2013.08.09PolyU Micro Fund boosts innovation and entrepreneurship

PolyU Micro Fund boosts innovation and entrepreneurshipPolyU Micro Fund boosts innovation and entrepreneurship

To cultivate innovative and entrepreneurial ambiance within the university community and nurture socially responsible young entrepreneurs with the "Do Well Do Good" entrepreneurial spirit, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) established the "PolyU Micro Fund" Scheme in 2011 to provide seed funding for students and alumni in support of their pursuit of entrepreneurial venturing. The 2013 "PolyU Micro Fund" awards presentation ceremony was held today (9 August) at Hotel ICON.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Nicholas W. Yang, Executive Vice President of PolyU, said, "The Micro Fund Scheme has been launched for the third year and we are pleased to see that the ambiance of innovation and entrepreneurship spirit is beginning to take shape among the PolyU community. Since its launch, the Scheme has supported 44 entrepreneurial ventures. Some of the awarded projects have not only secured incubation and additional funding from other local schemes of close to HK$6 million, but also earned worldwide recognition by winning such prestigious awards as Red Dot Design Award 2013 and Social Venture Competition Asia."

Applicants of Micro Fund are required to submit a commercially viable business proposal for evaluation. The awarded business ventures will receive HK$100,000 seed funding for the implementation.

Out of the 131 applications received for the Entrepreneurship Stream, 19 business ventures, ranging from commercial software applications, product design to cultural education, animation and digital games production, were awarded the seed funding. Four selected projects are briefly described as follows:

Mainly targeted on students, the Innovation Stream invited students to submit proposals that tie in with the theme of "Innovation for an Inclusive Society". Winning students will not only receive cash awards, but also turn their innovative proposals into reality by applying for an implementation fund.

Two of the grand award winners in the Innovation Stream have coincidentally developed applications to facilitate wheelchair users in reaching out to the community. Mr Lau Shiu-fung, an undergraduate of PolyU's Department of Computing, has designed a mobile app "WheelMan" that offers up-to-date information on barrier-free facilities of shopping malls and restaurants. It also provides a platform for wheelchair users to exchange their experiences in travelling around.

Miss Lui Yuen-chong, who is studying a double degree in Business Administration and Industrial and System Engineering, has designed a digital map "DMap" which provides specific barrier-free route information to help the physically disabled to travel with ease. In view of their similarities, Shiu-fung and Yuen-chong are exploring collaborations to optimize the provision of information to wheelchair users.

In addition to providing seed funding, PolyU also provides much needed incubation support to the awardees at the infancy stage of their business, including entrepreneurship workshops, mentorship programme, business networking opportunities, office space and facilities in the PolyU Shenzhen Entrepreneurship Centre, 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.


Press Contacts

Mr Raymond Chu

Assistant Director (Entrepreneurship & Commercialization) Institute for Entrepreneurship

Email(852) 3400 2715