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Entrepreneur First (EF), the Greylock-backed “talent investor” that recruits and backs individuals pre-team and pre-idea to enable them to found startups, is pulling out of Hong Kong, TechCrunch has learned.
According to sources, the London HQ’d company builder has told provisional candidates for its 2020 Hong Kong cohort that they should instead apply to one of its other international outposts, which includes Berlin, Paris, Singapore, Bangalore, London and (most recently) Toronto.
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The immediate Hong Kong operations aren’t changing, however, and the current cohort will complete the program and present at January’s Demo Day as planned. Hong Kong alumni will also continue to receive investment support as usual.
“We’ve decided not to recruit for further cohorts in Hong Kong after January 2020,” EF co-founder Matt Clifford tells me, confirming the news. “There’s no change to the current cohort and we’ll be running exactly the same program for them as for the previous Hong Kong cohorts. We’ll be in Hong Kong at the end of the month to run our investment process as usual and the companies we back will take part in our Demo Day in January as normal”.
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Clifford also confirmed that EF had made a handful of early offers to individuals for the next Hong Kong cohort (originally planned for 2020). “We really rate them all, so we’ve offered to transfer their offer to any other EF site,” he says.
As for why EF is pulling out of Hong Kong, Clifford says that although there has been three “good cohorts” in Hong Kong, the talent...
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