Frequently Asked Questions

  • APPLICATION ELIGIBILITY


    1. Can part-time students apply for PolyU Micro Fund (the “Fund”)?


    Yes, all part-time students who are pursuing degree / associate degree / diploma / other academic qualifications to be offered by PolyU, HKCC or SPEED (except distance learning programme) can apply for the Fund.
  • 2. Can research postgraduate students apply for this Fund?

    Yes, research postgraduate students can apply but need to check with Research Office for any necessary approval before submitting applications.
  • 3. Can PolyU alumni apply for this Fund?

    Yes, alumni who have secured degree / associate degree / diploma / other academic qualifications offered by PolyU, HKCC or SPEED (except distance learning programmes) can apply for the Fund.
  • 4. Who can be the Principal Applicant (PA)?

    The PA must be a student (full-time or part-time) or an alumna/alumnus of PolyU, HKCC or SPEED (except distance learning programme) upon application.

    However, if awarded, the Awarded Team is expected to establish a new company to execute the business proposal with the Fund disbursed to the company.

    Unless the PA is a current full-time student of PolyU/HKCC/SPEED, he/she MUST work full-time in the new company assuming a key owner-operator role with substantial control as further elaborated in Question 15.
  • 5. Can PolyU staff apply for this Fund as PA?

    No, unless the PolyU staff member is also a PolyU alumna/alumnus. However, the PolyU staff member should be ready to quit his/her full-time job and work full-time for the new company should his/her business proposal be approved.

    For a PolyU staff member who wishes to be a team member/shareholder while keeping his employment, he or she must observe all the pertinent rules and regulations governing knowledge transfer and outside activities, and MUST seek approval from the university management.
  • 6. Can I apply for the Fund on my own without any team member?

    An individual applicant is allowed, however a multi-disciplinary team with members from different but relevant backgrounds is usually preferred by assessors.
  • 7. What is the minimum or maximum number of members per team?

    There is no restriction on the team size. However, it is recommended to have 3 to 4 team members with complementary backgrounds and knowledge.
  • 8. I had participated in PolyU GSC Pre-challenge. Am I eligible to apply for the Fund using the same proposal?

    Yes, as long as you submit the required application documents before the application deadline.
  • 9. I had been awarded other seed fund from government, NGO or public organization like Cyberport. Can I still apply for the Fund?

    Yes, as long as you meet all the eligibility conditions (e.g. your company was incorporated for less than 2 years as of the application deadline) and submit the required application documents before the application deadline. 

    However, please note you may be subject to restrictions in applying for other public fund under the rules/regulations governing the seed fund you already received. It is recommended to check with your funding organization before submitting your application.
  • 10. I had submitted application for the Micro Fund Scheme before. Can I re-submit the same application again?

    Yes, as long as you completes and submits the required application form and documents before the application deadline.
  • 11. Can I submit more than one application, or participate in more than one team?

    Yes, each individual is allowed to join more than one team, and each team can submit more than one application.
  • 12. Can I use the same project to apply for PolyU Micro Fund (MF) Scheme, PolyU Student Entrepreneurial Proof-of-Concept Funding Scheme (POC) and PolyU Tech Launchpad Fund Scheme (TLF) Scheme at the same time?

    Yes, you can. However, you can only choose ONE of the funding schemes to avoid double benefits within the same funding period if you are awarded in all schemes.
  • 13. Is it acceptable that my team consists of non-PolyU member(s)?

    Yes. However, only PolyU member(s) can act as PA during the entire funding period. The exit of the PA from the Awarded Team, if without replacement acceptable to PolyU, will result in suspension/cancellation of any undisbursed fund.
  • 14. Can team members be changed?

    No change is allowed to the PA during the application process. Change to other team members will only be allowed and approved on an exceptional basis, supported by sufficiently strong reasons.
  • 15. Is there any requirement on the shareholding structure of the new company?

    Yes. PA MUST assume a key owner-operator role with substantial control of the applying/ proposed company.  In the sole opinion of PolyU, “substantial control” is usually evidenced by (a) 20% or more ownership, in the form of equity shares or share options, of the applying/ proposed company; and (b) working on a full-time basis in the applying/ proposed company.
  • APPLICATION AND ASSESSMENT


    16. Do we have to register a company upon application?

    No, you don’t need to have a company upon submission of your application. However, you MUST establish a company to receive the Fund and get admitted to HKSTP Incubation Programme* should your business proposal be approved.

    For awardees who have already established their company, the company must not be incorporated for more than 2 years as of the application deadline.

    *Subject to fulfilment of other eligibility conditions of the relevant HKSTP Incubation Programme.

  • 17. Should I provide a pitch deck in submitting the application?

    No, upon the application deadline you only need to submit the completed application form and a two-page executive summary with all team member CVs and other supporting documents attached.

    However, a pitch deck will be required for the later stage assessment. Please refer to Question 18 for further assessment process.

  • 18. How will the applications be evaluated?

    1) An Initial Screening of Eligibility by PolyU will be conducted and then eligible applicants will be invited to deliver a 3-minute elevator pitch for the shortlisting assessment.

    2) Shortlisted Teams will then go through trainings to prepare a pitch deck for Semi-Final Presentation by PolyU staff, relevant faculty member(s) and / or external judges.

    3) The Semi-Final Presentation will select around 30 Finalists.

    4) All Finalists will go through due diligence meetings and trainings before making the final presentations to an independent assessment panel for the purpose of final assessment.

  • 19. How can I be eligible to claim bonus points for utilizing PolyU knowledge, innovations and technologies?

    You just need to fill in the Declaration of “Use of PolyU Knowledge/ Innovations/ Technologies” with your academic supervisor/ advisor signing off. Supporting documents should also be attached. The bonus points will be counted according to the nature of the PolyU knowledge/ innovations/ technologies used in your business proposal.

    However, please note that your claim of using PolyU knowledge, innovations and technologies, in most cases, will require licensing from PolyU should your business proposal be approved. Your company will then incur licensing and/or royalty costs.

  • 20. What if my company cannot fulfil the eligibility conditions of the HKSTP Incubation Programme? Will my company still get the funding support from PolyU?

    If unfortunately, your company cannot fulfil certain eligibility condition and therefore not admitted by the HKSTP Incubation Programme, PolyU will still provide the funding support to your company as long as your business proposal is approved.

  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES (IP)


    21. Who will be the owner of any intellectual properties (IP) generated?


    The IP generated from execution of the awarded projects shall be owned by the awardees.
  • 22. How do I know what PolyU’s knowledge/innovations/technologies I can make use of in my application?

    You can find the PolyU’s knowledge/innovations/ technologies available for use via www.polyu.edu.hk/ife/corp/en/innovation/tech_search.php
  • 23. When should I obtain the authorization of using a third-party IP?

    You should obtain the written consent from the inventor/owner of the IP upon submission of your application.

    You MUST secure the official authorization from the inventor/owner before the Fund can be awarded should your business proposal be approved.
  • 24. What will be the arrangement if I need to utilize PolyU’s knowledge/innovations/technologies (including but not limited to final year projects and class projects) to execute my proposed business?

    For PolyU nowledge/innovations/technologies, you should first approach the inventors concerned and Institute of Entrepreneurship (IfE), PolyU (3400-2701/2622) to check for such possibility.

    Once your application is approved, you should enter into a licensing agreement with PolyU before utilizing such knowledge/innovations/technologies (including but not limited to final year projects and class projects). Your company will then incur licensing and/or royalty costs.
  • FUNDING SCOPE AND DISBURSEMENT


    25. How long will be the Funding Period?


    The Funding Period is usually one year, with extension of no more than 6 months on an exceptional basis.
  • 26. How will the Fund be disbursed?

    The Fund will be disbursed to the awarded company by four installments following the ratio of 4: 4: 3: 1 subject to reasonable progress made by the awardee and progress reports to the satisfaction of PolyU. The first installment will be disbursed upon the presentation of all necessary documents required in the Standard Terms and Conditions while the following installments will be disbursed after quarterly progress reviews/final review.
  • 27. Can I use the Fund for salary or for renting office space for my business venture?

    The Fund can be used to pay salary for employees providing the staff concerned are NOT the PA or Team Members listed in the submitted application form. You can also use the Fund to pay rent for office, warehouse, etc. whatever is considered necessary and relevant in running your business.
  • 28. Can I use the Fund to pay licensing fees/royalties to PolyU?

    Yes, using the Fund for licensing fees/royalties payable to PolyU is allowed.
  • 29. Will PolyU claim any ownership stake on my business venture created with the support of the seed fund?

    No. The fund awarded is a grant to the awardees and PolyU will not own any share of your business venture. We encourage you to make contributions to PolyU in future by employing PolyU students and making donations to PolyU to signify your success in your business.
  • 30. Do I need to return to PolyU any unused seed fund granted?

    It is expected that the Fund will be fully utilized to support the execution of the awarded business proposal within the Funding Period specified in the Standard Terms and Conditions (usually one year). However, if the fund entitlement were terminated / suspended for whatever reason, the awardees shall return any unused fund / unspent balance to PolyU.
  • 31. How will my company be monitored?

    During the funding period, you should provide PolyU reports on the progress of your business every three months. Then meetings will be arranged to review the progress before approval for the next disbursement.

    As the Micro Fund funding period is usually shorter than the HKSTP incubation period (18 months for Incu-App, 3 years for Incu-Tech and 4 years for Incu-Bio), the review and reporting requirements of HKSTP Incubation Programme on the Funded Start-up shall continue after the end of the Micro Fund funding period.

    Both PolyU and HKSTP will provide advice and assistance on your business. You are encouraged to frequently contact the project managers of PolyU and HKSTP to update on the latest progress of and difficulties encountered by your business.

  • 32. What if we want to change our business plan / milestone?

    During the fund period, any material modification to the business plan of your company (including but not limited to change of key team members of the start-up, deliverables, business scope, milestones and budget, etc.) will require prior approval from PolyU. Such modifications shall be in writing and supported by clear rationales and justifications.
  • 33. If I need to use PolyU’s equipment / facilities during the execution of my proposed business, would there be any special arrangement for me?

    PolyU InnoHub and PolyU Industrial Centre (IC) offer some equipment/ facilities for PolyU supported start-ups. More details will be provided once your application is awarded.

    For other equipment/facilities, we encourage awardees to approach and discuss with the respective department(s) or advisor(s) (if any) for the utilization of PolyU’s resources including laboratory facilities or equipment.

  • 34. Will the execution of the awarded project be counted as Work-Integrated Education (WIE)?

    You need to check with your department whether the execution of your awarded projects will be qualified as WIE.
  • 35. Will Awarded Teams be required to implement their awarded projects?

    Yes. If the other members of the Awarded Team wish to maintain full-time employment with a third party entity while executing the awarded business proposal, they are required to secure letter of consent from their employers before the entitlement of the fund.
  • 36. If a member of the company (e.g. PA) withdraws from the company business and such withdrawal may render the company no longer eligible for the Scheme, what follow-up action should the company take?

    In such case, the company should identify a replacement for that member and seek prior approval from PolyU  for such a change. Failing that, the funding entitlement to the company will lapse and unused fund (including the fund disbursed/ used without appropriate proof documents) shall be returned to PolyU.

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