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- HKSTP Launches Global Acceleration Academy to Chart Commercialisation Roadmaps for Global Start-ups
(Hong Kong, 24 April 2017) - Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP” or “the Corporation”) today proudly announced the launch of the Global Acceleration Academy (“GAA” or “the Academy”). Under this initiative, HKSTP partners with international industry leaders of different fields to develop thematic acceleration programmes tailored to the development needs of individual industries.
Each programme will have a three-month duration. During the period, HKSTP and the partner company will provide participating start-ups with intensive workshops, which include immersive visits to leading companies of the associated industry, to enable them to gain better understanding of the market trend of the industries. All the R&D projects of the participating start-ups will get priority validation from related industry leader during the programme. This will help ascertain that the R&D projects meet market expectations and consumer needs. The ultimate goal is to attract business partners and investors to support the projects’ commercialisation.
The programme is open to start-ups from around the world. HKSTP expects the programme will draw a larger number of promising overseas start-ups to set up a base in Hong Kong, which will in turn provide more opportunities of interaction and collaboration with local start-ups. HKSTP believes that the programme will help attract more high-quality R&D projects and talent to Hong Kong to fuel future development as Hong Kong embarks on various major innovation and technology initiatives.
Intensive and goal-oriented incubation in partnership with industry leaders
Start-ups putting the priority on R&D in the early development stage may overlook whether their projects meet market needs or industry development trends, which may result in slower commercialisation and funding progress. GAA aims to help start-ups effectively achieve the goal of commercialising their R&D.
During the 3-month intensive training programme, shortlisted start-ups will obtain targeted professional support from HKSTP and the designated partner. HKSTP will provide all entrepreneurial supports, including coaching on preparation of business proposal, all-round preparations for investment road-shows, pitching skills for business matching, legal and patent application consultation, sales and marketing, as well as marketing strategies.
On the other hand, the programme partner, with its industry expertise and extensive network, will provide strong technical and R&D supports and help start-ups grasp market trends and forecast so that they can effectively evaluate and fine-tune their R&D directions to achieve commercialisation.
Within the partnership framework of GAA, each partner company will provide participating start-ups with project idea validation. This unique element helps to ascertain in an early stage that the products meet market needs.
The programme will finish with a “Demo Day”, during which the participants will meet with potential business partners and investors to showcase their projects. It is also an opportunity for start-ups to win more support for commercialising their projects.
Kicking off with “AIEA-HKSTP IoT Accelerator”
IoT is the first theme under the GAA programme. HKSTP and ARM Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator ("ARM Accelerator") joined hands to launch “AIEA-HKSTP IoT Accelerator” in early April to kick off the programme. Nine start-ups have been admitted to the programme following enthusiastic response. The start-ups will meet with IoT experts of ARM Accelerator and China Mobile at their Chongqing offices for a one-week training. The training is also expected to familiarise the start-ups with the Mainland market.
Commenting on the launch of GAA, Mr Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP, said, “The launch of GAA is very meaningful. It marks another step forward in the Corporation’s efforts of incubating technology start-ups. Given our extensive experience in incubation programmes, we believe there will be more successful start-ups if their projects can converge with industry trends and market needs at an early stage. This also realises the potential economic benefits of entrepreneurship and will also contribute significantly to the development of the society as a whole.”
Mr Andy Chen, Chief Executive Officer of ARM Accelerator, said, “Technology-driven innovative companies in the smart devices and IoT areas are increasingly internationalised. ARM Accelerator aims at accelerating the development of innovative start-ups through facilitating connection between technology and market. Following the UK-China TechHUB Boot Camp 2016, we embark on ‘AIEA-HKSTP IoT Accelerator’ with HKSTP, leveraging our mutual advantages on technology, industry and location to fuel the growth of start-ups through a comprehensive and focused service platform supported by our integrated international resources and high-quality industry network.”
Three thematic programmes planned for global start-ups this year
HKSTP is actively working with other industry leaders with the goal of introducing no less than three thematic GAA programmes on e-commerce, robotics and clean tech during the year. HKSTP will work with overseas incubation programme partners to recruit start-ups globally for the programmes.
“In the area of innovation and technology, Hong Kong is presented with unprecedented opportunities. The Corporation believes that it is vital to lay a strong foundation for future development, by strengthening Hong Kong’s R&D ecosystem, expanding our R&D talent pool, attracting more start-ups to use Hong Kong as a base for the mature stages of R&D and commercialisation, pulling in multinationals to set up R&D hubs in Hong Kong, and creating the right conditions to facilitate advance manufacturing in Hong Kong. The Academy is a programme for global start-ups as well as a platform closely linked to the industry. I expect the success of this programme will generate greater impetus for Hong Kong’s future development,” Mr Wong added.