For International

Austrade’s Australia-Hong Kong Tech Bridge is now open for applications!

Austrade has launched its latest support to bilateral innovation, the Australia-Hong Kong Tech Bridge, offering Australian scale-ups the chance to engage with major Hong Kong companies in an immersive program that provides participants with access to proprietary corporate information, decision makers and real business development leads. 

About the Tech Bridge program 

The aim of the Australia-Hong Kong Tech Bridge is to help Australian scaleups or SMEs identify and engage new business opportunities in the Hong Kong market.

We understand that in addition to a basic understanding of the Hong Kong ecosystem, companies scaling into this market require:
insight into how their products can be tailored to meet specific Hong Kong market needs 
warm leads that can be converted into new business opportunities – ultimately resulting in cornerstone partners and/ or successful Hong Kong case studies.

Our program offers successful Australian applicants the chance to be ‘immersed’ with participating Hong Kong corporates, receive access to proprietary information about the company’s technology needs and propose a customised, commercial solution to the Hong Kong corporate – potentially resulting in a new client in Hong Kong. 

Our corporate partner: CK Hutchison Holdings

Austrade is calling for scaleups and small business enterprises (SMEs) with market ready products or solutions to apply for our new Tech Bridge program powered by CK Hutchison Holdings (CKHH). 

CKHH comprises five core businesses - ports and related services, retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications. Hong Kong is headquarters to several of its major subsidiaries.

The Tech Bridge program, powered by CKHH provides an opportunity for Australian applicants to engage with two CKHH subsidiaries: A.S. Watson Group and Hutchison Ports. 

A.S. Watson Group

CKHH’s retail business, A.S. Watson Group, is the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer with 12 retail brands and over 14,400 stores in 24 markets. Every year, over 4 billion customers visit its stores and shop through its online platforms.

Hutchison Ports

Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port network, operating ports and terminals in 26 countries including in Australia, with operations in both Sydney and Brisbane. 

CKHH Opportunities: 
Austrade has worked with A.S. Watsons Group and Hutchison Ports to identify a series of leads and opportunities for Australian applicants to pitch their services to CKHH.

#TechBridge18 will be most relevant to companies developing innovative services in the fields of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence and which can provide solutions in the categories of Retail Technology and Port Logistics. 

How does it work? 

Successful applicants will be provided the chance to be ‘immersed’ with either A.S. Watsons Group or Hutchison Ports and receive access to proprietary information about the company’s technology needs.   

The immersion within CKHH’s subsidiaries, with be at the discretion of the business unit but will likely involve the following: 
  • Facetime with company executives, technology teams and business unit leads 
  • Proprietary briefings on business unit needs, including: 
    o Current technology mix 
    o Defined 'focus areas' where solutions are sought 
    o Feedback on proposed solutions 
  • Access to sample data necessary to customise solutions 

Based on the above immersion, successful applicants will have an opportunity to customise a solution that addresses the identifiable needs of the corporate partner.  During development of this solution, the participants will have access to key business unit contacts to help further tailor their solution. 

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to pitch/propose their customised solution to targeted decision makers, potentially securing a cornerstone client in the HK market.  

Program format 

The format of the program is focused on providing the scale-up / SME as much flexibility as possible. 

A minimum of 5 days (note maximum is 30 days) will be required for the Australian scale-up / SME to be in HK (Selected Australian companies will be responsible for covering all direct costs associated with participation in the program e.g. travel, accommodation and living costs. Austrade can provide co-working/co-living referrals): 

Minimum stay in Hong Kong is 5 days (can stay up to 30 days to liaise with CKHH)

  • 1 day market induction & briefing bootcamp from Austrade HK
  • 3 days for initial briefings with the corporate partner
  • 1 day pitching/proposing product / solution to corporate partner 

Once briefed by the corporate partner, the Australian participant will have access to decision makers and key contacts within the participating business units for up to one month as the customised solution is developed. 

  • Business units can be engaged via skype / phone with additional questions  
  • A programmed ‘check in’ meeting will be scheduled as the Australian participant draws close to being ready to pitch/propose the solution 

Participating companies can take up to three months between in market briefing and final pitch/proposal (negotiable and to be agreed by the Corporate Partner, Austrade and the participating company). They are not required to be in HK for this entire time, outside the above 5 day period. 

In addition Austrade can arrange a customised (optional) program to introduce successful candidates to the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology ecosystem. 

Timeline (*Indicative only) 
26 September 2018 Applications start 
12 October 2018 Applications deadline  
1 November 2018 Finalists Selection 
6 November 2018 Pre-Departure Briefing 
20 November 2018 Briefing with CKHH in Hong Kong *
12 December 2018 Progress ‘check-in’ meeting *
12 December 2018 Pitch solution to CKHH in Hong Kong *
31 January 2018 Program ends * 

Potential benefits for participants:

Outcomes from participation in the Australia-Hong Kong Tech Bridge program, include: 

  • Understanding of market needs and how to customise an Australian solution / product for Hong Kong 
  • New relationship with significant HK corporate partner 
  • Potential new business development outcome / lead with corporate partner 
  • Case study & new customised solution to be offered to other HK targets  

Your application will be reviewed and assessed by Austrade for recommendation to CKHH for final candidate selection. Participation is subject to application and eligibility for Austrade services. 


  1. Traction – do you have sales and customers, funding, investors or partners for your existing solution? 
  2. Market/Corporate Partner relevance – how well does your solution match corporate partner pain points/disruption objectives? 
  3. Differentiation – How does your solution disrupt its marketplace, or what is your value proposition and vision for growth?  
  4. Scalability – can you scale your existing solution in overseas markets? 


For this valuable opportunity to see your tech come alive, be sure to submit your application by 12 October 2018.  

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