Lean Launcher

Lean Launcher

Learn Launcher
HKSTP Lean Launcher is a 12-week experiential learning programme (3 hours/ week) targeting scientists and researchers to help them develop entrepreneurial mindset and technology translation skills. The programme, to be delivered in the format of thematic tracks, will be led by experienced trainers, industry practitioners and mentors who are domain experts.The curriculum is centred on the key principles of the Lean Start-up methodology and will enable participants to develop viable business models for startup formation and commercialisation stemming from fundamental discoveries in science and engineering.

Programme introduction

Key modules

Lean Startup, Business Model Design & Hypothesis Setting
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Incubation & Investment Fundraising
IP/ Technology Licensing
Market Analysis & Validation Process
Customer Discovery & Interview Skills
Pitch Deck & Business Plan

Programme timeline

Briefing Session

Date : 20 Dec 2023
Team Application
Participating team submit an expression of interest with preliminary project information
Meet Our Trainers and Mentors
Organisers meet with individual applicant teams
Lean Launcher Programme
Pitching Day & Graduation

Meet our trainers and mentors

Chief Trainer Prof. Poh Kam Wong

Professor, Strategy & Policy Dept, NUS Business School

Track Trainer Mr. Albert Au

Founder, acesobee limited

Track Trainer Ms. Marina Chan

Senior Director and Head of Education, MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node

Track Trainer Ms. Yina Chan

Principal, Saltagen Ventures

Track Trainer Mr. Michael Tsui

Chairman, Deltason Medical Limited

Mentor Mr. Alex Cheng

Co-Founder / General Partner, Ooosh Tech Lab

Mentor Mr. Tom Chui

Founder and Director, Inclusive Impact

Mentor Dr. Leon Lam

Senior Vice President of Asia and Vice President of Asia Pacific Strategy, Merit Medical Systems, Inc.

Mentor Dr. Patrick Lam

Vice President, Listing Division (Biotech and Medical Gatekeeper), Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited

Mentor Dr. Simon Law

Assistant General Manager (Innovation), Sino Group

Mentor Mr. Stephen Lee

Head of Innovation Medicine Business Unit, Commercial Excellence & Access, Merck Healthcare

Mentor Mr. Eric Leung

Founder and General Manager, Vee Care Asia Limited

Mentor Dr. David Li

Director, Great Bonus Development Limited

Mentor Mr. Leo Lo

Founder & Managing Director, EuroMed Technologies Co. Ltd.

Mentor Ir. Dr. Jacky Ng

Principal Engineer, FUJIFILM Business Innovation Hong Kong Limited

Mentor Prof. Dicky Shek

Vice President, GBA Business School

Mentor Mr. KY Tan

Director, Business Development, Asia Pacific, Brainlab

Mentor Mr. Mingles Tsoi

CXO, ParticleX

Mentor Mr. Alvin Wong

Owner, Central Project Development Ltd

Mentor Dr. Alwin Wong

Board Member, Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals

Mentor Mr. Phil Woo

Co-founder and Product Director, PREN

Mentor Mr. Michael Yung

Strategic Advisor, Google Cloud


Project showcase

In the order of cohorts and terms

Our mentor provided many ideas, like how to transform our technology into different form. He also gave us direction in how to change our target customer and how to package our products.

Participant of Cohort II

Weekly presentation session is very useful and interesting. Other participating teams and their mentors who are experienced businessmen or domain experts can provide lots of useful insight and feedback.

Participant of Cohort II

Within the Centre for Eye & Vision Research, our main goal is preserve and restore healthy vision. To achieve that goal, we need to be able to translate the research into real world, and The Lean Launcher Programme can provide the tools to make that transition.

Prof. Benjamin Thompson
Centre CEO, CEVR

The trainers and mentors provided a lot of information on how to start up a new company, and this was actually very important to us because we had no idea on how to do that. If we didn’t have this programme to provide us with all this information, we would have to spend much more time to achieve this.

Dr. Michael Chan
Principal Investigator, C2i

I appreciate the design of the programme and the bi-weekly team presentation. The frequency of reporting back helps the team develop a sense of urgency to interview different stakeholders and make adjustments accordingly.

Mr. Stephen Lee
Mentor of Cohort I Team 9 from Laboratory of Data Discovery for Health (D24H)

This programme provides a very good mix of having lectures and also the validation process. By attending the lectures, most of the participants can have a very solid foundation on the concept of how to validate their hypotheses.

Mr. Leo Lo
Mentor of Cohort I Team 3 from Centre for Immunology & Infection Limited (C2i)

The HKSTP Lean Launcher Programme gives us a bit of lectures on the thinking pathways from the ideas to how to get our product into the market. It helps us identify our target customers and also the end-users.

Dr. Hoi Lam Li
Team Lead of Cohort I Team 5 from Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR)

Lean Launcher not only gives us the knowledge or the theories behind how we are looking at our product or setting up a company, it also really helps us to tackle all these technical issues.

Dr. Kenrie Hui
Participant of Cohort I Team 3 from Centre for Immunology & Infection (C2i)

This program provided all participants with fundamental elements and strategies for merging innovation and commercialisation, ultimately enhancing and refreshing their skills and knowledge. A team of highly competent mentors and trainers with extensive industry expertise is the secret bonus ingredient and formula for success, which is exceedingly difficult to replicate and organise for other programme providers in the market.

Mr. Tom Chui
Mentor of Cohort II Team 6 from Centre For Intelligent Multidimensional Data Analysis Limited (CIMDA)

The key tenet of Lean Launcher is de-risking any entrepreneurial pursuit in technology translation. The program is designed to inculcate entrepreneurial mindset and imbue real world feedback from the market and industry to the participants, enabling them to focus, refine or pivot, as the case maybe, their endeavour. As a mentor, the satisfaction is derived from a sense of civic duty to advance Hong Kong as both the innovation and commercialization hubs.

Mr. KY Tan
Mentor of Cohort II Team 15 from Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab)

I learnt to understand customers’ need and provide a suitable product for them. Apart from technology, I need to consider the packaging, format and UI design. I have learnt a lot on technology translation, including VPC, BMC, licensing, etc. as well as pitching.

Ms. Kathy Lee
Participant of Cohort II Team 1 from Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab)

This programme helps me understand that customer consideration is necessary during product design, and doing interviews is one of the best ways of gathering customer’s thought.

Mr. Gilbert Cheng
Participant of Cohort II Team 9 from Hong Kong Industrial Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (FLAIR)

Frequently asked questions

What is HKSTP Lean Launcher? How is it different from other entrepreneurship training?
Originated from a similar programme in the US, HKSTP Lean Launcher aims to turn scientific research into business with a curriculum structured based on lean startup methodology and tailored for supporting business model development, market exploration and commercialisation of research and innovation.
Why HKSTP Lean Launcher? How can I benefit from the Programme?
HKSTP Lean Launcher helps participating teams explore target markets and customer segments in order to define their business models and achieve product / technology market fit before committing any serious resources. Through this Programme, participating teams can de-risk their startup process, and also gain access to a wealth of industry networks and resources from HKSTP to support the commercialisation and their research and innovation ventures.
Who is teaching in the Programme ?
The programme’s instructors, trainers and mentors are all academia-industry practitioners. From time to time, we will engage suitable industry experts to join the teaching team. You may refer to the list of trainers and mentors here. In addition, experienced entrepreneurs will also be invited as guest speakers to share their stories and insights with the participants.
How can I be connected with industry mentors?
We will recruit mentors from industry who are practitioners / experts in related industry domains, investors or from university technology transfer offices. Each participating team will be paired with an industry mentor with relevant background and experience in the sector which the team is targeting for their commercialisation. In addition to the team’s assigned mentor, participants will also be able to seek advice from the pool of mentors in this Programme to gain further insights from different experts.
Will I need to disclose confidential information of my research in the Programme?
No. While you should have a research / innovation project for the Programme, we do not expect you to disclose any detail or confidential information about your research / innovation. You just need to elaborate on how your technology works and the core technology edge of your research / innovation.
What is the expected time commitment for this Programme?
We look for teams’ active participation and commitment so that they can get the most out of the Programme. Timing-wise, teams should expect to spend at least 3 hours per week to attend the Programme sessions and to conduct market research / explorations.
Is there any further support from HKSTP during and after the Programme?
Absolutely. In addition to the HKSTP Lean Launcher, we will bridge you to other HKSTP resources (e.g. business / industry networking, online training / learning, funding and incubation, etc.) that shall be made available to you. We shall connect and fast-track the participating teams to HKSTP Ideation Programme at the end of the HKSTP Lean Launcher so that the teams can pitch for up to HK$100,000 grants and other supports to kick off their startup process.
Do I need to have a research project / innovative idea before joining?
As the Programme aims to support participating teams to explore their target markets and customer segments for commercialisation, it will be more beneficial for the team to have a research / innovation project before joining the Programme.
Do we need to set up a company before joining the Programme?
No, you don’t need to set up a company before joining Programme. But if you have already established your own startup planning to commercialise your research / innovation, you are also highly welcomed to join the Programme to help you explore the market to achieve better product / technology market fit, and to de-risk your startup journey.
What is the best team mix / composition?
There is no restriction on how many members you can have in your team. However, we suggest a team size of 4 to 5 so that each team member can work together and support each other in the Programme. One of the team members should be assigned as “Entrepreneurial Lead (EL)” who should be the key driver of the team in the research commercialisation process. A team member with more business / commercialisation experience will also be beneficial.​
Can I join if I’m a team of one person?
Yes, you are welcome to join us individually. Yet we still recommend to have more members in your team to share the workload.​​
Can a non-tech member (such as a colleague with business background only) join the HKSTP Lean Launcher Programme?
Yes, we encourage and accept members from multi-disciplines to join the Programme.​
Can a post-doctoral student working on the project but not being employed under the InnoHK Centre join the Programme?
Yes, as long as the student is nominated by the InnoHK Centre.​
How can I join the Programme?
Please stay tuned to our website updates. You are also welcome to reach us at institute@hkstp.org for the latest news.
Can we attend the weekly sessions online?
While we prefer participants to join the Programme physically so as to have better interaction among fellow participants and industry mentors, the Programme will be in hybrid mode so that you can also join online if you cannot make it physically.
We might not be able to join every session. Can I and my members take turns to attend?
Yes, you may assign members to take turns to attend the weekly session. Presentation decks of the weekly sessions may also be shared with participants subject to speakers’ and trainers’ consent.
How can I access the online training resources?
During the Programme, we will post different learning materials online for teams’ access. You will be given authorisation / access right after your official enrolment in the Programme to those online learning resources.