Hong Kong is a hotbed for start-ups right now, many of them focused towards the mobile sector. But before we take a look at some of the specific players involved in Hong Kong’s burgeoning mobile app scene, it’s worth examining some of the initiatives that are spurring on growth.
AcceleratorHK is one such initiative that is specifically targeting mobile-focused start-ups by offering them access to a comprehensive 3-month business accelerator program. The program provides mobile start-ups who are doing HTML5 hybrid development with funding, mentorship, a workspace and additional technical guidance from accomplished experts.
Speaking to TheNextWeb recently, co-founder Steve Forte said, “an accelerator focusing just on hybrid mobile development just made sense. Doing it in Hong Kong also made a lot of sense since this town is mobile crazy.”
The growth of co-working spaces in Hong Kong, such as The Good Lab and The Hive, has also helped mobile-orientated start-ups greatly by providing affordable work space in a communal environment where ideas can grow.
Rising stars in Hong Kong’s mobile app sector
Mobile-focused start-ups in Hong Kong come in many different shapes and sizes. There’s the Financial Engineering and Technology Corporation (FETC), who provide their ProVesor investment management tool to investors; Aldiko, who provide their Book Reader to consumers and Appgreen, who offer mobile catalogue solutions to vendors.
Many mobile start-ups are also tapping into Hong Kong residents’ love of shopping and dining, while many of them are incorporating that all-important social element. CampusFork is an innovative app which enables users to find specific dishes anywhere in Hong Kong, whilst also sharing food photos with friends and other members. Founder Rayfil Wong is a former food writer who put his knowledge to good use and aims to target visitors with the app. “People can get off the plane and not be intimidated by the food culture,” Wong told Tech Cocktail in 2011.
Mobile app firms tapping into common needs
Meanwhile, Viss is doing something similar for the world of fashion shopping. The company’s app is designed so that people can swap ideas and inspirations with their friends and followers. Then there’s Wine2Go, which was founded by certified wine instructor Xania Wong. The app enables Hong Kong residents and visitors to find the wine that they are looking for whilst also offering discounts and special deals.
Sports and training apps are also usually a hit and a variety of mobile start-ups are specialising in these, such as J Plus. The company started out in 2009 with their ‘coach’s clipboard’ app for the iPhone, and since then they’ve gone on to develop a range of coaching tools for various platforms. Playnote have done something similar for the world of musical training, providing their AuralBook app to students and teachers.
There’s also room for more serious apps too, such as Enterproid’s Divide, which provides a secure mobile workspace for individuals and businesses. Finally, MPayMe have released an app, Znap, which offers a new way to pay without cash.
There’s clearly a lot of creativity out there in Hong Kong’s mobile start-up sector, and this is surely helped by regular meet-ups and events, such as Funders and Founders, which connects start-ups with angel investors. And for many of these fledgling firms it may soon be a case of today Hong Kong, tomorrow the world.
Author: Carlo Pandian is a tech blogger based between London and Hong Kong. He also writes Ebooks on Intuit small business accounting software and blog posts on the start-up community in Asia. When he’s not online, Carlo loves foraging in the countryside and exploring food markets around the world.