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Investment Bank Defectors Fuel Startup Scene in Hong Kong

On the fringes of Hong Kong’s Central financial district, 11 stories above the warren of streets stocked with Chinese medicine, shark fins and hairy crabs, a technology startup scene is brewing.

Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker James Giancotti sits in his 10 square meter (100 square foot) office overlooking the harbor and listens to wannabe entrepreneurs pitch ideas for crowd funding -- where companies seek relatively small sums of money from a large pool of investors, typically through the Internet. He vetted 78 in the last four months of 2013, and attracted more than 900 potential backers.