Another home for start-ups │ from South China Morning Post

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A new serviced office opens this week aiming to provide a home for newly launched companies and start-ups.

Startup Business Services offers 40 rooms and 60 work stations in 3,500 sq ft, and a pantry, spacious meeting room, reception and standard office equipment. The serviced office is in Kimberly Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui, while the back office is in Kwun Tong.

"We want to provide reasonable pricing, without going into price competition," says Startup Business Services chief executive Andy Chong. He adds that the lease of the fully furnished offices will be on flexible contracts and the price will include services, such as water and electricity, phone and internet, phone-call answering, free coffee and no move-in and exit charge. 

The company is launching four addresses in Hong Kong and another four in Shanghai, Beijing, Macau and Taipei, for companies wishing to use a virtual office address.

"While some companies only provide the facility, I will try to provide support from incubation to IPO [initial public offering] consultation," says Chong, who is an experienced certified public accountant and principal with Flexkin. The professional and business advisory firm, which was set up in 2004, has several clients in the pre-IPO stage. 

"We want to be a business partner and line up partners or find any kind of solution the client needs," he says, adding that the company is an experienced web marketer. 

Chong first had the idea of linking serviced offices with professional services to help start-ups in 2005. In 2010, he acted as a consultant for the government's Youth Employment Start services programme Y.E.S. He became vice-chairman of the sponsorship and partnership subcommittee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, which launched in April and has more than 300 members.

He started approaching start-ups in 2011, and finally he was joined by two business partners in 2014, which allowed him to build up Startup Business Services.

With a good overview of the local start-up scene and its needs, he says there are many young people with creative ideas, but they need to make the next step and take their ideas to the global market.

"The chance for success is low if they remain local. Because of the trend of globalisation, they need to establish themselves on the international market. We have reliable and tried-and-tested partners in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore, so we can help," he says.

Chong plans to provide business consultation and information on trade and industry associations to support the budding businesses.

Leading a growing start-up himself, Chong has many plans for the near future, including opening another floor which will be a co-working space.

"First, I had to take care of the return on investment. Once this floor is up and running, we will open the co-working space. I expect to start within six months," Chong says. "If you look on the street, there are so many restaurants and bars, we are close to the MTR - this is a good place for young people to gather."



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