Press releases

Deloitte Tech Fast program recognizes Hong Kong's fastest growing and up-and-coming hi-tech companies

Deloitte survey suggests HK must not rest on its laurels as other GBA cities' competitiveness grows

Published: 8 November2019

On 8 November in Hong Kong, Deloitte hosted a ceremony to announce the winners of its 2019 Hong Kong Technology Fast and Rising Star Program, at the same time releasing the results of a survey series.

The 2019 Hong Kong Technology Fast and Rising Star Program was organized by Deloitte and three strategic partners–Hong Kong Cyberport (Cyberport), Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), and HSBC, as well as sponsored by Diamond Sponsors Prizm Group and Spark Ventures. Other supporting organizations include the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Beyond Ventures, Dongguan-Hongkong Youth Elite Association, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao-Bay Area Economic And Trade Association, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX), Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Pixiu Capital, Radiant Tech Ventures Ltd, Smart City Consortium, and SQ Capital Group.

As well as the awards ceremony, the event included keynote addresses from Dr David Chung JP, the HKSAR's Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, and Wilfred Yiu, Head of Markets at Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited, as well as discussion sessions on hot topics including innovation, entrepreneurship and technology investment in Hong Kong, as well as the Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong Technology Fast recognizes the fastest-growing hi-tech companies Hong Kong, with winners eligible to enter the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China. Rising Star, meanwhile, recognizes leading businesses in their sectors for their growth potential. Klookwas named 2019 Deloitte Technology Leadership, and the top three Technology Fast winners were HKTaxiePropulsion and IOE. Fifteen other high potential companies received the Rising Star awards. This year, we also granted two companies, DayDayCookand Lynk, awards for Tech Fast Female, recognizing their achievements and continuing Deloitte's dedication to supporting female leadership.

Eric Gnock Fah, Klook COO & Co-Founder, adds: "We are honored to receive the Hong Kong Technology Leadership 2019 and we could not have achieved this without the support of our team, partners, investors and customers. Since the birth of Klook five years ago, we have helped transform a highly-fragmented travel sector through innovative digital solutions, collaboration with local tourism authorities, and empowering operators for a healthier and more diverse local tourism ecosystem. Today, we are at an exciting stage of our global journey and remain steadfast in our ambition to empower travelers to discover, book and experience the best things to do anywhere, anytime."

In conjunction with the event, Deloitte China also released the results of a survey conducted to take a snapshot of the innovation and technology landscape across Greater China, and gather respondents' views on prospects for the Greater Bay Area. The survey covered entrepreneurs from companies in multiple industries, as well as aspiring student entrepreneurs at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). This press release highlights our main findings, with an emphasis on Hong Kong.

According to the survey, entrepreneurs (77 percent) and students entrepreneurs (58 percent) view Hong Kong's well established regulatory environment and legal framework as its main advantage for start-ups. Access to markets in China is another popular factor, chosen by half of all respondents as one of Hong Kong's advantages. However, the survey also indicates Hong Kong must improve its market dynamics to support established and aspiring innovators, with half of all respondents saying these are a major challenge in starting a business, second only to cost.

Turning to the innovation landscape, although Hong Kong is considered a leader in financial technology (fintech), it is seen as less pioneering in areas like AI, which was cited by only 19 percent of respondents as a strength, and biotech (15 percent).

"Existing and aspiring entrepreneurs alike need to overcome some barriers to succeed," says Philip Law, Deloitte Hong Kong Tech Fast Program Lead Partner. "Meanwhile, by building up an entrepreneurial mindset, leveraging in-house and external resources in R&D technology and sourcing more tech talent, they can help Hong Kong develop a vibrant innovation ecosystem. The government is also aware of the importance of research and development. In her latest policy address, Hong Kong's Chief Executive has pledged to continue the efforts to attract overseas partners to come and set up more high-level innovation and scientific research centers."

Respondents were very positive about the potential for Hong Kong to thrive within the Greater Bay Area (GBA) ecosystem, with 55 percent saying it will open up Chinese Mainland markets even further and help to attract talent. They believe Hong Kong can leverage the manufacturing advantages of the GBA, as well as share and enhance R&D resources, to create opportunities for established and aspiring Hong Kong entrepreneurs.

"The innovation and technology industry will provide a new impetus for Hong Kong. As a bridge between the Mainland China and the rest of the world, there are plenty of new opportunities for Hong Kong especially with the innovation-driven development in the Greater Bay Area. Deloitte’s Hong Kong Technology Fast Program is not only able to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, but also exhibits the strong global connectivity of Hong Kong in its digital transformation journey," says Professor Tam Kar Yan, Dean of HKUST Business School.

Despite these positive noises, Hong Kong should not be complacent, with data indicating that neighboring city Shenzhen could steal the SAR's thunder. Hong Kong is at risk of falling behind the other GBA cities, and Chinese Mainland cities, in some areas, including advanced products and services, and innovative spirit. Hong Kong also appears to lag behind the Chinese Mainland in a few areas, most noticeably organization's willingness to use new technologies to achieve cutting edge-innovation and ability to attract top tech talent, according to CEOs and entrepreneurs surveyed by Deloitte China in the three Greater Bay Area (GBA) cities—Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shenzhen—as well as the Chinese Mainland cities of Beijing, Qingdao, Wuhan and Chengdu.

"Where Hong Kong CEOs and entrepreneurs do have a lead, however, is in their ability to obtain technology innovation through investments or acquisitions," explains Philip Law. "Nearly a quarter of Hong Kong respondents believe this will help them maintain their leading positions, compared to fewer than 10 percent of respondents in Chinese Mainland cities. Hong Kong CEOs and entrepreneurs are also more positive about their ability to foster innovative organizations and cultures."

Click here for the full report and the list of awardees.

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