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HKU tech start-ups receive massive support

Image Credits: HKU, Press Release

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) announced during a recent ceremony that 25 HKU start-up companies have received funding support under the 2019/2020 Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (the TSSSU@HKU).

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) manages the use of the intellectual property assets of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) by providing patenting, licensing, and other commercialization support to the University’s researchers.

Acting as the bridge linking HKU to society in the area of technology commercialization, TTO facilitates industries and businesses to access HKU’s powerhouse of knowledge, innovation, and expertise through close collaboration.

In addition to the announcement by the TTo, iDendron, of HKU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub, has also launched the iDendron Incubation Programme (iIP) to support and incubate HKU Early-Stage Start-ups.

TSSSU@HKU is an award scheme that provides funding support to technology start-up companies formed by HKU members. The award scheme leverages on “Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities” (TSSSU), a funding scheme provided by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) for six local universities, under which each university receive annual funding of up to HK$8 million to subsidize technology start-ups.

The 25 start-ups companies awarded are formed by HKU professors, students and alumni. Each start-up receives annual funding of up to HK$1.5 million for a maximum of three years to support basic expense including company establishment and operations, research and development, publicity and commercialisation, and sale of products and services.

The announcement to launch the iDendron Incubation Programme was also made on the occasion. The launch of iIP marks iDendron’s commitment to contribute to and build a more mature start-up ecosystem.

Launched in 2017, iDendron, HKU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub aims to nurture entrepreneurial and innovative spirit on campus, incubating HKU early-stage start-ups, establishing interdisciplinary cooperation and engaging the community to support human endeavours and social developments.

The rigorous six-month programme aims to boost early-stage start-ups through intensive mentor engagement, build investor relations and maximize exposure. A total of 12 start-ups have been selected to participate in the first cohort. The companies will be equipped with first-hand market intelligence, supported by industry specialists and investors, as well as entrepreneurial resources from the university and its network.

It was noted that HKU has supported 48 start-ups since the launch of TSSSU@HKU in 2014 with the strong support from HK Government. Among them, 9 companies were admitted to Cyberport as incubatees and 15 were admitted to the corresponding programme at the HKSTP.

This year the university also had a co-assessment with HKSTP. These results are a strong testimonial to the core value of TSSSU@HKU as the steppingstone for our start-ups to connect with other HK start-up ecosystems and thrive.

Meanwhile, the newly launched iDendron Incubation Program will be the cradle of successful HKU start-ups. The participating companies will gear up with first-hand market intelligence, industry and investor relations, as well as support and entrepreneurial resources from the HKU and its network, according to the Director of Technology Transfer Office of HKU.

The programme lines up 21 mentors to provide advice and guidance. They include HKU scholars and professors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry experts, and incubators and accelerators.

Incubatees are required to fulfil milestone requirements under various criteria including business and product development, customer traction and market reputation, talents development, fundraising performance, community engagement within specified timeframe during the programme.

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