Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU)


In 2014/15, a new Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU), under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) set up by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), has been launched in HKUST with the below objectives:

Ø  to encourage our students and faculties to start up technology businesses and commercialise their research and development (R&D) results

Ø  to provide better support for technology start-ups to translate new ideas into business opportunities


ITC will provide an annual funding of up to HK$4 million, initially for three years, to each university on a reimbursement basis for expenses incurred in the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Government financial years. The University may recommend technology start-up(s) for continued funding up to three years.


TSSSU (2015/16)

Information Session

The second round of TSSSU is now open for application, and all eligible and interested start-ups associated with HKUST are cordially invited to attend the below Information Session:

Date: 5 March 2015 (Thursday)

Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Venue: Lecture Theatre K (near Lift 31/32), HKUST


Please kindly reserve seat by advance registration. Seats are limited, first-come-first-served. A confirmation reminder will be sent to you before the Information Session.


Call for Application

1. Eligibility:

      i.        The applicant technology start-up must be a company, regardless of size, registered under the Companies Ordinance for not more than two years as of the cut-off date: 15 March 2015#1 


     ii.        The team forming the technology start-up may have any mix of the following members of the University

(a)           undergraduates/graduates/postgraduates;

(b)           professor(s) to serve as consultant(s), providing technical expertise and direction of the R&D work; and/or

(c)           business savvy university alumni, giving business and management advice, etc.

The Technology start-up must be owned at least 10% by a member of the University.


    iii.        The team forming the technology start-up is required to appoint a person-in-charge (PIC#2), who should be a member of the University and engaged in the technology start-up’s business

(a)           to be responsible for overseeing the operations of the technology start-up;

(b)           to be responsible for liaising with the University on matters relating to the funding support under TSSSU; and

(c)           he/she should be holding a senior position in the technology start-up and can be reached by the University during normal business hours


#1The two-year eligibility requirement does not apply to a technology start-up which is recommended for the TSSSU funding for the second or the third year.

#2 For the avoidance of doubt, the appointed PIC cannot concurrently join other active teams funded by TSSSU.


2. Assessment Criteria:

In assessing an application, the selection panel will take into account, including but not limited to, the followings:

(a)         Innovation and Technology Content of the Business (30%)

Ø  Preference will be given to companies that have licensed or plan to license IPs from HKUST

(b)         Capability of the Technology Start-up and its Team Composition to Undertake the R&D Work and Manage the Company (25%)

(c)         Commercial Viability and the Business and Technology Barrier (20%)

Ø  Each technology start-up should provide supporting arguments that it has a viable business model; and

Ø  Each start-up should provide details on the target customer, market size, competitive landscape, their product/service advantages based on unique technology barrier, pricing strategy, marketing tactics, etc.       

(d)         Social and/or Community Impact of the Technology Start-up’s Business and R&D Work (15%)

(e)         Business Plan Write-up / Completeness (10%)

Ø  Each start-up should provide a clear description of their operation plan, hiring plan, financial projection including cash flow projection, etc.


3. Selection Process:

Each technology start-up application will have to go through the below assessment and selection process:

1)          Application submission on or before the deadline

2)          Upon receiving the complete applications, the University will verify compliance with the eligibility requirements and shortlist the start-ups for selection panel interview

3)          The shortlisted technology start-ups will be invited to give a presentation on their business plan, include their plan on the deployment of the funding if awarded, to the selection panel

4)          Recommendations for start-ups will be made to ITC for final approval

5)          Upon receiving ITC approval, the successfully recommended technology start-ups will be notified of the amount of funding support and the reimbursable period[1]

6)          A letter of agreement will be signed between the University designated unit and the approved technology start-ups after ITC notifies HKUST for the funding support.



Application Deadline: 15 March 2015

Please read the below documents carefully before submitting your application:

*              Operation Plan of TSSSU 2015/16

*              Application Package (Annex A)

*              Reimbursement Request (Annex B)

*              Notes for Auditors (Annex C)

*              Assessment of Technology Start-up (Annex Dii)

*              Half-yearly/ Annual Report (Annex E)


Applicants should complete the Application Package (Annex A), and submit together with the required documents, on or before the application deadline:

Softcopy to:; and

Signed Hardcopy to: Room 3611, 3/F, Lifts 29-30, Office of Associate Provost (Knowledge Transfer)



Ms Amylia Chan, Office of Associate Provost (Knowledge Transfer)


Telephone:    (852) 2358 5907

Fax:                 (852) 2358 4931


TSSSU (2014/15)

This Scheme has been successfully launched in 2014/15, and has attracted significant applications from start-ups operated by HKUST students, alumni and/or professors. Among the outstanding applications, seven of them have been recommended by our University to ITC, and all of them have been awarded for a substantial funding support for the Government Financial year of 2014/15.

You may click here for “Details of the Technology Start-ups funded by TSSSU 2014/15” at HKUST!


[1] The reimbursable period refers to the period from the day ITC notifies the University of the funding support to the technology start-up to the end of the relevant Government financial year (i.e. 31 March).