A newly established youth innovation and entrepreneurship fund has secured a HK$3 million loan from the Hong Kong government.
In the first round, the fund benefited 10 startups, each of which obtained HK$450,000 in capital, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The Hong Kong government announced a Youth Development Fund in the 2015 Policy Address to support local youth entrepreneurship. This is the first time the government has approved the funding.
The youth innovation and entrepreneurship fund, jointly set up by the Hong Kong New Generation Cultural Association, Mingxi Charity Foundation and Hong Kong Beijing Association, launched the NewGen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Supporting Scheme in March.
The scheme attracted 82 applications. Among them, 10 were selected. Each of the 10 finalists was granted a loan of HK$150,000 without interest and a subsidy of HK$300,000 that the recipient does not have to repay.
People aged 35 or below who are Hong Kong residents are eligible to apply. The projects granted funding in the first round included a Chinese medicine consultation platform, the maker of a self-cleaning door knob, and a cloud data management platform.
The scheme requires projects to have innovative and technological elements.
Dr. So Chi-ki, secretary general of the Hong Kong New Generation Cultural Association, said the group has been organizing innovation and entrepreneurship challenges for local university students, as well as technology and innovation challenges for Hong Kong youths, producing quite a number of talent. One of them is the developer of a self-cleaning door knob.
Mingxi has offered HK$1.5 million for the scheme. Hong Kong Beijing Association will provide technological support including product testing and promotion worth HK$850,000 in total.
So said both organizations have a strong network of cooperation. Mingxi is backed by Beijing Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (00392.HK), whereas Hong Kong Beijing Association is supported by many veteran industrial and commercial entrepreneurs who can help startups in areas including operation, promotion and financing.
So added that those granted subsidy can join a study tour to the Self-dependent Innovation Demonstration Area in Zhongguancun, Beijing, which may help them find investors in the next stage.
Attending the kick-off ceremony for the Youth Development Fund, Undersecretary for Innovation and Technology Dr. David Chung Wai-keung said the Hong Kong government launched an innovation and technology fund amounting to HK$2 billion in mid-September.
Chung said investors are welcome to tap into the fund.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 2
Translation by Jonathan Chong
[Chinese version 中文版]