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HKSTP’s proves efforts to nurture I&T talent and start-ups

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release

According to a recent press release, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) held the 2019 Incubation Graduation Ceremony at Science Park, as part of the “MakeITHongKong 3-2-1 Go! Bang!” event.

The ceremony honoured 80 companies for completing their Incubation Programmes, setting a record for the highest number of companies to graduate in a single year.

The graduates all came from the three Incubation Programmes offered by HKSTP – Incu-App, Incu- Tech, and Incu-Bio – and were in various stages of development when they signed up. These companies were either at the conceptualisation stage, those seeking initial seed money, or those about to commercialise their solutions.

A reflection of the city’s growing position as an international I&T hub, the graduating companies came from China, Canada, Russia, the United States and Hong Kong.

Collectively, they have won 99 innovation awards from local and international competitions, have filed or registered 38 patents, and raised a total of HK$ 134 million from angel investments and venture capital funding.

The CEO of HKSTP stated that the Park has been making the best use of the government’s funding support to introduce new initiatives, enhanced current programmes and support services to strengthen the ecosystem and accelerate the growth of the start-ups.

In 2018, the Park set a target of incubating more than 500 I&T companies over the next few years, and they are well on their way to achieve this.

It is also good to see that many of these graduates are becoming partner companies and continue to build their business at the Park. Not only are they taking advantage of what Science Park can offer them in terms of R&D and commercialisation support, but they also continue to contribute to the I&T ecosystem by sharing knowledge with other incubatees.

It was noted that the Greater Bay Area is also on track to become a global innovation hub and these companies are setting themselves well for future opportunities.

With this year’s graduation batch, more than 622 start-ups and companies have since graduated from HKSTP’s Incubation Programmes.

Introducing more initiatives accelerate development of incubatees

At the event, HKSTP also announced new initiatives and support services to further boost the current set of Incubation Programmes.

  • Mentorship programme – The current mentorship programme will be revamped, with a goal-driven structure over a 6-month period for each cohort. The programme will evolve from a one-on-one pairing to a networked multiple-party mentoring model, with incubatees having access to more functional or vertical-specific mentors.
    Currently, there are over 100 individuals in the mentor pool and the mentor-mix include senior corporate executives, entrepreneurs, industrialists, investors, technology experts, domain experts and academics. HKSTP will be inviting more mentors from a wide range of industries and expertise to join this pool. A matching event will be arranged at least once a quarter, where all the mentors get to meet the incubatees and increase the opportunity for both parties to network. HKSTP will monitor and keep track of the progress of the incubatees throughout the mentoring period.
  • Value-added Support Services by Marketplace@HKSTP – For those Incubatees requiring goto- market and R&D support services, a new portal called Marketplace@HKSTP will soon be launched where they can seek professional services from a list of approved service providers in accounting, legal, certification, public relations and R&D. Each incubatee will be provided with targeted funding support of up to HK$120,000 for services signed up from the Marketplace@HKSTP portal.
  • New investment services support for Incubatees and partner companies – HKSTP will liven up the venture capital environment at Science Park, by providing more tools to aid fund-raising and inviting more investors to join the venture capital ecosystem.
  • Legal Library – As companies grow and seek new funding, they need to handle various legal documents and contracts which can be complex without proper advice. HKSTP has introduced an online legal library that helps explain commonly-used fundraising and other legal agreements for Park companies and Incubatees to easily refer to in a reader-friendly way.
  • Investor Calendar – An online investor calendar will also be launched, where Park companies can share their projects and make themselves known to the pool of HKSTP investor community, including angel and institutional investors.
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