Hong Kong-based incubator NEST is looking for entrepreneurs with good ideas. The two-year-old investment platform is interested in consumer and lifestyle focused businesses, and is now holding a monthly pitch day on the last Saturday of every month. Last week, we had a chance to stop by NEST’s smart incubation center and talk to the founder Simon Squibb, also a serial entrepreneur who started a local creative agency Fluid. And he shared some thoughts on the Hong Kong startup ecosystem with us.

The Spirit Is Always There

When we asked Simon if the HK youth are still addicted to financial services and corporate jobs, his answer is a firm NO. “Hong Kong people never lack the entrepreneurial spirit. Just look at their predecessors or the present legends like Li Ka Shing. The great spirit has never changed, and it’s more like something in their blood. Maybe after the 1997 Asian financial crisis some people begun to fear the risk in doing business and some are becoming more conservative than before.” However, as to Simon it’s all different now, especially among youngsters. Now that more and more Hong Kong students pursue their studies overseas, when they got back they brought novel concepts and inspiring ideas as well, which are gradually affecting the whole ecosystem now.

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Charlie Sheng

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at) technode.com