Decentralised Futures Proposal for PolkaPort East, a Growth and IR Initiative centred on Hong Kong

As part of W3F’s Decentralised Futures Program, we propose the creation of PolkaPort East, an Investor Relations (IR) and Growth Initiative centred on Hong Kong.


Hong Kong is an important financial hub where many crypto companies are headquartered, yet Polkadot has no permanent presence here. The city is also home to some of the largest DOT holders – many since the ICO – as well as deep pocketed family offices, who are actively exploring investments in Web3. Earlier this year, as part of a restructuring at Parity, the Growth and Investor Relation teams were sunsetted, which leaves a gaping hole in the relationship management with these key stakeholders. If they were to lose interest and began to sell, it could pose a significant risk to DOT.


We propose to establish PolkaPort East in order to create a vibrant Polkadot community in HK. This will revive the interests in Polkadot amongst large existing holders who are based in this city, and drive new institutional investments into DOT, parachains and the broader Polkadot ecosystem.

The way we want to achieve this is by putting together a regular series of in-person events in HK. We will organise a co-working space for everyone building on Polkadot; a monthly Polkadot meetup to attract new people into the ecosystem; a monthly Polkadot speaker series to showcase Polkadot technology; and two annual Polkadot Conferences to coincide with the Web3 Festival HK and the HK Fintech week, the two crypto flagship events in the city. Our main target hereby are VCs and FOs, and we will make them an active part of our events, for example by inviting them as speakers or panellists, rather than considering them a passive audience. We will also work hand-in-glove with Parity Asia, supporting their growth efforts in the region, and connecting them to investors and builders from our network.

Why Hong Kong?

Besides its status as a financial centre, there are several other reasons why we believe HK is the right place to focus this initiative on. The HK Government turned markedly more “pro-crypto” this year with the announcement of a new regulatory regime, planning to become a global hub for Web3. As a result, many Mainland Chinese crypto companies and investors have started relocating to the city. Chinese Developers from the Greater Bay Area for example commute regularly into HK, and can easily be integrated into our “Hub” model, meeting like-minded people at the co-working space, and participating in events when in town. One more reason why we want to focus this initiative on HK, is because the Polkadot Blockchain Academy (PBA) is scheduled to take place in this city in January 2024. We want to build on the momentum that the academy creates, and ensure that students become part of an active Polkadot community in this city, right after they graduate.

Why us?

The following three individuals will be founding members of PolkaPort East:

Our experience combines BD, Growth, IR, and Event Organisation, and we have strong connections to Parity, Parachain teams, and institutional Web3 investors in HK / Greater China.

Max is the co-founder of Harbour Industrial Capital, a Polkadot-focused VC fund. He has spent the past two years promoting Polkadot and cultivating relationships with family offices, VCs and institutional investors in HK, which will be used to bootstrap the PolkaPort East network. Vincent, with the support of Max and Thibault, organised the recent Polkadot Day as part of HK Web3 Month, featuring HK Government Officials, top-tier VCs from the APAC region, and builders from across the Polkadot ecosystem. Thibault as the head of growth at Bifrost brings strong connections to Chinese VCs, as well as Polkadot developers from Mainland China which will be an integral part of this initiative. On 1 November 2023, we already held our inaugural monthly HK Polkadot Meetup in Tai Kwun, which will be merged into PolkPort East.


The events we have organised so far were a resounding success. But organising them, inviting speakers and getting the right people to attend, requires significant time commitment. We are ready to do this. With this proposal to DF, we have the opportunity of turning our event series into a permanent institution, expanding Polkadot’s footprint in HK, and getting the message out to the people who matter.

To read our full proposal, please click here.


Great initiative, especially following the PBA in HK it will give projects continuous support and great visibility for Polkadot in this key market!

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Super excited to contribute to this initiative! Hong Kong is a promising market for the adoption of cryptocurrency, looking forward to seeing an increased presence of Polkadot in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong is very crypto-friendly at the moment, so this is a great proposal, and I think your senior experience can contribute to Polkdot’s increased visibility in Hong Kong, but there are a few questions I’d like answered:

The current growth metrics for the business aren’t clear; in fact, I don’t think the shared office or co-working space you mentioned in your proposal is a good idea. With Wework having declared bankruptcy, it’s hard for the average office intermediary to make profits from it, so I’d like to hear more ideas on how to grow the business sustainably.

You should highlight more of your past experience and resume, such as examples of successful projects or photos of other events you have organized. In the current proposal, I can only see some photos or information about the events co-hosted by many organizations and not much information about you. The concern with this is that I don’t want your unique ideas to be easily copied by other teams, such as one team’s growth and IR plan centered in Singapore, Dubai, or even Istanbul.

There is also a small issue: Section 1.3 of your full proposal shows the PBA being held in January 2023. As this is a generic intro and the time is outdated, the year is suggested that this be updated or removed.

Hi Hangfo, thanks for your comment, I appreciate the feedback. Regarding the co-working space, our plan is not to become an intermediary for office space. In fact we don’t plan to rent a dedicated office at all, but to get a membership at Soho House, which has a hotdesk based co-working space and, importantly, gives us access to their meeting rooms for our speaker series. While for its first year we hope to operate as a cost center (i.e. financed by DF), in the long term we plan to become self sustaining by charging for event tickets, speaker fees, sponsorship and merchandise, as well as advisory work for accelerators/incubators. Subleasing office space is not part of the business model (as stated in Section 4)

Understand your point about Growth Metrics. The ultimate goal we want to be measured by, is how much new VC and FO investment from HK we can drive into the Polkadot ecosystem. This can of course be difficult to measure, since such decisions are usually a result of a confluence of factors. The best proxy therefore is the attendance of our events, and whether we can get large capital allocators to participate. (At our inaugural conference for example we had 9 such investors on stage)

Regarding your point of making our experience and track record more visible for this proposal, I fully agree with you, and will add more detail in the final proposal. For a start, please have a look at HK WEB3 MONTH & WEB3 HACK X where we organised the entire Stage A on Nov 6. The list of capital allocators published in the Appendix, should give you an idea of our network in HK. Please also check out my LinkedIn (link in the proposal) where I post regularly about Polkadot related events, conferences, and podcasts I did.

Thanks also point pointing out wrong year, that was a typo, and I have corrected it now to 2024

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As a member of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy team, I can say that our team supports the team proposing PolkaPort East and can vouch for the opportunity for coordinated investor- and community-focused efforts in HK, to multiply the work of Parity and different ecosystem teams. All of the founding members are engaged with and supporting PBA4 in Hong Kong, and we view them as key partners and ties to the region to make our program and its impact a success. Exciting to see this initiative taking place with the urgency of capitalizing off of the PBA’s and Polkadot’s investment in Hong Kong and the region.

I participated the latest DOT event in Hongkong, it was great!

I really support the initiative of PolkaPort East, as Hongkong right now is de facto the centre of Chinese crypto market, given the strict regulation in mainland China.

Polkadot was hot in Mainland China before, but now it is rarely mentioned by mainstream media. People are talking about bitcoin ecosystem, ethereum layer2, or MEMEs. Polkadot eco needs more exposure from both media and community.

What a great initiative! We need more polkadot focused gatherings and you are hitting the sweetspot with your proposal.

I was lucky to go to the first event and witness how it connects people and how you can feel people using their brainpower to think about polkadot related topics.

Would love to see more events of that kind!

Great initiative, its nice to see such a timely and hyper-local proposal!

I do agree that HK is an important crypto hub to build presence in, there is no doubt about that. Sunset of Growth and IR teams is a fact not to be underestimated as well.

With that said, after reading through the detailed proposal I was left with a few questions:

  • Why no legal structure? Could you please elaborate on your choice?

  • Why is budgeting not provided? Given the deliverables, it is a fairly straightforward exercise. How could a proposal with no estimated budget get approved?

  • Given the nature of the proposal, it would be great to see a timeline of events and key milestones.

  • Love the team, looks like a good mix of skills and connections. Are you planning to work on all deliverables as a team of 3? How many hours/FTEs do you estimate it would take?

It is critical that Polkadot establish a strong foothold in HK, especially with its clarity on regulating cryptocurrencies and desire to grow this segment.

I have a few questions:

  1. What are the initiatives to attract developer teams?
  2. The goal of monthly meetup is to gain exposure to new people, rather than same people attending the meetup every month. How will you promote this event once you exhaust your personal connections? Will there be a KPI for ‘no. of new attendees’?
  3. Monthly Meetup vs Fireside Chat vs Investors Dinner seems to cover the same objective, why can’t just 1 event be hosted? Keynote speeches then casual catchup after.

Hi Dgencitizen, thanks for your comments! About the the legal structure, we are currently evaluating whether or not a separate legal entity is required, or if we can do what we plan on o do with a Polkadot multisig only. We ll consult with W3F directly on this. If we end up setting up a corporate entity, it would be a local HK Ltd. About the budget, we ll be requesting funding for 3 FTEs. While I ll be full time on this, Vincent and Thibault also have responsibilities at Astar and Bifrost respectively and will work on a part time basis. So that means while the three of us will be driving this initiative forward, the hours of the 3 FTEs won’t be used up by us, but can be used to compensate other people who we will inevitably need to put these events together.

Regarding the milestones, this is in fact already provided in the proposals, namely a daily co-working space, 1 meetup per month, 1 fireside chat per month (consisting of different formats, speakers and topics), 6 VC-only dinners per year and 2 large conferences per year. I hat I should add is about the timing. The program is designed to be run throughout 2024 on a regular monthly basis, and if we get approval before EOY, the first events will take place already in January.

Hi 51Bagger, thanks for all your questions! Let me respond one by one.

  1. Attracting developers is not the primary objective of this initiative, which is more focused on investors instead. However, we certainly do want to see more developers in HK, after all, capital allocators are much more likely to deploy when there is a strong local developer community. Having said that, many of our fireside chats are focused on technical aspects, and we will invite teams building on top of Polkadot to present in front of a room of HK investors. So one way to answer your question is that we ll attract developers by providing them with a unique platform for fundraising in HK.
  2. Yes absolutely! The meet up has the explicit purpose of bringing new people to Polkadot who hitherto had little to no exposure to the ecosystem. The way we want to achieve that is by tapping into local crypto and entrepreneurship networks (which we are already part of), to keep expending the circle. The Meetup will act as a “funnel” for the fireside chats and the conferences.
  3. Those three types of events are quite distinct. Meet-ups will act for new lead generation, regardless of investor, builder or general interest. Fireside chats are to share knowledge on the one hand and give Polkadot based projects the opportunity to present in front of high profile investors on the other. VC dinners will be very targeted invite-only events. We will only invite investors with a proven track record in Web3 who have the ability to write cheques in a size that makes a real difference. We will seat them next to people already invested in Polkadot, as we know that there is no better way of facilitating such investment decisions than hearing it from their peers. Hope this answers your point about why we need different types of events — having said that, we may of course on occasion have a VC dinner directly following a fireside chat with select individuals.
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Thanks for clarifying Max.

While 3 FTE sounds reasonable for most of the deliverables, I’d have some concerns around the yearly events. Could you please elaborate on how you are looking to approach event organisation and delivery?

Would also be very keen to hear from Parity Asia. There is an opportunity to create synergy here, but at the same time there is a possibility of overlap in scope of activity.

Thanks for raising this point. We’ll be collaborating with Parity Asia on many levels and they are already involved in the current planning phase. We have had a call last week and will speak again tomorrow as we finalise our proposal. As you have pointed out correctly, for the two large conferences in HK there is scope for collaberation, which is something we very much welcome. Elaine and Rae from Parity Asia for example were speakers at our inaugural conference this November. Also, keep in mind that Parity currently has no permanent representation in HK, but is primarily based out of SG. We will therefore act as the “boots on the ground” in HK, maintaining investor relations, and growing the network throughout the year. But for the two large HK events we certainly do plan to collaborate, as our incentives of growing the Polkadot investor base are aligned.

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Interesting initiative. I’d be interested to see how this goes!

I like the regional focus and from everything I’ve seen Asia is certainly the hot spot. The initiatives of events and driving interest locally make a ton of sense especially focused on VCs/Family Office etc. The piece about setting up a local office trips me up a bit, will you have a BD arm to try and get these teams committed to Polkadot’s ecosystem or do you have a collab in place to make that happen? I’d think you’d want some stickiness to come from this or be able to show “closed” projects coming from this as a deliverable. If not, I still see a ton of value in events, meet-ups, dinners etc with a local team and VC focus.

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Glad to see a proposal that will focus on HK. This is a huge market that needs the attention.

Glad to see that Thibault Perréard is involved with this. Having worked with him on numerous occasions, I can say that his work ethic is astounding.

I’m shared a strong interest in Asia specific region, and HongKong for sure is one of the important component Polkadot can get diverse financial partners in different ways.

This team is experienced and knowledgable in every aspects of Polkadot.

I support this team!

I strongly believe that Hong Kong holds significant importance in the APAC region, and it’s crucial for Polkadot to establish a strong presence there.

As the team has a prove track record in the past few years, I want to express my support for the PolkaPort East team and their initiative!

I am 100% supportive of this initiative! I agree with what Max mentioned in the post - Hong Kong government is very aggressive in pushing Hong Kong to become the Global Web3 hub so there are a lot of initiatives (e.g. stablecoin regulations, decentralized exchanges regulations) that are being put forth that can be world-leading in terms of regulation clarity. So having an entity (PolkaPort East) may not only promote Polkadot ecosystem but can also influence positively to the different regulations and make Polkadot a key element within the Hong Kong Web3 hub.
And I personally met both Max and Vincent while I attended the PBA event in Hong Kong last month (I was in the Founders Track, coming from Web2 E-commerce and Fintech background). I would say that they are the best persons to push this in Hong Kong. Not only because of their knowledge and experience in Web3/Polkadot but I can see their great passion towards promoting the Polkadot Ecosystem - they are very actively helping with the PBA program, engaging and educating founders like myself who has web2 background to try to understand web3. So I fully support this initiative and hope that it will materialize!