KUALA LUMPUR: City University of Hong Kong launched its inaugural HK Tech 300 Southeast Asia Start-Up Competition (HK Tech 300 SEA Competition), in a glittering ceremony here honored by Malaysian government officials, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), eminent SEA partner universities and local chambers of commerce.

Building on the success of HK Tech 300, a flagship innovation and entrepreneurship programme in Hong Kong with a total commitment of HK$600 million (MYR340 million), the programme has now expanded to SEA.

“We are thrilled to expand our successful HK Tech 300 initiative to SEA,” said Professor Way Kuo, Emeritus President and University Distinguished Professor at City University of Hong Kong.

“This Competition presents a unique opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in the region to gain exposure and secure funding for their project, and will help translate City University of Hong Kong’s outstanding research into applications, which can have a transformative impact on the entrepreneurship landscape here.”

“We are excited to witness the positive impact of HK Tech 300 on the region and are committed to supporting and empowering innovative ideas in this part of the world,” said Professor Way Kuo.

$!(From left) Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Morshidi Sirat; YB Dato’ HJ. Mohammad Yusof Bin Apdal, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia; Professor Way Kuo and Professor Michael Yang Mengsu of City University of Hong Kong at the networking session before the HK Tech 300 SEA Competition Launch Ceremony.

The HK Tech 300 SEA Competition, to be held in partnership with prestigious universities and incubators in the region, including Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) from Brunei, Chulalongkorn University from Thailand, MDEC, Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (SIDEC), and chambers of commerce, for the first time in this part of Asia.

Through the various partners and organizations, the Competition is aimed at attracting the best start-ups and talent in the region.

The top 10 winners will be the recipients of an Angel Fund Investment of up to HK$1 million (MYR565,000), boosting their entrepreneurial endeavours, and the success of their start-up.

Under the theme, “Venture Beyond Boundaries”, HK Tech 300 SEA Competition plans to emulate its Hong Kong success by offering the opportunity to talented individuals and entrepreneurs in SEA, and support the SEA start-ups in expanding their business in Hong Kong, Mainland China and beyond.

Datuk Seri Khaled Mohammed Nordin, the Minister of Higher Education Malaysia, represented by Emeritius Professor Dato’ Dr Morshidi Sirat, Higher Education Adviser to the Minister at the launch said, “A thriving small and medium enterprise (SME) and start-up ecosystem is essential for sustainable digital development.

The Malaysian government welcomes the City University of Hong Kong’s decision to launch this regional edition of HK Tech 300 in Malaysia, as it demonstrates the success of Malaysia’s efforts to accelerate the digital economy and produce knowledgeable graduates with excellent marketability.”

“I believe the exposure and guidance they will receive from the Competition will enable them to contribute to the expanding digital ecosystem,” said Khaled.

Since its launch in March 2021, the HK Tech 300 programme has made great achievements towards its goal of creating 300 start-ups within 3 years. The programme translates as a strategic move by City University of Hong Kong to utilize its groundbreaking research results and intellectual property into practical applications.

The programme provides valuable opportunities for young talent and aspiring entrepreneurs to bring their start-ups to the international arena, and the university has added an additional HK$100 million (MYR56.5 million) to further support the programme.

HK Tech 300 has successfully provided funding for over 560 start-up teams, each received a seed fund of HK$100,000 (MYR56,500), and more than 110 start-ups received up to HK$1 million (MYR565,000) in Angel Fund Investment.

With the launch of the HK Tech 300 SEA competition this year, it is expected this will attract talented entrepreneurs to participate and if chosen, be able to fund their start-ups and contribute to the growth of new technology and innovation in their own countries, in the region and beyond.

For more information, visit www.cityu.edu.hk/hktech300/seasia