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HKGovt Funding Schemes: Cyberport and HKSTP - anyone tried and can share their experience?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    7

    Question HKGovt Funding Schemes: Cyberport and HKSTP - anyone tried and can share their experience?

    Hello,
    We are looking into government funding to start a business. We are debating between Cyberport's Incubator Programme or HKSTP's Incu-App Programme.

    Aside from Google, and what's posted on the websites of these organisations, information is rather limited. We don't really know what to pay more or less attention to in terms of the application documents, and we want to get a feel of what it's like once in the programme.

    So really hoping that someone here had applied for/is still/was in any of these programmes, and would be willing to share their experience with the application process, things to look out for etc. We know it's a long shot, but still gonna keep fingers crossed here.

    If you feel uncomfortable sharing the experience by replying to this thread, you're welcome to DM us.

    Hope to get some responses on this.

    Thanks!

    Maygr likes this.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    3

    Thanks for posting. I'm also looking into the government funding programs. Subscribing to their latest news didn't seem to give me more information. I'm under the impression that most of their programs have some sort of connections with the students in the local universities. However, I know at least one person (relative's colleague) who wasn't a HK graduate but was on the program. I'm interested in knowing more about it.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Hey! Thanks for replying. I was thinking...perhaps we can meet up or exchange emails to share what we know?


  4. #4

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    Jan 2018
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    We have clients who have applied for incubator space in Science Park with having a patent application, apparently it's somewhat easier if you have an application (even better with a granted patent). We have written patent applications for them precisely FOR the incubator space application. It's not that hard to apply and if you do a US provisional patent application, you can just apply online, official fee is around 140 dollars US (don't need to be a US citizen, don't need formal patent claims, can just be a write-up of something inventive that you do). Then you have one year to do something more formal, an application in any country, or not, it won't be published if you never file a non-provisional patent application. And there is the PAG (Patent Application Grant)- money the HK government gives out to help you apply for patents (HKD 250,000 total). So you can file a provisional (cheap) apply for the PAG and, if you get it, use the government money. I think one inventor at least or company shareholder is a permanent resident or HK citizen...


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    I've funded a few startups that have applied or incubated through these schemes, my $0.02...

    It's not free upfront money to start your business. Whether by grant or subsided costs, payments are made in arrears, you need to expend up front. So if you have no funding, you need to get some or put up yourself. It's also not a lot of money overall and spread over 2 years so there's not a lot of cash if you are looking to pay yourself and others coming from later in life or high paying positions; it much more suits a few locals in their 20s living at home doing a startup where the costs of paying yourself and staff is lower.

    The Cyberport scheme opens twice a year for applications, the HKSTP scheme is open year round and you can apply any time. Both require companies, if you don't have a company, then start with the CMF/STEP as noted below.

    There is a lot of overlap, but very generically, Cyberport tends to bend towards IT stuff (fintech, apps, services, AI, Big Data) and HKSTP towards hardware (plus the biotech, deep electronics tech, etc). But that's very loose and there's a lot of crossover. If the timing is right, I'd suggest to try Cyberport first (you can't reapply unless there's some change to the plan), then HKSTP if rejected. You cannot have an application pending for HKSTP and then apply at Cyberport. The other way round seems ok (as long as Cyberport eventually rejects).

    The HKSTP scheme seems easier to get into, likely due to the opening of 5 dedicated floors in the new 19W building and it needs filling.

    You don't need a patent to get in, but a good prototype or some, if tiny, market exposure, testing or live customers helps. Team experience also helps winning. These are equity-free schemes so expect some boring forms to fill in, several rounds of pitching and so on as you are dealing with civil servant types, not business or investment types.

    Going through the scheme is fairly straightforward as long as you appear to be making progress and hit (or nearly hit) pre-agreed milestones.

    If you have nothing, then better to look at Cyberport's CMF scheme or HKSTP's STEP scheme to fund early concepts. Again not a lot of money if you have to take pay, but a small amount to pay for some prototypes if you are currently in another job.

    Once in, then there is a lot of help to get you more taxpayer cash.

    Last edited by stickyears; 10-06-2020 at 06:07 PM.
    Maygr and shri like this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    860

    I've not looked into it but I've heard Singapore's funding programs are way better...

    Quite frankly given all that is going in HK we should start looking for new cities to EXIT to.... and share the information.

    I see a lot of people going to BKK, some to Singapore, some to Indonesia. I looked at Malaysia, they have lots of programs and tax free incentives, but incorporating there is very expensive or you have to have a Malay owning more than 50%... So need to see what Vietnam is offering as there are lots of software development houses there.

    Last edited by Fenix2; 10-06-2020 at 07:03 PM.
    ramelec likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenix2:
    I've not looked into it but I've heard Singapore's funding programs are way better...

    Quite frankly given all that is going in HK we should start looking for new cities to EXIT to.... and share the information.

    I see a lot of people going to BKK, some to Singapore, some to Indonesia. I looked at Malaysia, they have lots of programs and tax free incentives, but incorporating there is very expensive or you have to have a Malay owning more than 50%... So need to see what Vietnam is offering as there are lots of software development houses there.
    Regarding Malaysia - isn't that what Labuan is for?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    860
    Quote Originally Posted by Paxbritannia:
    Regarding Malaysia - isn't that what Labuan is for?
    oh yes, you are required to have an office there for n sq feet, employ n number of Malay/Islamic staff etc...
    that was among the worst options.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapleleafgirl:
    Hey! Thanks for replying. I was thinking...perhaps we can meet up or exchange emails to share what we know?
    Sure! pm me.