HKSSG: Hong Kong's First Decentralised Open-Source Startup Community
Hong Kong, June 2, 2018 - Initially started from a single LinkedIn post by a startup founder looking for help, it brought other startup founders together to pool resources together into helping each other grow through contacts and help. With that initial seed, within 4 weeks Hong Kong Startup Support Group (HKSSG) grew to 200 startups and has continued to gain traction ever since.
The reason for this growth is that startup entrepreneurs found the stripped back nature and honest sharing a refreshing change from the public social network platforms where most founders curate a version of themselves. Members are able to more honestly relate to other startups and find the support they need in terms of morale or knowledge in HKSSG.
This is almost certainly the result of the initial core members; Gary Ng, Simon Wong and Hugo Cheuk who rallied the typically fractured Hong Kong startup community into a Whatsapp group.
From sharing investor profiles to sharing latest schemes from the government to even barter trading for various services, the HKSSG group is allowing startups to do what they do best; find unconventional bootstrapping methods to improve their businesses. All the while sharing the core values of HKSSG: helping members gain exposure, sharing knowledge and collaboration between members.
Further to this the group has no hierarchical structure, almost libertarian in nature. With every member allowed to start initiatives with other members as part of HKSSG, so that events are planned in a fast and agile manner. What usually takes other groups months to plan, may only take 2 weeks to either organise or drop completely.
This culture is almost certainly borne from the majority of technology startups that reside in HKSSG, which constantly pivot and develop their product in short sprints on an agile basis and so are used to this method of operating. And with the diversity of the types of members from major incubators and accelerators, investors (angels and VCs), mentors and of course to startups (both early stage and growth stage) it leads to very spirited and wide ranging discussions.
It is envisioned that this somewhat distributed (almost like the numerous Blockchain startups in HKSSG) community will be able to grow further and bring more tangible support to the startup community, with it’s non-affiliated and non-aligned nature. Crossing boundaries that normally exist amongst communities with a singular goal in mind: giving startups a place to find support and camaraderie.
Now with a small but dedicated committee of startup founders to help put some direction on HKSSG comprising of Simon Wong, Hugo Cheuk, Gary Ng, Brad Emery and Benson Lau. It is hoped that more targeted events will help give more support from business development to helping companies improve their pitch to eventually investor matching.
HKSSG just celebrated its first event partnered with HKSTP to give a talk on their incubation programs with one of HKSSG’s members sharing about their recent entrance into HKSTP’s incubation program. Further to this there are more initiatives in the coming weeks from “Investable Ideas” (with some investors sharing what they look for in a startup) to a shared booth at a popular startup conference for members of HKSSG to be part of the activities.
HKSSG with it's decentralised nature will keep evolving in a self-sustaining fashion with members helping each other whilst contributing with their experience and network.
Each member’s new contribution will step-by-step add value to the community akin to an open-source code repository. HKSSG welcomes all HK based startups to join and together build a more constructive startup ecosystem in Hong Kong.