• PolyU Maker Fund Programme 2021

    Activities Highlights

  • Programme Overview



    PolyU Maker Fund Programme (the "Programme") aims to accelerate local hardware start-ups’ product development from ideas to production, leveraging the manufacturing capabilities of Shenzhen and other Greater Bay Area (GBA) cities.


    Compared with software/app development, hardware development requires much more time and capital resources, specific knowledge and skills on electronic and mechanical engineering, and industrial design, etc. It also involves a long iterative process from idea to a marketable product. Hardware start-ups, usually with limited resources and few orders, have been facing tremendous difficulties.


    In view of this, PolyU has tailor-made this Programme for Hong Kong young makers, by leveraging its own expertise and resources as well as partners’ network and through the support of the Youth Development Fund (YDF) (Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area) under the administration of Youth Development Commission of Home Affairs Bureau. (Please visit the website of 青創同行We Venturefor more details).

    PolyU Maker Fund Programme is managed by Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office (formerly known as Institute for Entrepreneurship) of PolyU, for more details about the entrepreneurship support and funding schemes offered by KTEO, please click here.



    • To support innovation and entrepreneurship endeavours of Hong Kong youth;
    • To facilitate and accelerate the idea-to-product process of Hong Kong young makers with seed funding and manufacturing capabilities in GBA cities (e.g. Shenzhen, Dongguan, etc.); and
    • To incubate and connect Hong Kong hardware start-ups with different resources in GBA cities (e.g. government resources, manufacturers, investors and accelerators matching).
  • Programme Design & Schedule

    PolyU Maker Fund - Open to All


    All Hong Kong youths (can be PolyU or non-PolyU members), with or without a concrete idea for a hardware/product, are welcome to apply for this Programme and join a Hardware Bootcamp (3 days) as an individual or in a group. An individual Applicant can choose to form a team with other Applicant(s) on the first day of Hardware Bootcamp, and all the teams will undergo the First Assessment at the end of the Bootcamp. The shortlisted teams will then go through the “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) development and market validation training (3 weekends) before the Final Assessment. Twelve teams will be selected ultimately to enjoy a 24-month incubation and funding support.



    PolyU Makerthon - Current PolyU Students Only


    PolyU Makerthon is a 3-day ideation event exclusive to current PolyU students (full-time or part-time, include HKCC and SPEED) under Maker Fund Programme. The teams shortlisted in Makerthon will enjoy prototyping fund support, one on one mentorship and direct entry to MVP & Market Validation Training.



    Mid Apr

    .....Application Opening

    11 Jun

    .....Online Briefing Session

    9 Jul

    .....Application Deadline

    Mid Jul

    .....Announcement of Eligible Applicants/Teams

    6-8 Aug

    .....Hardware Bootcamp & First Assessment (Announcement of Shortlisted Teams)

    4-5, 11-12, 18-19 Sep .

    .....MVP & Market Validation Training (3 weekends)

    29 Sep

    .....Demo Day & Final Assessment

    Early Oct

    .....Announcement of Result

  • Seed Funding


    Funding Support of HK$600,000



    With the support of the Youth Development Fund (YDF) (Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area) under the administration of the Youth Development Commission of Home Affairs Bureau, each shortlisted hardware start-up team in the Final Assessment will be eligible for fund support of HK$600,000 in total in a period of two years, disbursed by instalments throughout the 24-month funding period.



  • Incubation Support


    Hardware Bootcamp


    It is a 3-day hackathon. Hackathon servers as an effective format to assess the potential of the participants. They are asked to come up with tech-enabled solutions towards real world problems. Team formation on the first day allows individual applicant to choose to form a team with other applicant(s).


    The design of the hackathon will allow assessors to evaluate elements such as:

    • Adaptability
    • Critical Thinking
    • Collaboration
    • Communication Skills
    • Leadership
    • Problem-solution Fit








    Incubation Support


    MVP & Market Validation Training


    The training is an intensive, six-day session, spread over three weekends. The objectives are:

    • Cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset for startup teams as they build their hardware ventures
    • Refine their venture through customer validation techniques, creating solutions supported by tangible prototypes, and developing viable business plans
    • Equip participants with pitch-ready skills and tolls in preparation for Demo Day

    The training in this workshop is highly interactive, with in-session exercises that will help teams apply new frameworks and skills to move their venture projects forward.






    **A Demo Day will follow upon the completion of training. The teams will present their proposals to the panel judges on Demo Day.

    Incubation Support


    PolyU Lean LaunchPad Programme (PolyU LLP)


    Modelled after similar programmes from the US National Science Foundation I-Corps and Lean LaunchPad Singapore, PolyU LLP Programme is a 10-week evidence-based journey that helps research and start-up teams uncover the market and application potential of their scientific research through rigorous market validation and guidance from experienced industry mentors.


    With the guidance of industry advisors and mentors, the participating teams will conduct extensive market research with stakeholders to gain necessary business knowledge and real market insights, as well as to discover the ways to commercialise their research technologies through this experiential learning programme


    Please visit the website of PolyU LLP for more details.


    Incubation Support


    Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs)


    PolyU has engaged mentors and entrepreneurs-in-residence who are experienced entrepreneurs, investors, industrialists and start-up coaches to provide one-to-one professional advice and guidance to start-ups.


    Please visit the website of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) for more details.


    Incubation Support


    Other Support


  • Application




    All Hong Kong youths (can be PolyU or non-PolyU members), with or without a concrete idea for a hardware/product, are welcome to apply for this Programme. Applicants can join as an individual or in a group, and an individual Applicant can choose to form a team with other applicant(s) during the Hardware Bootcamp. The Applicant MUST fulfil the following criteria:



    Basic requirements (as per YDF's requirements):

    • Aged between 18 and 40[1];
    • Holder of a valid Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card;
    • Applicants should have specific business plans/ideas in Hong Kong and/or Mainland GBA cities within one year or have been running their start-ups for not more than three years[1];
    • Applicants must not be subject to any bankruptcy orders or proceedings;
    • The proposed project should not have been under the support of the first round Entrepreneurship Matching Fund (EMF) under the Youth Development Fund (YDF);
    • The proposed project should not concurrently receive support from other NGOs under YDF’s sponsorship including but not limited to EMF and other entrepreneurial support and incubation services;
    • The proposed projects are not restricted to certain industries (businesses that are unlawful, illegal or involve tobacco, advocacy of gambling, obscenity, etc., will not be supported);
    • Funded youth start-ups should have business registration in Hong Kong and establish their businesses in Hong Kong and/or other GBA cities (such as the entrepreneurial bases therein);
    • If selected for funding, a start-up without business registration is subsequently required to register under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310); and
    • All partners or shareholders must be co-applicants and invariably comply with the above requirements if the business is registered as a partnership or limited company.


    All teams in the First Assessment and Final Assessment can comprise single or multiple members, but the teams shortlisted for the funding support MUST fulfil the following requirements during the funding period:

    • Each team must be represented by a Principal Applicant (PA) who MUST BE a PolyU member (current full-time or part-time student[2], alumni or staff[3] from PolyU, HKCC and SPEED);
    • If registered, the company in Hong Kong must be within three years upon the Application Deadline;
    • PA must own at least 20%[4] equity shares of the company.


    [1]Upon the Application Deadline.


    [2]Except students from distance learning programmes. Current research postgraduate student shall check with Research Office if any approval is necessary prior to application.


    [3]Current PolyU staff is eligible to apply for the Programme as PA or team member, however if the PolyU staff's team is shortlisted to be supported by the Fund, he/she shall not join the Funded Start-up as partner or shareholder unless Government agreed in writing. If he/she wishes to be a PA or team member in the Funded Start-up while keeping his/her employment, he or she shouldl seek the University’s approval, subject to pertinent policies and regulations governing knowledge transfer and outside activities.


    [4]In the sole opinion of PolyU, key management position usually should be evidenced by 20% or more ownership, in the form of equity shares or share options in the Funded Start-up.


  • Application Submission


    The Applicant shall complete an online form and submit on or before the Application Deadline stipulated below.



    **Please note that after team formation (if necessary) during the first day of Hardware Bootcamp, all the teams will be required to submit the information and documents below through an online application system before the First Assessment:

    1. CVs of all team members, which state their academic qualification (college/ institution attended and period thereof) and detailed working experience (position held, responsibility and period thereof);
    2. Scanned copy of Hong Kong Identity Card (both sides) of all team members;
    3. Proof document(s) of relationship between the PA and PolyU;
    4. Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate (“BR”), if applicable;
    5. Certificate of Incorporation (“CI”), if applicable ;
    6. Latest Annual Return/ Incorporation Form (NAR1 or NNC1)/ other acceptable documents showing the present directors and shareholders, if applicable;
    7. Copy of certificate(s) of filing/ grant of patent(s), if applicable; 
    8. Declaration of "Use of PolyU Knowledge/ Innovations/ Technologies", if applicable; and
    9. Copy of the agreement between the Applicant and third parties on the sharing of the royalties or intellectual property rights or any other sorts of income to be generated from the Applicant, if any.
  • Application Deadline


    9 July 2021 (Fri) 1:00pm

  • Assessment

    First Assessment


    It will be carried out after the Bootcamp to select shortlisted teams. The judging panel of the First Assessment is composed of representatives of PolyU and its collaborating partners.



    Final Assessment


    A Final Assessment will be held after the Training. All shortlisted teams will be invited to present their business ideas and demonstrate their products to the judges. The judging panel of the Final Assessment is composed of representatives from different industry sectors with vast experience on technology inventions, incubation and investment.


    The panel judges will consider and assess applications with the following qualitative criteria to make the funding decisions:

    • (Technology) Innovation & Creativity;
    • Business Model & Commercial Viability;
    • Applicant’s Experience & Capabilities;
    • Potential Impact to Industry & Society; and
    • Presentation & Interview Performance.