Hong Kong Incubation Programs
Against the background of a weak and uneven recovery in the OECD economies versus relatively robust growth in fast-developing Asia, an interconnected global start-up landscape is taking shape in Hong Kong. The start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong is being supported by a number of government and private sector communities and I will focus this article on the two major government initiated incubation Programs and how they assist startups to grow and expand into mainland China and Asia.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) HKSTPC is a Hong Kong government
supported institution which established in 2001 to provide infrastructural support services to technology-based companies carrying out R&D activities.
The Science Park provides laboratories and shared facilities, which helps to reduce the capital investment required for product design and development;
thus enabling rapid entry of new products into the market at lower cost. Currently, about 30% of the companies are beneficiaries of its incubation program
and 70% are tenanted companies.
Unlike Singapore, HKSTPC is not a one-stop shop as it believes the ecosystem should develop organically, with some support but minimum government intervention. For technology-related services, financial and legal services, IP registration, and company setup – it assists companies by referring them to suitable companies and organisations.
Industry Clusters (verticals)
- Green / Clean Tech
- Material science and precision engineering
- Innodesign - product design, manufacturing
Platforms (horizontals):Robotic (industry automation, advanced manufacturing, medical robotic, etc.), Smart City, Fintech, Healthy ageing
Key Capabilities:Research-based deep tech, Biotech, Green/Clean Tech
- Government funded research institutes
- University research centers and spin-offs
- Technology transfer offices
- Incubation centers
Notable tenantsIn order to be accepted into HKSTPC, a company must conduct at least 50% R&D activities. Rent starts as little as HK$500/week per cubicle
- Karolinska Institute of Sweden on regenerative medicine
Key programs1.Soft Landing Program (ends in Sep 2017)
- Service Structure: sponsored travel to HK
- Purpose: to commercialise ideas, look for investors and research partners.
- For shortlisted individual projects: a round-trip economy class flight up to HK$16,000 / AU$2,963
- For representatives and key researchers from institutes: a round-trip economy class flight plus 5-night hotel HK$23,500 / AU$4,352
- Process: Fill in an application form, and to be approved by assessment panel members. A round of application review takes place every 2 months and
usually takes about 4 weeks.
- Criteria: need to be able to scale to Asia
- Seminar with Business residents from the Park
- Factory visits (Shenzhen), R&D institutes
- Networking with associations to universities
- Program can be tailored made
- Incu-App (18 months): HK$ 60,000
- Incu-Tech (3 years): HK$ 180,000
- Incu-Bio (4 years): HK$ 240,000
Cyber PortCyberport’s mission is to nurture innovation and technology by facilitating start-ups with access to various entrepreneurship programmes, talent meet-ups and a community of budding entrepreneurs. In addition, it provides access to technology, business matching and marketing support.
- Big Data
- Fashion Tech / Wearable Tech
- Smart City
- Education Tech
- Service Structure: maximum 6 months
- Familiarisation service support on market, legal, and business development activities
- Promotion of services/products via Cyberport’s available channels
- Opportunity to attend digital tech events, seminars, workshops, and activities organized/co-organized by Cyberport to establish connections and network
with entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, and stakeholders (Note: Participants should bear admission fee of events if payable. Cyberport
will try to provide complimentary tickets, if available)
- Opportunity to receive mentorship from industry experts or consultants leveraging Cyberport’s Expert Network (Free consultation for first 2 hours,
HK$2,800/hr for subsequent consultation meeting)
- Go-to-market opportunities
- Opportunity to showcase IoT products at relevant Cyberport events or exhibitions
- Making use of Cyberport Representative Offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou to soft-land into the Chinese market
- Tour around Cyberport / Incubation Center
- Market briefing on funding options, case study (e.g. GoGo Van at series C started out from Cyberport)
- Rent-free working space for up to 24 months (only for incubatees who choose to work on-site at Cyberport)
- Access to Cyberport funds: