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To enhance the entrepreneurship ecosystem at HKUST and encourage entrepreneurial technology transfer with new business creation based on the University technologies and research outputs, a new HKUST start-up acceleration program called “U*STAR” is set up with funding support from the Knowledge Transfer Fund from the University Grant Committee (“UGC”) of the Hong Kong Government. U*STAR is overseen by the Office of Knowledge Transfer (“OKT”) and administered by the Technology Transfer Center (“TTC”).


  • Applicants can apply for the program on individual or team basis. Each application should name one Principal Applicant (Person-in-Charge) who must be current student of HKUST. In accordance with the spirit of U*STAR program to encourage entrepreneurial technology transfer with new business creation based on the University technologies and research outputs, priority will be given to teams with mixed background of different majors / departments / schools of HKUST and teams using HKUST-owned technologies or inventions. A list of invention and technology can be found here for U*STAR applicants’ reference.

  • Proposed projects should focus on business model that demonstrates potential of industrial or commercial applications and leads to commercialization opportunities. Projects that focus on research are NOT eligible.
  • The annual budget for U*STAR is currently set at HK$400,000. This funding will be offered as an award to winning applications with an amount from $20,000 to $40,000 for each, depending on the number of total applications and winning applications of the year in concern and other considerations the University may have.

  • Awarded teams will be eligible for mentorship and incubation/acceleration programs support from HKUST and/or HKUST’s partners. The upcoming HKUST+HKSTP acceleration program will equip you with the ability to
    • build an innovative business model
    • market a product or service through modern media channels
    • manage the finance and legal matters in relation to fundraising
    • raise fund from investors

  • Up to two teams with the best business proposals will be nominated to be the shortlisted teams to participate to panel interview for Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (“TSSSU”) program at HKUST in the subsequent TSSSU application season.

  • Project typically lasts for 6 months after the project commencement date.
  • Approval of applications depends on their individual merits. Upon receipt of an application, TTC may seek clarification or supplementary information from the applicant. The full application will be submitted to the U*STAR Review Committee, comprising of senior members of OKT and TTC as well as experts from industry or investment community, who will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:
    • Capability of project team
    • Cross disciplinary and mixed background of team members
    • Drive and commitment of team members
    • Presentation of overall planning of the project
    • Sound methodology and execution plan for Business Plan development
    • Technology merit of the selected technology
    • Demonstration of good sense of commercial exploitation (market needs / competition / route to market / anticipated products or services / etc.)

  • Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their applications and recommended by the Committee for the U*STAR award based on the assessment results.
  • Applicants should read the “Guideline for HKUST U*STAR Program” and complete a “U*STAR Application Form”. Template of Application Form is attached in the Appendix 1 of this Guideline. Both Guideline and template of Application Form are available from the TTC website (http://ttc.ust.hk/).

  • Applicant is required to complete all sections of the Application Form and provide CVs of all team members as well as other supporting documents as deemed helpful. Applications should be completed and submitted electronically to TTC (Email: ustar@ust.hk). One hard copy by signed all team members should also be sent to TTC.
  • If an application is recommended for receiving award, an offer letter will be issued to the successful applicant. The letter may include special terms and conditions associated with the project imposed by the U*STAR Review Committee. The applicant may need to revise the application form accordingly before the award could be disbursed

  • Each applicant will have 5 calendar days from the date of offer to confirm the acceptance of the offer. The applicant can write to TTC to withdraw the application at any time before accepting the offer for U*STAR.
U*STAR program is overseen by OKT and administered by TTC at HKUST. For further information and advice relating to the funding, please contact:
Technology Transfer Center
Address: 3/F, Lifts 29-30, Annex Building, HKUST, Clear Water Bay
Email: ustar@ust.hk
Tel: (852) 2358 5032
Fax: (852) 2358 1493