With the aim of fostering knowledge transfer and impact through commercialisation of PolyU’s research/innovation outputs via technology venturing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has established the Entrepreneurship Investment Fund (“EIF”) with an initial investment pool of HK$50 million.
The EIF is an early-stage equity investment fund to support further scale-up of start-ups involving PolyU academic staff, researchers, students or alumni (“PolyU Members”) with promising innovative technologies and/or business models (“Investee”).
Innovation and technology-based start-ups founded / co-founded by at least one PolyU member with at least 25% equity ownership in the company upon the first EIF investment.
The EIF will not consider companies with unethical or illegal business activities or activities that are against public interest or may pose reputational risks to the University
Investment in Equity/ Convertible Note/ SAFE Note
Up to HK$4 million
No. of Start-ups Supported per Cohort:
No quota within the total funding pool
All year round
The EIF adopts a “winner-nurturing” approach for its entrepreneurial ecosystem to proactively identify and groom Investees from inception to scale-up.
Subject to the prevailing rules and guidelines, PolyU will provide holistic support, in addition to the EIF, to the Investees for their further growth and scale-up, including access to research and development facilities, collaborations with academic staff members, mentoring, connections with industry and alumni networks, and provision of other resources as deemed appropriate by PolyU.
Any single investment (i.e. the aggregated amount paid by the EIF to an individual Investee) shall not exceed HK$4 million, subject to periodic review.
The maximum holding period for an Investee shall be ten years, subject to periodic review.
PolyU will have a representative assuming the role of an observer in the board of the Investee, with an option to take up a board seat when the University holds 10% equity or above of the Investee.
The EIF primarily adopts a co-investment model to leverage private investors’ capital contribution and professional expertise to help prospective Investees’ business development and further fundraising. However, for start-ups with disruptive technologies/innovations which are too early for private investors to comprehend its potentials, sole-investment may be considered.
PolyU will partner with credible co-investors who are not only professionally capable but also share the same aspiration to nurture the prospective Investees in the related domain areas.
Co-investment partners may include Seed and Angel Funds, Venture Capitals, Corporate Venture Capitals, Family Office, Private Equity, etc.
- Innovativeness of the technology/business model
- Market/commercial potential of the technology
- Viable and scalable business model
- Team setup and quality
- Stage of development (e.g. research and development vs prototyping vs commercialisation stage), and
- Demonstration of the research expertise of the University
- Environmental, social and governance factors (e.g. investees with activities that are against public interest or may pose reputational risks to the University will not be considered.)