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Hong Kong is the ideal location for a hardware startup, despite the fact that there are so few factories in the country. Why is that? Flintu’s co-founder and tech guy Evan Stuart explains.
The fact is, Hong Kong doesn’t need any factories. It has one of the world's largest mega-factory cities at its doorstep, Shenzen. A short three hour drive across the border is all that separates the two cities. Shenzen was literally farmland 30 years ago, and now this city makes many of the gadgets we buy and love. (Looking at you, Apple fans!)
Hong Kong was once a factory city as well. However, its factories were all relocated in the 1980s as part of a industrial relocation program. "Made in Hong Kong” became “Made by Hong Kong” as it transitioned to providing design, investment and management. Today Hong Kong is a bustling international financial hub, home to more skyscrapers than any other city in the world.
The city is home to an increasing number of tech startups. In 2015, the number of incubators and startup companies increased by 50%. It makes sense. Hong Kong has access to the startup trifecta:investment, a factory and a product. With Shenzhen’s manufacturing capabilities and Hong Kong’s investor pool it’s easy to see why it’s one of the fastest growing startup scenes in the world.
For Flintu, having a presence in China is essential to delivering a quality product on time. Product development relies heavily on prototype iteration. Reducing time between each revision is key for overall time-to-market. From a manufacturing point of view living in Shenzhen would be ideal, but it's digitally isolated by the great firewall.
With 12 hours factory-to-office delivery, its burgeoning startup culture, fast internet access, and undeniably amazing restaurants and bars you can understand why Hong Kong is the place to be.