PolyU stages Entrepreneurship Parade in support of 40 start-ups
Addressing the opening of the Parade, Professor Timothy W. Tong, President of PolyU, said, "PolyU, with the support of the Government and industry, is now the largest university-based incubator in Hong Kong. We have provided holistic support, extending across funding, training, networking, mentorship and business clinic services to nurture new entrepreneurs and grow their start-ups. In the years ahead, PolyU will put in additional resources to spearhead knowledge transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship development not only in Hong Kong, but also in the region, especially in the Greater Bay Area. We look forward to working closely with the Government, industry and academia to drive the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and technology."
The opening ceremony was officiated by Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR Government.
Besides showcasing their projects and achievements, the Parade also marked the graduation of the 40 start-ups – which received funding, training, incubation and various supports from PolyU programmes in 2017. The start-ups, of diverse nature, cover a wide spectrum of products, services or technologies, ranging from education, e-commerce, fashion design, mobile applications, environmental products, to community services for the needy. Among them, quite a number have successfully commercialised their products in the market. Typical examples include:
- ChocoQuill, which manufactures 3D chocolate printer powered by its own mobile application, is conducting trial run with one of the largest food and bakery chain in Hong Kong.
- Logflows, which runs an intelligent cloud-based platform that enhances operation and cost efficiency in the truck logistic industry, is expanding their business to Taiwan and South East Asia.
- PANO360, which focuses on design, research and technological development of both hardware and software systems on photography equipment, has recently raised investment of around HK$20 million.
PolyU nurtures 230 start-ups and 680 young entrepreneurs
PolyU platform provides, with partnering institutions, diversified funding schemes for start-ups. The latest initiative is the PolyU Lean Launchpad Programme launched earlier this year with a focus on "Fashion and Wearable Technology" in the first phase. Aiming to nurture techno-preneurs and to transform research inventions into technology ventures, the programme is scheduled to spread into various specific technology fields in future.
Since 2011, PolyU has already provided funding support to over 230 startups, and nurtured 680 young entrepreneurs. The start-ups have secured follow-on funding resources amounting to over HK$250 million. About 70% of the start-ups are still actively operating. Quite a number of them are highly regarded by the industry, winning more than 150 awards over the years, including the Grand Champion of Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenges last year.
Parade features insightful discussions and start-up showcases
The Parade also featured two panel discussion sessions with seven guest speakers from Hong Kong, Chinese mainland, Israel, Singapore and the United States. Being lynchpin figures in advocating, incubating and implementing entrepreneurship, they shared their insights on the "Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Innovations and Entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area", as well as their experiences in "Incubating Deep Technology" in various countries.
The panel discussion was followed by the showcase by participating start-ups, including students innovation projects under PolyU Student Entrepreneurial Proof-of-Concept Funding Scheme set up last year. Under the scheme, PolyU students were supported with entrepreneurial education, resources and business consultation for turning their innovative ideas into prototypes and conducting market validation.
The Parade will also be followed up with Startup Weekend PolyU. Over the weekend, about 50 students and recent graduates from PolyU and sister institutions will have the taste of developing an innovative idea into a viable start-up business model under the mentorship of start-up founders. They will then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges on 1 July to compete for three awards.
Details of the "PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade 2018":- https://www.polyueparade.hk/
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University