2011.10.17PolyU establishes Seed Fund to foster entrepreneurship among students

PolyU establishes Seed Fund to foster entrepreneurship among studentsPolyU establishes Seed Fund to foster entrepreneurship among studentsPolyU establishes Seed Fund to foster entrepreneurship among students

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has recently established the "PolyU Micro Fund" Scheme which aims to nurture socially responsible young entrepreneurs. Under the Scheme, seed fund will be awarded to students and alumni with a view to stimulate their creativity and support their pursuit of entrepreneurial venturing. The first "PolyU Micro Fund" awards presentation ceremony was held today (17 October) on PolyU campus.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Nicholas Yang, Executive Vice President of PolyU, said: "The Scheme is a cornerstone of PolyU's innovation and entrepreneurship education. It offers an excellent out-of-classroom learning opportunity and experience for participants to supplement conventional classroom-based curriculum.  By practicing what they have learnt, the Scheme consolidates their knowledge to build a solid foundation for their future entrepreneurial journey or career development."

The Scheme comprises two interlinked streams: the Entrepreneurship Stream and the Innovation Stream. The former is open to both students and alumni for their innovative yet feasible business propositions. Seed fund of HK$100,000 will be granted to support the implementation of each awarded business proposition. The latter focuses on students' innovative ideas for sustainable campus life enhancement. Winning students will not only receive cash award for their creativity, but also benefit from participating in the execution of their ideas should the University decided to implement their proposal.

Since its launch, the Scheme has attracted overwhelming responses with over 200 applications received from the PolyU community. After a series of rigorous assessment, nine business propositions were granted seed funds totaling at HK$ 900,000 to support the implementations, and 20 innovative project ideas for campus life enhancement were awarded.

In addition to providing seed money, PolyU will provide much needed incubation support to the awardees at the infancy stage of their business, including office space and facilities in the PolyU Shenzhen Entrepreneurship Centre, structured training workshops, mentorship programme, etc. Through these diversified support services, the awardees will be better prepared to face and resolve the difficulties in the early stage of their business.

This year the awarded projects / business encompass different areas, including Information Communication Technology, Product Design and Development, Business Innovation and Socially-focused projects. One of the awardees, Miss Elice Lau, is a "post-80s" young graduate of PolyU. Elice has been servicing the hotel industry for many years. With her experience and persistence in upholding customer service quality, she has developed an innovative "Guests Intelligence Suite" system for hotel industry. Her innovation is based on a service quality check model and an online commentary tracking system using data mining in social media technology. With this system, hotels will be given comprehensive and up-to-date information to uplift the level of customer service.

Over the last few years, Elice has put in strenuous efforts in pursuit of her entrepreneurial dream. Her efforts came to fruition with the award of seed fund through the Scheme to kick-start her business and to realize her dream. On top of this, she has also come out on top among hundreds of contestants in the "Million Dollar Dream for Post-80s" competition recently organized by Commercial Radio Interactive and as a result she is liaising with investors for potential investment in her business venture.

Another awardee, Miss Ng Kam Sheung, is a final-year student of PolyU School of Design.  Kam made use of her knowledge from a product design class to develop a series of fashion accessories themed on social topics such as environmental protection and saving endangered species. It is aimed to arouse youngsters' awareness and understandings on those social issues when they buy the accessories. Her idea was highly commended by the panel of assessors, and seed fund was thus approved to support the execution of the idea.

Dr Alwin Wong, who is in charge of the Scheme, added that: "Kam's project preciously reflects our spirit to advocate "Do Well and Do Good" entrepreneurship. Social responsibility is an important element of entrepreneurship, and successful entrepreneurs are mindful of their social responsibilities in the course of their challenging entrepreneurial journey. With this spirit and focus, we will continue to work closely with both local and overseas partners to develop innovation and entrepreneurship education for youngsters, with an aim to nurture creative, knowledgeable and socially responsible young entrepreneurs."


Press Contacts

Dr Alwin WONG

Associate Director, Institute for Enterprise

Email(852) 3400 2713