Start Up Exchange Across Borders

Q&A Interview with SUN Start Up Network
News07.06.2019Jonathan Pfordte
SUN Delegation
FNF GIHub

FNF GIHub was visited by SUN StartUp Network as part of their trip from Germany to Hong Kong. Following our meeting, the GIHub held an exchange Q&A with Olga Heuser, Board Member of SUN StartUp Netzwerk.

During this Q&A we found out more about what SUN StartUp Network does, their view on their trip to Hong Kong and the Start Up Ecosystem in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

SUN Start Up Network

Q: What Does SUN do for Start-Ups?

A: Startup network SUN is an interdisciplinary community of bright minds and doers. It is about  inspiring, passionate and driven individuals that are focused on having an impact.

Our network consists of start-up-minded students, entrepreneurs and professionals with different backgrounds. We create meaningful opportunities to help our members grow. Through events, workshops, trips or networking activities we enable our members to get to know the startup world, find inspiration, exchange ideas and benefit from an innovative network. The majority of our members are scholarship holders and alumni/ae of the 13 German scholarship foundations for outstanding students.

Since we unite the brightest minds from different industries, our members also have the opportunity to recruit highly talented students, professionals and entrepreneurs. Whether co-founder, trainee or expert – there is something for every need in our network.

Q: What did you see/visit during your trip in Hong Kong?

A: Once a year we organize trips to vibrant startup cities around the world. We want to foster a cross border, cross cultural exchange between entrepreneurs, professionals, students, and investors on both sides. Our aim is to network and familiarise with the local startup ecosystems, funding and support initiatives.

In March a SUN delegation spent 1 week in Hong Kong. We explored the local startup scene and dived into the vibrant life of one of the most interesting cities of Asia. We met with unicorn startups and businesses, political organizations, investors, accelerators and our newest partners Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, WHub and brinc. We enjoyed the inspiring meetings and conversations and exchange between visionary minds from Asia and Europe.

We enjoyed and appreciated the open and honest conversation with Armin, Jonathan and the FNF Global Innovation Hub. They shared their view on the political and economic situation of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. It was very insightful and interesting.

Q: What are your thoughts or something you have learnt about Hong Kong in terms of its start up ecosystem and communities?

A: HK has a very vibrant startup ecosystem. It was interesting to learn about the pros and cons of setting up a business in Hong Kong. Pro: Easy access to the Chinese market, access to money (investment). Cons: political situation, high costs of living in HK, difficulty to find talent because startup jobs are not perceived as prestigious or cool - like in Germany.

Q: What are the differences of Startup culture between Hong Kong and Germany?

A: Actually it is very similar! Similar offices, people, mindset. Maybe one difference is that we might have a more experimental and playful approach to innovation and building companies - but that’s based on our subjective observation.

Q: What is your impression about Hong Kong?

A: We were all thrilled about Hong Kong. The food is amazing, the city is clean (at least in contrast to Berlin), the people are very polite and friendly, … It was pretty sure for us that it was not the last time that we visit Hong Kong!