- Services & Benefits
- Alumni Stories
- Donate to HKUST
- About Us
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund
NEW HORIZONS FOR HONG KONG'S FUTURE
Always on the lookout for growth opportunities and new challenges, Cindy parlayed her successful career in accounting and finance into her current position as the Executive Director of the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. She first joined Alibaba in 2007 and frequently worked on the company’s many acquisitions.
In Cindy's mind, the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund represented a new frontier for her: “There is a lot of interesting projects, plenty of new opportunities and most importantly, the Fund is a fantastic vehicle for Alibaba to give back to society.”
Cindy explains the Entrepreneur Fund elevates Hong Kong's startup ecosystem to a degree that other entities cannot match. For one, it leverages Alibaba's impressive network and deep expertise in technology, providing the Fund's partners with unparalleled access to a world-leading platform via its investments and internship opportunities.
Critically, the Fund also grants startups with a quality that can make or break them: credibility. Backing from the global tech titan assures other corporations that any entrepreneur working with Alibaba is the real deal and thus worthy of attention. This means Hong Kong's startups can lean on traditional corporates for financial backing, and not just depend on venture capital funds whose priorities may not gel well with the emerging company's needs.
When deciding to invest in a startup, what traits does Cindy and her team look out for? “The most important factors are the management team's track record and vision,” explains Cindy. A startup led by a serial entrepreneur who has already succeeded before, and offers a service or product that meets an unmet need with incredible growth potential will grab Alibaba’s attention. Impressively, the Fund's startup partners frequently have ambitions to expand beyond the local market; the PRC and Southeast Asia being the most popular targets.
Surveys of Hong Kong's entrepreneurs reveal a common challenge for the city's startups: they find it hard to recruit staff with the right experience and mindset. Again, the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund is actively taking steps to alleviate this problem. The Fund connects startups with established companies such as Gogovan, and with local universities and the government. Cindy adds Alibaba organizes major events such as the annual Jumpstarter (the next one will be during February 2020). Billed as the city's premier platform for startups, corporates and investors alike, Jumpstarter gives entrepreneurs the perfect opportunity to showcase their best ideas to leading investors. One of the highlights is the global pitch competition; the five winners share up to US$5 million in investment.
A proud graduate of HKUST’s MBA program, Cindy is thankful for both the connections and talent HKUST has given her. “The University’s Entrepreneurship Center has been an amazing resource for local startup talent,” Cindy says. With HKUST continuing to produce many of the city’s most inspiring startups, the University will no doubt play a leading role in developing Hong Kong into the region’s standout hub for entrepreneurs.