PolyU InnoHub Newsletter (May 2018)
Grand Mission: PolyU helps others see more clearly - Interview of Mr Jackson Leung, Co-Founder of Vision Science & Technology
Jackson Leung has been on a mission for years. He has always wanted to see less people suffering from eyesight problems.
As one of the graduates from the first cohort of PolyU's School of Optometry back in 1987, it was Jackson's own short-sightedness from an early age that prompted him to research the cause of myopia and solutions that could reduce its severity.
"Retinal detachment and macular degeneration is affected by severe short-sightedness," said Jackson.
"And it's still the number one cause of blindness at the moment."
While gaining professional experience in the industry and a Master's degree in the research on myopia control, the optometry veteran soon found his calling in commercialising a contact lens for myopia control, namely 'Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact' (DISC), a technology developed by Professor C.H. To of the School of Optometry at PolyU.
Commercialising DISC technology was no easy task, and the whole process from R&D to production took many years to complete. The process included sourcing FDA approved materials that has good oxygen permeability and produced under internationally approved safety standards, such as ISO and GMP standards.
In 2016, Jackson was in discussion about licensing the DISC technology from PolyU and subsequently turned this idea into a startup supported by PolyU as it seemed to be the right thing to do.
"Turning it into a startup made perfect sense as we are able to receive a more holistic support from PolyU," explained Jackson.
"The funding support from PolyU had helped tremendously in speeding up the production, but we are also better equipped as a business, from the solid training programmes such as marketing strategies and legal matters, having the opportunities to meet with investors and access the PolyU InnoHub, where we can meet with other startups to know what's going on in the other industries."
Jackson has since setup his startup, Vision Science and Technology, in 2016, and has been growing his business and outreaching to more people with his product and services. The startup has since then gained PolyU funding support under Tech Incubation Fund (2016) and Tech Launchpad Fund (2017 and 2018), with total investment amounted to HKD 3.5 million.
And this is only the beginning. While having only officially launched DISC at the beginning of 2018, Jackson is already onto his next mission - to help people suffering from high corneal astigmatism and improve vision for the aged with presbyopia.
"There are currently still many eyesight problems that we can't make improvements on," added Jackson. "But I'm truly aspired to help reduce eyesight problems as much as I can."
PolyU Lean Launchpad Programme 2018 (Pilot) – Fashion & Textile Technology
As a strategic objective to promote Knowledge Transfer of PolyU’s research technologies through entrepreneurial venturing, the PolyU Lean Launchpad Programme (LLP) has launched its pilot cohort in February 2018 with focusing on ‘Fashion and Wearable Technology’.
Modelled after the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corporation in the United States and the Lean Launchpad Singapore led by NUS Enterprise, the programme aims to promote and accelerate the go-to-market of PolyU research technologies through technology venturing.
Professor Poh Kam Wong, Director of NUS Entrepreneurship Centre and Lead Instructor of Lean Launchpad Singapore, was invited as the PolyU LLP Programme Advisor, with support of local instructors, industry mentors, advisors and partners including FHKI, HKRITA, HKSTP, The Mills, The Cage, and To Make Locally to name a few.
A total of 10 PolyU research teams were admitted to the 10-week Programme officially kicked off on 20 April, with the final presentation scheduled to be on 29 June.
PolyU Startups Shines with ‘Do Well and Do Good’ spirit
The startups and student teams supported by PolyU continue to shine in their entrepreneurial journey and getting well recognized by different industries:
- Vox Technology (Tech Incubation Fund 2017 awardee) – Elevator Pitch 2017 (by HKSTP) First Runner Up
- Bosco Ng (Co-founder of WEDO Global, Micro Fund 2012 awardee) –Hong Kong Service Award 2017
- Mosi Mosi (Good Seed 2017 grantee, Micro Fund 2018 awardee) – Grand Champion, HK Social Enterprise Challenge 2017
- Green Price (Good Seed 2016 grantee, Micro Fund 2017 awardee) – Grand Champion, HK Social Enterprise Challenge 2017
- Cloudbreakr (Tech Incubation Fund 2015 awardee) – Merit, HK ICT Startup Award 2018 -Software & Application Service
- Pokeguide (Micro Fund 2016 awardee – Gold Award, HK ICT Award 2018 – Smart Mobility (Smart Tourism)
- Wheelman (Good Seed 2016 grantee) – Merit, HK ICT Award 2018 – Smart People (Smart Inclusion)
- Sense+ (Tecathon 2018 winning team) – Silver Award, HKICT Award 2018 – Student Innovation (Tertiary or above) Award
Taiwan Market Exploration Tour (November 2017)
A delegation consisting of 8 PolyU-supported startups and 6 HKSTP incubatees to Taipei took place during 13 to 18 Nov 2017. The delegation paid visits to Taipei's startup community including iiiNNO, AppWorks, Taipei Startup Stadium as well as Taida Garage of the National Taiwan University to explore possibilities of expanding their business to the Taiwan market.
The startups then showcased their projects in the 3-day entrepreneurship exhibition named "Meet Taipei 2017" and further made impressions to the Taipei market during "Global Chit-chat" - an on-stage interview featuring international startups.
Techathon (January 2018)
Hong Kong Techathon 2018 was successfully held from 5 to 7 January 2017 in collaboration with CityU and HKSTP.
During the 2.5-day event, over 200 participants took the opportunity to find like-minded teammates from different backgrounds and receive training on how to build an MVP (minimum viable product) to pitch for funding, with the support from a group of mentors with hands-on startup experience.
Subsequently, 41 projects were presented to the judges to compete for the winning places. The 13 winning teams received:
1. Direct entry to PolyU Micro Fund Scheme 2018 Final Assessment for a Seed Fund up to HK$120,000,
2. Direct entry to CityU Student Early Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (SEEDS) Final Assessment for a Seed Fund up to HK$200,000 and CityU Incubation Programme Final Assessment or
3. A conditional offer to HKSTP Incubation Programme.
Crowdfunding Strategy Training (February 2018)
In February 2018, IfE organized a 4-week training programme on crowdfunding strategy, with Mr Kenneth Chau, CEO & Founder of iMusicTech and Official Administrator of Kickstarter invited as the trainer to present useful tips on the dos and don’ts when launching crowdfunding campaign, what are the legal protocols and how to boost up a successful campaign that would appeal to super backers online.
Several local startups were also invited to share their insights and experience in successful crowdfunding campaigns to launch their products. Due to popular demand from the participants, a bonus class was added to have Mr Getty Goh, CEO and Co-Founder of CoAssets Ltd., a publicly listed crowdfunding platform on the Australian Stock Exchange, to share his inspirational entrepreneurial journey on setting up his crowdfunding platform.
FinTech Training (March – April 2018)
In March 2018, IfE organized a 5-week fundamental FinTech Training programme for PolyU students and recent graduates with an aim to equip them with knowledge on latest development of financial technology like crytocurrencies, blockchain technology, as well as different FinTech applications, with guest speakers from HSBC, AsiaMiles and Likecoin joining the programme.
In addition, the programme also aims to prepare student teams for nominations to Cyberport University Partnership Programme (CUPP) organized by Cyberport.
The programme concluded with final presentations by students on 26 April 2018. Five teams were nominated to Cyberport to further with the CUPP application process.
HKTDC Entrepreneurs Day (May 2018)
IfE participated in the annual HKTDC Entrepreneurs Day on 17 and 18 May 2018, along with 10 startups showcased their products and services.
During the two-day, open-to-public exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the startups were given the opportunity to attract potential business opportunities. Two teams made their presentations in the Imaginarium Demo Session – a spotlighted stage right in the centre of the venue and showcased their business ideas.
The 10 showcased startups included:
- Festyle 妳想煮意
- Friendly Organic HK
- HappiKami Workshop by Happihood Creations
- iSEE Mobile Apps
- Shanghai Admire Joy Cultural Communication Co., Ltd. 上海慕暖文化传播有限公司
- While Awhile Company Limited
- With You Services Limited 我陪你服務有限公司
New Batch of PolyU Startups and Student Teams supported
A new batch of 23 PolyU startups and 12 student teams were supported under Micro Fund 2018, Tech Launchpad Fund 2018 and Proof-of-Concept Fund Scheme (POC Scheme).
The startups will be granted funding from $120,000 up to $730,000 to support their products, market and business development, with some of the teams matched with investment funds of up to $4.9 million from angel investors; while the student teams under the POC Scheme will be granted up to $30,000 per team for their prototype development and market research.
The teams are eligible to apply for admission to the InnoHub co-working space, to enjoy further infrastructure and incubation support like business consultation by the entrepreneurs-in-residence.
PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade 2018 (29 June 2018)
IfE will organize PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade 2018 on 29 June 2018. The event aims to facilitate exchange of views by the most influential and prominent overseas and local speakers from academia and industry to help participants develop an entrepreneurial mindset and acquire insights on the latest trends. The event will bring together the amazing and diverse community of PolyU supported startups to showcase and share their business and technologies.
Two panel sharing sessions will be organized in the event, with speakers from 500 Startups (US), Technion (Israel), NUS (Singapore), Shenzhen University and Techcode (Shenzhen), together with other prominent local speakers to share their views and insights on the opportunities and challenges in innovation and entrepreneurship development in the Greater Bay Area, as well as overseas experience in incubating deep technology.
Further information about the event click here
1. Briefing Session for China Entrepreneurship Fund 2018 and 深創杯 (8 June 2018 @ Shenzhen)
2. Innovfest Unbound Singapore (5-7 June 2018)
3. Innovfest Unbound Suzhou (19-21 June 2018)
4. Hong Kong Food Hackathon 2018 (15-17 June 2018)
5. PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade (29 June 2018)
6. Startup Weekend PolyU (29 June – 1 July 2018)