HKU Annual Report 2023

25 24 HKU ANNUAL REPORT 2023 ADDING VALUE THE TEC: INNOVATION HUB Innovation support at HKU has until recently been scattered across a variety of programmes and centres. To consolidate that support, boost entrepreneurship and promote an innovation culture among both students and staff, the new TechnoEntrepreneurship Core (TEC) was launched at the DreamOn event in June. The Technology Transfer Office, which deals with commercialisation, has also moved to the Main Campus to be closer to researchers and research administrators. The TEC is a central platform hub that offers pathways to funding and other resources, creates opportunities for researchers, students and alumni to connect with each other and industry, and provides training and other support. It also encourages the formation of deep-tech start-ups through its management of the new DeepTech 100 incubation programme, which was launched in October 2022 with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to provide up to HK$1.39 million in funding and mentorship to 100 young start-ups within three years. The TEC also manages the iDendron and new Start-up Connector programmes that are pitched at students and alumni, and runs programmes such as the Entrepreneurship Academy which trains hundreds of students and alumni each year. A series of innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives including the official debut of Techno-Entrepreneurship Core were announced at the HKU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day: DreamOn 2023. OriginAI serves as a one-click solution for the needs of social media content creators, e-commerce managers and more. Dr Stella Wong Yat Kwan completed her PhD in Chinese Medicine in 2021 and almost immediately stepped into the start-up world. She has applied her know-how to improve the quality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) through microbial fermentation technology to extract herbal compounds. Her startup, Lectcha Kombucha, has developed a number of products and is working towards commercialisation, and it was selected for the DeepTech 100 programme in early 2023. Tiger Bi Hu, a third-year student from the Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Global Management programme, founded the company OriginAI with four fellow students in February 2023. It aims to be a one-click solution powered by AI to provide content generation, marketing and other services for social media creators, e-commerce practitioners and businesses. “The Start-up Connector programme has been a valuable channel to help us understand the start-up ecosystem at HKU and the resources available to us, and it’s connected us with other potential start-ups,” said Tiger. They have also had support from the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub. OriginAI recently launched and has more than 400 registered users. DEEPTECH TCM AI VENTURE BENEFITS FROM START-UP CONNECTOR “ WE HAVE NOW BEEN CONNECTED TO MANY SUPPORTIVE INVESTORS AND OPPORTUNITIES AND WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING WITH AN INVESTOR INTRODUCED TO US AT THE DREAMON EVENT ON A NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. ” 21 START-UPS ADMITTED TO FIRST COHORT OF HKU DEEPTECH 100 IN JANUARY 2023 DR STELLA WONG YAT KWAN