Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed on 22 June between City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and three venture capital fund and technology companies will establish a co-investment partnership that will provide at least HK$15 million in additional angel fund investment each year to selected start-ups incubated by CityU’s large-scale innovation and entrepreneurship programme, HK Tech 300. This joint effort supports start-ups that specifically benefit social and environmental sustainability and promotes the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.
The venture capital funds and technology companies are Gravity Capital Partners Company Limited (Gravity Capital), a company specialising in driving investment for bringing positive impacts to society and the environment; Market Trend Interactive Solution Limited (Market Trend), a technology enterprise specialising in the development of virtual reality and augmented reality, interactive solution services, and metaverse related technology; and Allied Power Technology Venture LPF (Allied Power), a professional service provider and business incubator. These three companies will each invest at least HK$5 million in the first year after signing the MoU and provide co-investment to selected start-ups together with the HK Tech 300 Angel Fund.
The MoUs were signed respectively by Mr Eric Yip Chi-chiu, Founder and Managing Director of Gravity Capital; Mr German Cheung Wai-man, Solution Director of Market Trend; and Mr Stanley Lau Tze-cheung, one of the founders of Allied Power, together with Mr Sunny Lee Wai-kwong, CityU Vice-President (Administration) and Managing Director of CityU Enterprises Limited. The signing was witnessed by Dr David Chung Wai-keung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR; Dr Raymond Leung Siu-hong, CityU Council Member and Board Chairman of CityU Enterprises Limited; and Professor Michael Yang Mengsu, CityU Vice-President (Research and Technology) and Executive Committee Chairman of HK Tech 300.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Dr Chung said HK Tech 300 had been well received since its launch. In just over a year, it had already yielded fruitful results and become a new driving force for the innovation and technology ecosystem in Hong Kong. He believes additional support from various enterprises and venture capital funds in the innovation and technology circle with actual investment in HK Tech 300 will add vitality to the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.
“CityU has been working closely with the innovation and technology sector to build a bridge between HK Tech 300 start-ups and industry to create a more complete runway for their development,” said Dr Leung. “We are delighted to see venture capital fund, on-track start-up, and technology company founded by CityU alumni working together to support the growth of newborn start-ups. We look forward to working with more industry leaders and investors in the future to assist more outstanding start-ups, and promote the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong and beyond.”
Ir Dr Alan Lam Hiu-fung, Director & CTO of Gravity Capital, said he was looking forward to connecting the financial sector, industries, universities and research institutes through this partnership with CityU, thereby supporting more start-ups to leverage technology and spur sustainable development in Hong Kong. When choosing start-ups to invest in, Gravity Capital Partners focuses more on the sustainability of the project and the benefits in promoting environmental, social and corporate governance, he said. Gravity Capital has identified four HK Tech 300 start-ups to co-invest in with CityU.
Mr Albert Lui Chung-yee, Executive Director of Market Trend, which is also a start-up, said the importance of early angel fund investment for young entrepreneurs could not be underestimated. They hope to share their experience and resources with more start-ups through this partnership to help them to grow and to motivate other small and medium enterprises to contribute together to the innovative technology industry in Hong Kong, in so doing build a better and more united innovative technology ecosystem. As one of the founders of Allied Power and a CityU graduate, Mr Stanley Lau Tze-cheung said he hoped that through this partnership, he could nurture more young entrepreneurs and support this important initiative at his alma mater to promote the development of innovation and technology.
About HK Tech 300
Under the theme “Venture Beyond Boundaries”, HK Tech 300 is a large-scale flagship innovation and entrepreneurship programme launched by CityU for aspiring entrepreneurs among CityU students, alumni, research staff and others to establish start-ups and ignite their entrepreneurship journey. With an allocation of HK$500 million, the programme offers comprehensive support for entrepreneurship training, a seed fund of HK$100,000 per team, an angel fund of up to HK$1 million per company, co-working space, and networking opportunities in the industrial and commercial communities. HK Tech 300 aims to create 300 start-ups in three years, providing educational and growth opportunities for young entrepreneurs and translating CityU research results and intellectual property into practical applications.
Since its launch in March 2021, over 1,000 people have participated in entrepreneurship training, more than 300 teams have each been awarded a seed fund of HK$100,000, and over 70 start-ups have been selected to receive angel fund investment of up to $1 million each to develop and validate their business models. Over 80 experienced industrialists and successful entrepreneurs have accepted our invitation to serve as mentors. For more information about HK Tech 300, see www.cityu.edu.hk/hktech300.