Checkerboard Landing

A spectacular approach to
a perfect Asian landing



The Checkerboard Landing Program is hosted by Saltagen Ventures with the support of the Asia Regional Partner, Global Acceleration Academy of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation, and other ecosystem partners.

With deep roots and business relationships on both sides of the Pacific, partners and mentors of the Checkerboard Landing Program will dedicate both quality time and resources to support Canadian startups by landing into Asia via Hong Kong.

Our extensive network of ecosystem partners in Hong Kong and Canada will support fundraising and expansion of your businesses through:

Cross Pacific
Stepwise Landing
Asia Financing
Local Networks &

Hosting Organisation

Saltagen Ventures

Asia Regional Partner

Supporting Partner

What is the Checkerboard approach?

“The Checkerboard approach requires precision, guidance and a bit of luck.”

Back in the 1950s, the Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong is known to be one of the city’s most iconic building structure for its central location near Kowloon City and the spectacular landing approach airplanes must take. Upon reaching a small hill marked with a huge checkerboard, used as a visual reference point on the final approach, the pilot needed to employ a high level of skills to make a 47° visual right turn to line up with the runway and complete the final leg. Typically, the plane would enter the final right turn at a height of about 200m and exit it at a height of 43m to line up with the runway, assuring a safe and successful landing.

Named as the Checkerboard Landing, our program serves as Canadian incubated startups’ Asian landing support. Our program is the Asia reference point to provide sufficient network and local information support to the startups. With great precision, an adequate amount of guidance and a bit of luck, we believe startups under our program can secure a perfect Asian landing via Hong Kong – Asia’s world city.

Program Structure

APR-JUL 2019
Prep Session
  • Online application and evaluation
AUG-OCT 2019
Hong Kong & Shenzhen Main Session
  • One-week softlanding in Hong Kong & Shenzhen
    (1) workshops on IP Protection and Technology Transfer, Finance and Capital Flow, Sales and Marketing Channels and Manufacturing
    (2) business meetings with ecosystem partners
  • Follow-on trips according to each startup’s need
Nov 2019
Recalibration Session
  • Post-trip assessment and realignment
jan 2020
Hong Kong Roadshow
  • Fundraising and deployment
Eligible Applicants
The Program is designed for Canadian incubated startups exploring scaling into Asia via Hong Kong.



Do I qualify for this program?

The program is designed for Canadian incubated startups exploring scaling into Asia via Hong Kong.

Check out our application form to see the Canadian incubators and accelerators that are supporting us!

How do I know if I am ready for this program?

To be ready for this program, your venture should:

  1. have initial thoughts and plans to scale globally, especially into Asia but would benefit from softlanding opportunities and guidance by developing a trusted local network.
  2. have resource and capacity to gather momentum leveraging networking and business development opportunities with ecosystem partners.

We suggest ventures that have at least raised a financing round and are preparing for Series A onwards to apply. However, we also welcome earlier stage ventures to contact us and see if this program is suitable for you.

What will I get out of the program?
  • Cross Pacific Mentorship - Hands-on support from experienced investors and successful ex-entrepreneurs from Canada, Hong Kong and China, balancing risks for global expansion with in-depth knowledge and network by being on the ground of both sides of the world.
  • Stepwise Landing Strategy - Quantifiable and clear landing objectives set according to each venture’s need. Aligned in accordance by investigation, determination and realignment before and after landing to ensure ventures are readily positioned for Asian expansion.
  • Asia Financing Opportunities - Tracked milestones that can be showcased in a roadshow in Hong Kong to pitch Asian investors for follow-on capital for Asia landing.
  • Local Networks & Communities - Strategic advice and insights from local partners’ expertise to help startups tap into local networks and extended communities.
Why should I land through Hong Kong? What are the opportunities here?

Hong Kong is the international hub of Asia, with unique elements such as a long-established English-speaking community, proximity to Shenzhen and mainland China, and an independent judicial system with respect and protection for intellectual property rights. Investments and opportunities develop overnight with the fast-paced culture in Hong Kong.

Being in the heart of the Greater Bay Area, which includes the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing the prospering economic prowess and manufacturing capability of the region represent tremendous opportunities for innovation and business expansion.

Look at some insights in Asia roundtable during CDL Supersession here, or Helpwear’s sharing on their Asia planning strategy.

Are there any costs or investment for this program?

There are no fees for participation and the program does not take up any equity. We recommend ventures who have enough financial budget capability to explore new market – preliminarily accommodations, meals, transportations to locations, visas or personal expenses.

We do not guarantee investment either – but you will be closely interacting with mentors and investors who have capacity to invest. One of the program highlights is the financing opportunities we gather throughout the program and the necessary knowledge you need to raise a round in Asia.

How does the selection process work?

All ventures must apply online before 31 July 2019. You will be informed within one month of your application whether you have been shortlisted to participate in the prep session via email. Finalist ventures are then invited to our main Hong Kong & Shenzhen session in August.

Where can I find the terms and conditions for the Checkerboard Landing Program?

The terms and conditions will be provided to the finalist ventures before the start of the program.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you would like to learn more about the program or have any questions regarding participation in the Checkerboard Landing Program, please contact us at


26 April 2019 | Prep Session
26 April 2019 | Panel Discussion
26 April 2019 | Prep Session
26 April 2019 | Prep Session