Sunday, 9 May 2010

Does Hong Kong Government take long term view on assisting technology startup?

Sadly the answer is NO, as I was told by a senior official of our government during a lunch event together with industry representatives.

I was describing a business model of an UK company which sponsors promising technology ideas generated from universities, by providing a proof-of-concept seed money to the researchers and if the idea reaching prototype stage and continue to be proven promising, the company has a first right of refusal in invest and form a a venture together with the university and the researchers. This company takes a long term view that the investment doesn't get an exit event for at least 6-7 years, and this is exactly the difficulty for Hong Kong, because it is hard to get Hong Kong investors to take such long term view with no near term return. Therefore, I suggested that our government can take such long term view, but the answer I got was a big "NO" because, the legco that approves the funding for research and ventures support will demand to see near term success/return and they will never agree on "long term investment" type of funding (just like most Hong Kong investors...)

I wonder if I should take a long term view on Hong Kong if our government is seemingly short-sighted...

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