International Finance

HKSTP and HKEX launch road to IPO platform

Connecting investors, financial, legal and business experts to nurture top technology companies and accelerate the development of Hong Kong’s innovation economy

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) jointly announced the launch of their Road to IPO platform, a move that further strengthens Hong Kong as a technology investment hub.

The Road to IPO platform, announced at a conference held at Hong Kong Science Park entitled Road to IPO: Seminar for High Growth Corporates, was created to help steer technology companies through the multi-stage, multi-year process as they prepare for an initial public offering (IPO). The platform will connect high-potential technology companies with external parties including global investors, financial, legal and business experts that can support them on this journey.

Opened for all technology companies at different stages in fund-raising and the IPO process, the platform now targets technology companies that are closer to the IPO-planning stage, including those from the biomedical technology, electronics, green technology, information and communications technology, and material and precision engineering industries. These are the five key technology clusters that HKSTP focuses on developing and have the potential to transform Hong Kong into a new epicentre of technology innovation.

(From left to right) Samson Tam – Chairman of Hong Kong Business Angel Network; Stephen Phillips- Director-General of Investment Promotion, InvestHK; Fanny Law- Chairperson of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation; Nicholas Yang – Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR Government; Charles Li, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation; Jie Gong, Executive Director of Hong Kong Venture Capital Association

Joint effort to establish Hong Kong as a regional hub of technology investment

Through the Road to IPO platform, HKSTP and HKEX will organise IPO-related joint workshops to help ambitious technology companies put in place the right strategies, management team, corporate structure as well as financial and governance models as part of their IPO preparation. Besides, HKSTP will set up an enquiry hotline to cater for technology companies at all stages that need directions to IPO; HKEX will assist technology companies referred by HKSTP at appropriate times by guiding them through the IPO preparation process and relevant listing requirement. Combining their strengths, HKSTP and HKEX are convening industry organisations committed to nurturing technology companies.

“Technology is the key to the future of Hong Kong and global economy, while investors are key to the technology ecosystem. HKSTP is making remarkable progress in building a strong and supportive ecosystem for technology companies. We believe that our ecosystem, home to a number of high potential technology companies, can become the best destination for investors. We are glad to have HKEX to join our hands to establish such powerful end-to-end support platform to nurture technology companies towards IPO in Hong Kong, and help Hong Kong become a regional hub for technology investment,” said Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP.

“While we keep the momentum going to build an optimised ecosystem for start-ups and technology companies, our ultimate aim is to make our city a magnet to investors from all over the world to support and invest in innovation,” continued Albert.

“Hong Kong led the world in IPO fundraising last year as companies recognised the many benefits of a listing here, from our deep liquidity pool and diverse investor base to strong market infrastructure, free flow of capital and sound regulatory regime,” said HKEX Chief Executive, Charles Li. “Our Stock Exchange has large, mid-size and small technology companies.We encourage technology start-ups to aim for an IPO to support their further development, and we hope to seek market views soon on our proposed New Board to meet the needs of pre-profit companies and other potential issuers that are not able to list with us now.  We look forward to hearing from our technology community.”

Leveraging strengths in innovation and finance

Hong Kong’s strengths in innovation and technology are well-known. Hong Kong Science Park, for instance, is home to more than 630 technology companies and HKSTP has more than 260 start-ups currently in its incubation programmes. With HKSTP providing R&D infrastructure and professional services, including incubation support and investor matching, Hong Kong has built a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem.

The ecosystem is set to further transform in the coming years with the development of Hong Kong/Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park at Lok Ma Chau Loop. The availability of a wide variety of funding sources has also made Hong Kong a regional stronghold to attract technology companies. Even so, technology companies often need targeted support to reach their IPO objectives. The Road to IPO platform is intended to encourage and support more technology companies to list, supporting the city’s broader technology sector at the same time.

Standout technology companies invited to apply

Marking the collaboration of HKSTP and HKEX, the Road to IPO: Seminar for High Growth Corporates gathered famous investees, business angels, seed investors, venture capitalists and private equities to share views on the essentials of different financial stages for technology companies on their way to a future listing. Successful technology companies innovating in Hong Kong Science Park also shared their experience in business and corporation development.

The Road to IPO platform is now open to technology companies from Hong Kong Science Park, HKSTP’s incubation programmes, TechnoPreneur Partnership Programme. The platform will be opened to all technology companies in Hong Kong in the next phase.

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