Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, visited the YSpace and VentureLAB on March 13 to learn about the operation of the innovation and technology hubs in Markham, and explore how HKETO can work with these two organisations to assist startups in the York Region to expand to Hong Kong and beyond.
YSpace is York University’s newest community innovation hub that supports high potential innovators to create a thriving and robust pipeline of talent. The VentureLAB is Canada’s densest technology cluster which supported over 2,000 entrepreneurs in the York region through programmes that focused on capital, talent, technology and customers.
Hong Kong is Asia’s most dynamic startup destination. Its local startup ecosystem is supported by a robust network of incubators and accelerators with seven official unicorns, as well as the unique business advantages offered by the city, including a free and open economy, excellent infrastructure, pro-business policies, a bi-lingual common law system, etc. These advantages make Hong Kong the preferred destination for starting and expanding businesses, and the best gateway to opportunities in the Mainland of China and the rest of Asia. Survey showed that one-third of the startup founders in Hong Kong were non-locals, from countries/territories as diverse as the United States, Canada, the mainland of China, among others.
HKETO and the two organisations look forward to future collaboration in assisting Canadian startups to expand outside of Canada through the Hong Kong platform.