The City University of Hong Kong, on 8 May, launched the first ever HK Tech 300 Southeast Asia Startup Competition (HK Tech 300 SEA Competition) in Kuala Lumpur, extending the innovation and entrepreneurship program to Southeast Asia, picking Malaysia as the location for the launch of the competition to foster startups and innovation and technology development in the region.
A large-scale flagship innovation and entrepreneurship program by the City University of Hong Kong, HK Tech 300 is organized with a total commitment of up to HK$600 million (RM340 million). It was launched in March 2021.
“We are thrilled to expand our successful HK Tech 300 initiative to Southeast Asia,” said Professor Way Kuo, President and University Distinguished Professor of the City University of Hong Kong. “This competition presents a unique opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in the region to gain exposure and secure funding for their projects and will help translate City University of Hong Kong’s outstanding research into applications, which can have a transformative impact on the entrepreneurship landscape here. We are excited to witness the positive impact of HK Tech 300 on the region and are committed to supporting and empowering innovative ideas in this part of the world.”
The HK Tech 300 SEA Competition is being held in partnership with universities and incubators in the region, including Universiti Malaya and Universiti Putra Malaysia from Malaysia, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Chulalongkorn University from Thailand, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (SIDEC), and various chambers of commerce. Professor Dr Sabri Musa, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya said that they are delighted to be a partner in the competition and hope to create synergy for the startup ecosystem in the region.
Through these partners, the competition will bring together the most promising startups in the region. The Top 10 winners will be awarded angel funding of up to HK$1 million (RM565,000), significantly boosting their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Khaled Mohamed Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia, said, “A thriving small and medium enterprise (SME) and startup ecosystem is essential for sustainable digital development. The Malaysian Higher Education Ministry welcomes the City University of Hong Kong’s decision to launch this regional edition of HK Tech 300 in Malaysia, as it demonstrates the success of Malaysia’s efforts to accelerate the digital economy and produce knowledgeable graduates with excellent marketability. I believe the exposure and guidance they will receive from the competition, will enable them to contribute to the expanding digital ecosystem.”
Emeritus Professor Dr Morshidi Sirat, Higher Education Adviser to Khaled delivered his speech during the launch event at Hilton Kuala Lumpur.
Since its launch, the HK Tech 300 program has made significant strides toward its goal of creating 300 startups within three years. With a total allocation of HK$500 million in 2021, the program is a strategic move to translate the City University of Hong Kong’s groundbreaking research results and intellectual property into practical applications, while simultaneously providing valuable opportunities for young talent and aspiring entrepreneurs to grow and learn. To further support the program, the University added an additional of HK$100 million (RM56.5 million) this year.
To date, HK Tech 300 has cultivated more than 560 startups, each of which received HK$100,000 in seed funding, and it has provided up to HK$1 million in angel funding to more than 110 startups. At the same time, over 1,300 people have participated in its entrepreneurship training. Over 150 experienced industrialists and successful entrepreneurs have served as mentors.
Riding on the success and positive impact of the program, the expansion of the HK Tech 300 initiative to Southeast Asia demonstrates the vision and determination of the City University of Hong Kong to make HK Tech 300 the biggest university-based innovation and entrepreneurship program in Asia.
The expansion aims to promote technology transfer and commercialization in the region, showcasing the University’s commitment to support Southeast Asian startups in expanding their business to Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the whole region, leveraging the unique advantages and resources available in Hong Kong. Visit www.cityu.edu.hk/hktech300/seasia for more information.