The Next Big Thing

45 firms graduate from HKSTP start-up programme, more than double previous year

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 March, 2015, 1:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 March, 2015, 1:14pm

More than 40 start-ups spanning entertainment to healthcare graduated from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation's three flagship incubation programmes yesterday.

A total of 45 firms graduated from the 2014/2015 HKSTP programmes, double the number from the previous year.

“As one of the advocates to steer Hong Kong’s innovation and technology industry, we are excited to see our incubatees grow and flourish through the Incubation Programmes,” said Allen Ma, chief executive officer of HKSTP.

The park’s three incubation programmes Incu-tech, Incu-app and Incu-bio offer support to start-ups in the fields of general technology, web and mobile, and biotechnology respectively.

Start-ups are given access to subsidised offices, assistance with business plans, access to potential investors, and collaboration with universities.

Graduate Vitargent Ltd uses fish embryos to test for toxic substances in food and skin care products, offering screening for 1,000 toxins at one time.

Earlier this month, Vitargent received major funding from venture capital firm WI Harper Group.

More than 500 technology start-ups have received help through HKSTP’s incubation programmes, according to Allen Yeung, the park’s chief corporate development officer.

Overall, the start-ups have raised HK$935 million in funding, won 300 industry awards and registered almost 800 IPs and patents with the assistance of the programmes.

A week-long exhibition entitled “Innovation for Good” held at Science Park Phase 3 showcases the inventions of 17 of the graduating startups. The display, which includes a robotic hand designed for stroke rehabilitation created by Rehab Robotics Company Limited, runs until March 30.

Alongside the graduation ceremony, HKSTP announced partnerships with Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, Hong Kong Computer Society and the Airport Authority Hong Kong to boost business and mentorship opportunities for start-ups.

“We hope that mentors could lead the incubutees of HKSTP to explore ICT and facilitate their personal growth in order to maintain a sustainable talent cultivation ecosystem,” said Andy C Bien, vice president of the Hong Kong Computer Society.

Incu-Tech graduate from last year, Insight Robotics, which designs fire detecting robots won Entrepreneur of the Year at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals in Las Vegas in February.

Insight Robotics fire detecting robots have been used to protect ecosystems in Guangdong since 2010.

Meanwhile, Invest Hong Kong announced yesterday that United States-based financial technology company Perseus will open its regional headquarters in Hong Kong to help gain a foothold in the mainland Chinese market.

Perseus was one of the grand prizewinners of Invest Hong Kong’s 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme.

“The Asian markets have been growing exponentially and their opportunities are prevalent,” said Perseus CEO Dr Jock Percy.

“Hong Kong is at the centre of that growth and Perseus has been planning for several years to expand our operations in the city to capitalise on this potential.”