Hong Kong Startup: Get Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) Funding
Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of Hong Kong offers a funding programme the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) to owners/founders of Hong Kong startups and/or entrepreneurs who have incorporated and actively running their business in Hong Kong.
Funding for I.T. Projects
Obviously, entrepreneurs want to get funds for growing and improving the I.T. infrastructure of their business in order to become more competitive. So which startup/business owners are eligible to apply for the funding?
The actual use of the fund may be for the development of a new company website, an online shop, or an ecommerce platform. But having only the websites, online stores, or platforms may not even guarantee for any customers or sales, you will need to get people to buy from you or use your services. So the fund may be applied to paying an experienced consultant or service to bring people to your website through optimizing your website for higher search engine ranking.
Make sure your business is an officially incorporated HK company and it has been proactively doing business in the past one year or even a few years.
Start the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP)
To enter in the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP), a Hong Kong startup needs to go through the five main stages.
- Stage 1: Prepare the required documents for the application and submit your TVP application.
- Stage 2: Establish the relevance and reasoning of your business for the TVP application. For example, developing a new website with online shop (for your company).
- Stage 3: Notify the applicant about the TVP application result (whether it has succeeded) and have the applicant signed the agreement.
- Stage 4: Start your project. You must complete the project within twelve months.
- Stage 5: Create and submit a final project report upon the completion of the project. Provide proof of deliverables (of the project). Provide the final statement of expenditure.
A company can apply for funding of up to HK$ 600,000. When the approved fund is over HK$ 50,000, an audited statement of expenditure is required to be prepared by a qualified auditor and submitted to the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC).
When Can You Apply for the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP)?
Usually, the TVP is open for application throughout the whole year.
Innovation and Technology Commission Vetting Method
Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) will conduct a preliminary screening process and check the eligibility of the proposed project (i.e. the application).
The TVP applicant may be required to provide further clarification or supplementary information.
Eligible applications will be considered by the Technology Voucher Programme Committee. The proposed projects (i.e. applications) that are supported by the TVP Committee will be submitted to the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (CIT) for approval of funding.
Ineligible applications are returned to the applicants.
Technology Voucher Programme Vetting Criteria
Each application that is eligible for TVP are assessed based on individual merits and is considered on a case-by-case basis. TVP has four main assessment criteria including relevance, reasonableness of budget, reasonableness of implementation details, and adverse record of consultants.
Relevance of the proposed project to the business of the applicant company: The project must show good potential to enhance the business including productivity improvement, business development and expansion, cost reduction or efficiency enhancement, upgrading/improving/ transforming business processes, or more.
Reasonableness of the budget: The assessment of budget will be based on market prices of the technologies that are to be used in the proposed project. Each individual item (that incur expenditure) must be directly related to the project implementation.
Reasonableness of the implementation details: Concrete and quantifiable project deliverables and outcomes (i.e. goals) must be set. The implementation details must be as realistic as possible. Other factors that must be considered include the complexity of the technology and the project duration.
Adverse record of consultants and/or service provider(s): The adverse record as known to the TVP Committee and ITC if available contributes towards one of the four vetting criteria.
Responsibilities of the Technology Voucher Programme Committees
The TVP Committees are responsible to:
- Advise on the vetting procedures and assessment criteria.
- Advise if applications for funding should be approved.
- Advise the amount to be granted to each approved project.
- Advise the terms of conditions for fund approval.
- Advise the monitoring of the disbursement of funds.
- Evaluate and review how effective the methods of the TVP is.
- Advise on any other matters (requested by the Government) that is related to the TVP.
Startups may get funding with a few other common methods.
- Bootstrapping: Squeeze money from your own pocket or personal saving
- Friends, families, and relatives
- Business loans
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists (VC)
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