(From left to right) George Chen, head of public policy, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Facebook; Dr. Toa Charm, chief public mission officer, Cyberport; Tony Á Verb, managing partner, Mettā; Gene Soo, co-founder, StartupsHK; and Michelle Buultjens, head of operations, blueprint by Swire Properties. Credit: Facebook
Social network giant, Facebook, has partnered blueprint, Cyberport, Mettā, and StartupsHK for its FBStart in Hong Kong - a global programme to help mobile startups grow.
The four local partners will work with Facebook to support the members of the programme by providing mentorships, trainings, and networking events.
The FbStart programme offers free tools and services to help mobile startups build and grow their applications. It also provides a year-round mentorship to connect the members with Facebook team and a global community of mobile developers and entrepreneurs.
Facebook said the programme has over 9,000 members across 140 countries globally, of which 70 percent are from outside the United States.
"As Hong Kong's startup scene continues to gain traction, we are seeing a rising number of talented, promising mobile startups," said George Chen, Head of Public Policy at Facebook in Hong Kong and Taiwan, in a press release.
"Yet, some of these startups cite resource constraints and lack of community support as major roadblocks in their business growth. We're hopeful that the FbStart programme will help to grow our local startup community and contribute to the development of Hong Kong's digital economy," Chen continued.
Meanwhile, Facebook held its inaugural FbStart workshop at Mettā last Tuesday (25 October 2016) to facilitate a better understanding of the programme and discuss the best practices for implementing Facebook developer tools.
In addition, Facebook has honoured the five most successful apps among its global FbStart members on its annual FbStart Apps of the Year competition. VoiceTube - an app for language learning - received the grand prize of US$50,000 and US$50,000 in Facebook Ad Credits.
Facebook has also opened the application for the following tracks:
- Bootstrap track - for developers who has launched a quality, working mobile app in Apple or Google Play stores.
- Accelerate track - for developers who has launched a working mobile app in Apple or Google Play stores and have seen a sustained level of growth in their target markets.
Besides that, developers can also apply for the following benefits packages:
- Social good - a package which offers benefits for social good developers, as well as mentorship from Facebook's social good and Internet.org teams.
- Games - a package which offers benefits to mobile game developers, as well as mentorship from Facebook's game team.
"More and more world-class accelerators are here to offer their professional insights to our blooming startups, and we're honored to have FbStart be leading the charge. On top of the mentorship and packages of free services from its renowned partners, the most valuable asset of FbStart is its extensive network of over 1.7 billion Facebook people that will provide a super highway to connect local mobile startups to the global market. I'm looking forward to more local startups shining their way to 'unicorns'," said Dr. David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology.
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