Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) has launched its Entrepreneurs Fund for Hong Kong.
The HK$1 billion Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, a not-for-profit initiative of Alibaba Group, aims to support entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of the resources offered by Alibaba’s ecosystem in e-commerce, logistics, mobile platforms, cloud computing and financial services.
The vehicle will invest in qualifying companies in the startup, growth and expansion phases of the company life cycle. Qualifying businesses will leverage the platforms in the Alibaba ecosystem to offer products and services to mainland China and the world.
Business and community leaders including Dr. Allan Zeman, founder and chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group; Mr. Bernard Chan, president of Asia Financial Group and Asia Insurance, and Mr. Savio Kwan, an independent business consultant who was instrumental in developing Alibaba as president and chief operating officer from 2001 to 2003, will join the board of directors of the fund.
Ms. Cindy Chow, who joined Alibaba Group in 2007 and has worked in the financial control and planning capacity, most recently as senior director of international finance, will serve as the executive director of the new vehicle, which has already selected its first Investment Manager, Gobi Partners, to manage a portion of the investment program.
Established over ten years ago, Gobi now manages six funds with offices across Asia investing in over 100 innovative companies in China and Southeast Asia.
The fund will also provide 200 internship opportunities each year for graduates and final year students of local tertiary education institutions to work for a period of six to 12 months at Alibaba or companies in the Alibaba ecosystem in mainland China.