E-hub, incubator of future tech giants
R-Guardian, a high-tech startup founded by two young Hongkongers at the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub (E-hub), received 12 million yuan investment from venture capital within less than three years of its establishment.
Kwok Wai-keung, a cofounder of R-Guardian, said he and his partner became interested in starting a high-tech firm on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in Qianhai three years ago, drawn to the area by its favorable business environment, the perfect industrial chain and supportive government policies.
A startup idea was conceived when Kwok finished his graduate education at a university in Hong Kong. However, he found that the business environment in Hong Kong lacked hardware-friendly manufacturers as it does not have a complete industrial chain.
Kwok and hisbusiness partner, Eric Lau, then settled R-Guardian in Qianhai. “I was so impressed by the openness and inclusiveness of Shenzhen,” he said, adding that many young entrepreneurs and makers from around the world feel welcomed in Qianhai.
Startups at the E-hub are exempt from office rent for the first year of development and they also enjoy subsidized office rent starting the second year, greatly lowering their operational costs.
Various kinds of other supports are also provided to the startups at the E-hub, such as assistance with local policies and market localization.
“The supportive policies provide young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong like me with a lot of conveniences in housing, employment and transport when working in Qianhai,” said Kwok.
R-Guardian products, such as the latest smart Skytrek Luggage, have sold in more than 140 countries and regions around the world.
The E-hub has become a well-known incubator of high-tech startups. As of June 2019, 388 startups, including 190 international entrepreneurial teams, have been hatched at the E-hub. They have received a total of 1.5 billion yuan (US$209.7 million) in investment.
Walnut Tech, adesign-driven personal mobility startup incubated at the E-hub, received 18 million yuan from investors after it was set up in June 2016.
Peng Yiheng, founder of Walnut Tech, graduated from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a degree in industrial design and human-computer interaction technology. He said apart from the favorable policies, Qianhai’s geographical location makes it an ideal platform from which his company can explore the world market.
Qianhai has access to two international airports within a 40-kilometer radius and a deepwater port.
In less than two years of its establishment, Walnut Tech’s Spectra series of portable and intelligent electric skateboard were sold in a dozen countries and become very popular among young people around the world. Its latest Spectra X received a large number of preorders from worldwide.
Thanks to Qianhai’s favorable policies on rent subsidy, taxes and government support for high-tech firms, and business environment, within half a year since its establishment, Remo-AI, a startup specializes in AI technology received several million yuanin its seed round of financing in September 2016. In the Pre-A round of financing, the startup, which produces auto-director AI cameras, received investment from venture capitals like Brizan Ventures and SmartSens.
Its product, OBSBOT Tail uses an advanced neural network to achieve AI tracking, intelligent composition and powergesture.