Aligning with HKUST’s Knowledge Transfer Mission and with a view to strengthening the promotion of entrepreneurship spirit among HKUST stakeholders leading to social and economic impact, the HKUST Entrepreneurship Fund (“E-Fund”), with an initial fund size of HK$50M committed by HKUST, was established for the benefit of promising HKUST technology start-up companies. Selected companies may receive up to HK$2 million of investment from HKUST in support of activities including research and development, as well as business and market development. Start-ups featuring innovative technologies and/or business models would have advantages of being selected.
Since establishment, E-Fund has reviewed more than 80 HKUST deals, established a strong co-investor network, built up a diverse advisors pool, and supported five start-ups, covering various sectors including AI & big data analytics, ICT, biomedical, semiconductor, and advanced manufacturing.
E-Fund can either syndicate with qualified co-investment partners or act as a lead investor. The Co-Investment Partners of E-Fund, who are managing more than HK$7 billion investment pool, comprise of institutional venture capitals (VCs) including financial VCs, corporate VCs, family offices, or corporate entities, and they covered a wide range of technology areas and industries.
Besides co-investing with partners, E-Fund can also take its own initiative to invest into start-ups without Co-Investment Partners. Such start-ups could be very early-staged companies that may not be the focus of typical Co-Investment Partners.
E-Fund not only can help to bridge the funding gap of HKUST start-ups before they can secure external funding to grow and expand, but can also engage other VC funds and experts more closely within the HKUST start-up ecosystem, potentially providing investments, strategic values, as well as guidance/advice. In addition to creating a multiplier effect in availing more funds to HKUST start-ups, the resources pool that could be created and E-Fund can provide support to start-ups in a very comprehensive manner. E-Fund could then potentially become an important hub for the HKUST entrepreneurship community, connecting competent and creative entrepreneurs, high-quality start-ups with innovative technologies and business models, as well as reputable VCs and corporates.
To learn more about the E-Fund, please visit: https://e-fund.hkust.edu.hk
Over 80 deals are reviewed by the E-Fund while three start-ups are invested.