05 September 2017
By Andrew D. Ross
When the Programme was launched, the angel investment scene in Hong Kong saw scant activity and was limited to private equity firms, hedge funds, a few very wealthy individuals and family offices.
It was therefore with remarkable foresight that the IT Committee of BritCham first put forward the idea of a Chamber driven Angel Investor Program. Remember, at that time, the terms incubator, co-work space and Shark Tank were not part of every-day vernacular.
Baker Tilly had partners attending the first few breakfast meetings. The then Chairman, Christopher Hammerbeck, forever conscious of the need to control costs, was informally asking if there were any present who may be interested in sponsoring the Programme. Well, Baker Tilly stepped up to the plate and are absolutely delighted to have been sponsors of the Programme over its first 10 years of operation.
Currently the Programme is undergoing a revamp. The launch of a new identity, a new website, a refreshed event is imminent as we look to stay apace with changing trends in the start-up marketplace. Nevertheless, its virtues of steadfastness and value to the business community remain paramount.
Over the period other Chambers and organisations have endeavoured to emulate the success of our Business Angel Programme without really challenging our pre-eminent position. We remain one of the most popular channels through which to showcase a new idea and allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to bring their ideas to potential angel investors.
In my years on the Programme Committee, I have vetted literally hundreds of business plans from different industries spanning e-commerce, entertainment, IT, logistics and pharmaceutical. I never cease to be amazed at the creativity of young (and not so young) entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. Every business plan is a reminder that Hong Kong is a vibrant marketplace, and the Business Angel Programme will continue to facilitate entry to this market place. I remain bullish on Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial spirit, and growing reputation as Asia Pacific’s leading start-up hub.
Coincidentally the Programme’s 10th Anniversary coincides with Baker Tilly Hong Kong’s celebration of 40 years as a CPA firm in the SAR.
We look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries together in the years ahead.
Andrew D. Ross is the Managing Director of Baker Tilly Hong Kong.