This is a list of frequently asked questions about the PolyU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Global Student Challenge (GSC). If you have a question about the Challenge that is not covered below or in the Rules & Regulations, please send an email to polyu.gsc@polyu.edu.hk.

Enter the Challenge

Who is eligible to participate in GSC 2017?

All team members must be upper form secondary school students or undergraduates who are studying for their first degree for their respective division at the time of the Semi-Final and Final rounds of the Challenge.    

How big can a team be, and how many members per team will be sponsored for the trip?

Each team is restricted to 3 sponsored student members plus 1 non-sponsored mentor (compulsory) for the Secondary School Division, and up to a maximum of 4 student members for the University Division. Up to 3 student members will be sponsored to attend the Semi-Final and Final round should a 4-member team be shortlisted.

Is it compulsory for secondary school teams to have a mentor?

Yes.  To enter the Challenge, each secondary school team must have a mentor, who will act as the key liaison between PolyU and his/her respective team upon registration. Mentors will act as guardians, as well as accompany the team during the entire period the team is in Hong Kong to participate in the GSC at their own expense.  Any secondary school teams without accompanying mentors will be considered as withdrawn from the Challenge. Mentors are optional for teams in the University Division.

Our team members are from different schools/universities in different countries. Can you arrange flights from different cities if we are short-listed to Semi-Finals and Finals?

Yes, we can make appropriate arrangements with prior notice.  Please note that the three flight tickets sponsored by PolyU must be round-trip economy class between two pre-defined cities, i.e. City A->Hong Kong->City A.  We cannot provide flights from City A->Hong Kong->City B.

If I can't get 3 team members from my own school/university, can I invite friends from another secondary school/university to form a team?  

Yes, joint teams are very welcome. The same rules and regulations apply (for example, up to 3 qualified student members per team will be sponsored for flights and accommodation). Joint teams are required to submit completed authorization forms from each represented school in the Secondary School Division.

What are the requirements for mentors of joint teams entering the Secondary School Division?

It is compulsory for each team entering the Secondary School Division to have a mentor, who will be the key liaison with PolyU, accompany the team from their respective school to Hong Kong, and act as their guardian throughout the competition in Hong Kong (24-30 June 2017). For the case of joint teams, two options are available:

  • that both schools will send a mentor to accompany their own students. In this case, two separate authorization forms are required, OR
  • School A and the parents of student(s) from School A write a letter of consent authorizing School B's mentor to be guardian of student(s) from School A. School B will be required to acknowledge and confirm these arrangements.
Expenses involved

What expenses will be sponsored by PolyU?

Three members from each finalist team from outside of Hong Kong will be sponsored for round-trip economy air tickets and accommodation during their stay in Hong Kong. Full details will be communicated directly with the finalist teams. Participants will need to bear other costs that may be incurred due to the trip, such as visa application fees, local transportation costs to the nearest international airport from/to your institution, daily expenses, etc. Meals in Hong Kong are relatively cheap - approximately USD 4.5-7.5 per meal.  For example, a fast food meal costs approximately USD 4.50, while dinner in a fine restaurant could cost up to USD26 per person or more.

What additional expenses should we expect with a fourth student member in the University Division?

The major cost implication will be the flight ticket, which must be arranged independently or via PolyU’s designated travel agent at the fourth team member’s own expense.  S/he will also need to arrange for travel insurance during the trip to Hong Kong. The fourth team member can stay at PolyU's Halls of Residence, join the orientation and attend gala ceremony with the rest of the team at no additional expense.  If s/he will be flying on the designated dates with the rest of team members, PolyU can arrange transportation to and from the airport in Hong Kong.

About your Business Plan

Is there a limit to the length of business plan?

Each business plan should be no more than 15 A4 pages, including the table of contents, main body and appendices. Pages beyond the allowed limit will not receive extra credit and may not be assessed. Business plans must be written in English and submitted via the team login page by 1 December 2017 GMT 23:59.  Entrants may make use the training modules on this website to get started on your business plan.

How should we address ourselves in our submissions and during the presentation?

Teams should identify themselves using their team names instead of the names of their institutions in the business plans, executive summary and the commercials entering Best of the Best Commercial Award. Teams addressing themselves using the names of their institutions, or team names with any association to the name of the represented institution(s), will be disqualified. During the presentation, teams who address themselves using the names of their institutions, or teams names with any association to the name of the represented institution(s), will be penalized – with five marks deducted from their total score.

Is there a recommended font size for the business plan and executive summary?

Teams are advised to use a font size no smaller than 10 pt, with 1.5 line spacing and a minimum of 2.5cm page margins.  Your team name must be shown in the upper right header on every page of the executive summary and business plan. All documents may be reproduced in their original size on A4 paper, so please ensure your documents are legible and clearly presented.

Is there a budget range/limit for the business plan?

No, your budget can be as much as deemed necessary. However, it is crucial for you to justify the investment and demonstrate the profitability of the whole business. Given that this is a global competition and for ease of reference, you are required to use US dollars as the currency unit in your plan.  You may also include a brief chart of general statistics about your country, such as GDP, average household income, etc. to justify your budget plan.

Will the judges receive the business plans in advance?

Yes, panel judges for the Semi-Final and Final rounds will have a chance to evaluate your plan prior to your on-site presentation.

Are we guaranteed to enter the Final if we submit a business plan?

After the submission of the business plans, the judges will screen through all the entries and select 20 shortlisted teams for each division based on the same criteria and standards as the final judging rounds. Shortlisted teams will be informed by 1 March 2017.

If I am shortlisted, can I amend my business plan/executive summary etc. before they are sent to the Semi-Final judges?

No.  The same applies to the powerpoint presentation file submitted for the Semi-Final.

Is a computer provided for the presentation or do we need to bring our own?

All shortlisted teams are required to submit their powerpoint presentation files to PolyU by the submission deadline.  Each team’s respective file will be available on a computer (Windows PC) linked to a projector screen, which will be readily available for use during the team's presentation at the Semi-Final and Final competition at PolyU. Please convert your presentation file to Windows PC format if using Macintosh OS to create the file. Usage of the team’s own equipment and/or amendment of submitted presentation files on site is NOT allowed.

Do I own the copyright to my business plan?

By entering into the competition, each participant automatically agrees to grant PolyU the right to reproduce, disclose or use the submitted materials for its publicity, marketing and other internal purposes. However, we have no objection towards students making use of their own business plans or ideas in any other situation.

About your presentation at the Semi-Final/Final in Hong Kong

Apart from the submitted powerpoint presentation, can we use other materials at the presentation?

The Microsoft Powerpoint presentation is the basis of the presentation. Teams wishing to use other presentation formats must obtain approval from the organizer prior to their submission before the dedicated deadline.

Am I allowed to attach special fonts packages along with my presentation files and install them on the venue's PC? 

No, you are only allowed to use existing fonts that are included in Microsoft Powerpoint 2016 or lower versions.

Who is eligible to present during the Semi-Finals or Finals?

Only students team members are allowed to present. Mentors are not permitted to present.