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CityU Announces Innovation Collaboration

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and a Hong Kong-based coffee house chain (wholly owned by a Chinese conglomerate) jointly announced that they will collaborate on fostering an innovative entrepreneurship culture, and thus contribute to innovation and technology development throughout Hong Kong.

The partnering company’s cafés in targeted districts throughout Hong Kong are set to become venues for networking and knowledge exchange activities for the flagship innovation and entrepreneurship programme, HK Tech 300, run by CityU.

CityU launched HK Tech 300 in March last year to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs among CityU students, alumni, research staff and the public to develop their innovative ideas into start-ups. The programme aims to create 300 start-ups in three years.

The crossover collaboration between CityU and the coffee house chain will step up efforts to foster a technological and entrepreneurial culture across communities, echoing HK Tech 300’s theme “Venture Beyond Boundaries”.

The coffee house chain will become one of the designated venue partners under the collaboration framework for HK Tech 300’s outreach and networking activities over the following three years. By leveraging its retail network, the company can offer venues and corresponding support for innovative and technological activities on the programme, thereby extending the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit from the CityU campus to the community and encouraging young people to develop their innovative ideas into start-ups.

Catering and free venues will be provided by the chain in some of its cafés for HK Tech 300 start-ups for discussion and knowledge exchange, which will not only support the development of innovations and technology industry but also drive foot traffic in the stores, achieving a solution where everyone benefits.

Since its launch, more than 440 project teams have been awarded a HK$100,000 Seed Fund and over 90 start-ups have been awarded HK$ 1 million from the Angel Fund investment for developing and validating their business models. These start-ups specialise in multiple domains, ranging from biotech and health technology, deep tech, information and communications technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and to fintech and environmental and educational technology.

CityU’s collaboration with Pacific Coffee marks another strategic cooperation with the chain’s parent company. An agreement signed in October 2022 by the two parties co-established a HK$100 million innovation and entrepreneurship platform for nurturing start-ups.

HK Tech 300 provides a range of support for start-up teams, including entrepreneurship training and business networking. The teams will be coached by seasoned entrepreneurs, industrialists, representatives from chambers of commerce and professionals through a mentorship scheme. CityU has also set up co-working space at its main campus in Kowloon Tong and in the business district in Admiralty to facilitate start-up teams’ interactions and business engagement.

Collaboration on AR game between HK Tech 300 Angel Fund Start-up and the coffee house chain

The coffee house chain and an HK Tech 300 Angel Fund start-up have embarked on a joint digital marketing project with the latter’s Augmented Reality (AR) solution. The start-up has developed an AR game to allow customers of the coffee house chain to take pictures of rich animation and media content for sharing on social media, fostering online‐offline interaction, and providing customers with a brand-new catering experience.

The two companies are on the lookout for further collaboration opportunities, including the expansion of the start-up’s VR Content Creation Platform. CityU is pleased to witness HK Tech 300 start-ups actively exploring opportunities with companies in different industries, enriching their entrepreneurial experience and injecting new impetus into various industries.

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