped of one place in the rankings to the 5th place. Hong Kong deep berth port is becoming less and less an essential sea interface for China.
2. Hong Kong has to transform its economy and move from a services economy to a more industrialized one. Fortunately, the stability brought by the rule of law and its place in the world economy thanks to its taxation system make Hong Kong as a fantastic place for investments. Two points extremely necessary to create an innovation environment based on startups. However, the lack of production power makes Hong Kong very vulnerable if it doesn’t export products from China anymore and continue to import most of its needs from there. That’s why the initiative of the government to invest in innovation and reindustrialisation through robotic and IoT is really relevant.