Angels, startups visit San Jose

Updated: 2013-06-20 11:02

By Yu Wei in San Francisco (China Daily)

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A 30-member delegation of startup leaders, angel investors and venture capitalists from Hong Kong arrived in San Jose on Monday to have broad-ranging discussions on information and communications technology.

The delegation, led by Herman Lam, CEO of Cyberport Management Company Ltd, was hosted by its Silicon Valley partner Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association (HYSTA), an organization that promotes entrepreneurialism among Chinese professionals in Silicon Valley, and Hanhai Investment Management Group, the valley's largest US-Chinese technology incubator.

Cyberport is a Hong Kong-based tech community that is wholly-owned by the Hong Kong SAR government. Its million-square-foot tech-centric campus has been home to more than 150 companies and has incubated 189 information technology startups.

Lam said its first mission to Silicon Valley last July resulted in partnerships with US companies. "We want to continue that and we have more specific objectives this time," he said, adding that there are investors in the current group who want to see how things work in Silicon Valley.

"Hopefully we can get some solid deals," he said.

Among the startups represented in the delegation is Sofor, a company specializing in mobile social games that has won several prizes, including an HK100, 000 Cyberport Creative Micro Fund. Sofor CEO Louis Gong said that getting to know more about Silicon Valley and the US investment and IT industry will lead to new contacts. "So in the near future, we can be ready to raise the next round of funding," Gong said.

Meanwhile, US startups pitching to Hong Kong investors in the group also did well.

Mark Borsody, who is developing a new treatment device for stroke, said he raised $3.1 million in capital and investment commitments from the visiting group.

"We want to look in the Asian market for investors who can help us enter the Chinese market, where we know our products will be well-served, since stroke is disproportionately severe there," Borsody said, adding that Hong Kong was "a very favorable place for companies to set up their office to address the Chinese market."

Chinese investment in the US hit an all-time record in 2012. Chinese firms completed US deals worth $6.5 billion, a 12 percent increase from the previous record of $5.8 billion in 2010, according to Rhodium Group, a New York-based research firm.

"Almost every month you have Chinese delegations coming to Silicon Valley," said Leslie Yuan, an advisor to HYSTA. "The rising Chinese power in Silicon Valley will accelerate Chinese enterprises from startups to global companies such as Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba. There will be a strong demand for affiliate services to help Chinese enterprises, which will mean employment opportunities for local professionals."

Victor Wang, president of Hanhai Investment said his company is focusing more on the incubator side, while HYSTA and other associations are focusing on the people there.

"Together we can provide a complimentary service," Wang said. "We can help each other reach out to more startups, not only for Chinese Americans, but for US startups in general."

(China Daily USA 06/20/2013 page2)