Cyberport Incubation Programme – Hong Kong Startup Funding
Cyberport Incubation Programme - How Does It Work?
The main objective of Cyberport Incubation Programme (CIP) is to support Hong Kong startups and entrepreneurs and provide useful resources to grow/accelerate their businesses (related in the digital/tech area).
Cyberport Incubation Programme offers a total of HK$ 500,000 funding over a period of 24 months.
The applicant entrepreneur/startup has to submit a business plan for the development of a digital/tech solution related to a project/product/service. Upon the submission of the plan, the proposed digital/tech solution has to be completed and ready for use in the next 12-18 months.
The applicant entrepreneur/startup has first be registered as a limited company that is incorporated in Hong Kong.
A successful applicant will get up to HK$ 500,000 (of funding) from the Cyberport Incubation Programme.
The first HK$ 100,000 is the initial working capital grant.
The next HK$ 200,000 will be granted after the first six month of project progress review. This fund may be spent on equipment expenses and service expenses at the Technology Centre or other service providers, training, marketing/promotion, professional services, staffing, daily business operations, etc.
The final HK$ 200,000 fund will be granted based on performance through a two-tiered assessment. The assessed areas include business performance, accumulated investment, raised industry recognition, outside of Hong Kong market expansion, talent development, and cyberport engagement.
Feedback (from the Startups)
Who have successfully applied and used the funding from Cyberport Incubation Programme?
GOGOVAN, Klook, and Shopline were once startups incubated through Cyberport.
The feedback the Cyberport Incubation Programme startups:
GOGOVAN: “You can get all sorts of useful start-up related information at Cyberport. Cyberport creates a healthy ecosystem for local start-ups to grow as well as tech-friendly environment for network building.”
Klook: “Committed to nurturing and supporting start-ups at different development stages, Cyberport has been providing Klook with great networking opportunities to connect with potential users, employees, and industry leaders.”
Shopline: “Cyberport has done a great job facilitating and hosting regular industry sharing, workshops, and networking events for start-ups and SMEs.”
Other startups who have come through the Cyberport Incubation Programme:
Snapask – On-demand learning app that connects students with qualified tutors.
Air Button – An environment friendly and battery free one-touch wireless control solution for multi-purpose phone control.
NexChange – A social network focused on building a network connecting the entire financial service professional industry worldwide.
The Application Timeline and Evaluation
The timeline of application has been closed for 2019, but will be reopened soon for 2020 (for the February intake).
Applicant entrepreneurs/startups are evaluated based on market viability with milestones, quality and competence of the management team, business scalability, and functional prototype/product to solve a real world problem.
Requirements for Admission
The Cyberport Incubation Programme is only available for companies/startups which are related to the digital/tech area.
The applicant must be officially an incorporated limited company in Hong Kong.
The applicant entrepreneur/startup must have a business plan ready, and the product/service solutions (stated in the business plan) must be launched for use in the market in the next 12-18 months.
The startup must operate for at least one year before the being admitted as an incubatee by the Cyberport Incubation Programme.
A vetting team (including venture capitalists, academics, industry veterans, and trade association members will do the evaluation and select the incubatees who they believe will be successful.
The three stages in the vetting procedures include the following.
Stage 1: The vetting team is to conduct an initial screening. At this first stage, it is to ensure the application can fulfill the criteria/requirements.
Stage 2: The vetting team is to evaluate the application. All the shortlisted applications will be notified electronically (i.e. by email).
Stage 3: The vetting team is to confirm the admission incubatees. All shortlisted applicants will have to present their application/project, and will be questioned in a Q&A session.
On-site vs. Off-site Incubation
Off-site startups must work from their own offices/premises (or homes).
On-site startups can work at a rent-free office/co-working space provided by Cyberport.
A startup can always begin with working off-site, and later become on-site, should a working/co-working space is available at Cyberport.
Cyberport Incubation Programme vs. Cyberport Creative Micro Fund
Besides the Cyberport Incubation Programme (CIP), other programmes/schemes in which local entrepreneurs may get funding:
- Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF): HK$ 100,000 (seed funding)
- Cyberport Accelerator Support Programme: HK$ 300,000 (financial assistance)
- Market Development Support Scheme: HK$ 200,000 (financial assistance)
- Cyberport Macro Fund: Up to HK$ 200M (co-investment fund)
When an applicant has applied for both Cyberport Incubation Programme and Cyberport Creative Micro Fund at the same time (i.e same intake), Cyberport will only consider the CIP application.
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