Programme Guidelines

Please read this Guides and Notes carefully before submitting your application. Feel free to contact the iDendron management team via if you have any queries in the application.


1 Introduction


1.1   iDendron was founded in Oct 2017 as HKU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. Since its opening in Oct 2017, it hosted 51 companies in its SEED programme and engaged more than 6,000 participants over 80 events. It also represented HKU to receive over 100 global visitors across mainland China, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, United States etc. iDendron has become the icon of HKU’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship initiatives. The flagship projects such as Entrepreneurship Academy, DreamCatchers 100K and Medtech-Hackathon have become iconic HKU projects that have engaged alumni and external mentors. As of Dec 2018, the accumulated investment and grants secured by iDendron teams amounts to HKD 15.9 million.


1.2   To keep up the momentum and cope with ever increasing demands for next level of performances, we are therefore proposing iDendron 2.0: iDendron Incubation Programme (iIP) that focusing on the growth and development of iDendron startups.


2 Eligibility


  • Startup companies with at least 20% ownership by faculty member, staff, student, or HKU alumni.
  • High potential early-stage startups with a minimum viable product.
  • A company registered and incorporated in Hong Kong for less than 3 years as of the date of the application deadline.


3 Project Nature


3.1   Projects must be rooted in digital tech-related areas.


3.2  The iDendron management team and/or the Vetting Team reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion, to define and decide on whether a Project satisfies the requirement stated in 2.1.


4 Participation in other funding programmes


4.1   Applicants should make a true, full and accurate disclosure of their proposed or similar digital tech projects participated in all other publicly and/or privately funded programmes including, but not limiting to:


4.2   All applications made by the applicant (or any company established by the applicant) in progress to such programmes;


4.3   All admissions of the applicant (or any company established by the applicant) to such programmes;


4.4   All grants or funding received by the applicant (or any company established by the applicant) in the past 12 months prior to the date of submission of the Programme application and the scope of expenditure for such grants or funding;


4.5   All grants or funding which the applicant (or any company established by the applicant) anticipates to receive or becomes entitled to receive in the 12 months after the date of submission and the scope of expenditure for such grants or funding; and


4.6   If the applicant is a company, disclosure of 3.1.1 to 3.1.4 extend to similar digital tech projects participated by the directors and shareholders of the applicant.


4.7   Applicants should, at any time when requested, provide evidence of payments made or received in respect of such publicly and/or privately funded programmes.


4.8    Applicants should inform iDendron immediately if there are any subsequent changes to the above information (and when requested, provide evidence of payments made or received in respect of such programmes after the date of submission).


5 Application Process


5.1   Application Form

  • Applicants are required to submit online applications via with supporting documents (whenever required).
  • The online application should be completed by the principal applicant (in case of non-company applicant) or the director or a shareholder of the applicant (in case of a company). Otherwise, it will not be processed.


5.2   Screening of Applications

  • Only short-listed companies will be invited to make a presentation to the vetting committee.


6 Vetting of Application


6.1   Vetting Criteria and Weighting


All applications will be assessed by the iDendron management team based on


(i) Product/Services: addressing critical need, disruptive advantage over competition, available market size, degree of technology viability.


(ii) Management Team: commitment of management team, marketing & sales expertise or access, founders’ relevant experience and skill sets, personal strengths and weaknesses, team’s diversity and completeness.


(iii) Financial Plan: clearly structured and phased developments, identification of critical weakness at each phase, financial estimates for each phase realistic.


(iv) Market Positioning: appealing value proposition for targeted customers, identification of product features, competitive difference from market leaders;


(v) Business model: feasibility of pricing strategy, identification of first and second adopter groups, feasibility of sales channels, partnership plans, cash-flow viability.


6.2   Final funding decision is subject to the Vetting Team’s evaluation. No appeal or request for explanation of the decision will be considered.


7 Result Announcement


7.1   Email notifications shall be sent to the applicants on the final vetting result, which is subject to the final reference check by the iDendron.


7.2   The process takes around 14 to 21 business days.


8 Acceptance of Offer for Admission


8.1    Successful applicants will become the Incubatee, who shall then sign and return the iDendron Incubation Programme Agreement and T&C to confirm the acceptance of the offer for admission to the Programme within 7 calendar days of the date of the Result Announcement.


8.2   If iDendron does not receive the signed iDendron Incubation Programme Agreement and T&C from the successful applicants within the time frame stated above, iDendron shall assume that the applicants have withdrawn their applications. The subject application will be dismissed without further notice.


8.3   There shall be no binding agreement unless and until the agreement and T&C is signed.


9 Authorized Designation and Services Provided by the University


9.1   During the incubation period after acceptance into the Program, accepted companies will be given free designation workspaces at HKU iDendron.


9.2 Upon the completion of the incubation period, the membership will be expired and incubatees are expected to move out from the workspace. If you wish to stay at iDendron, please submit an application at least 1 month before the end of the programme.


9.3   The University reserves the right to revoke any licence granted to use such designations at its own discretion. Accepted companies are not entitled to use any trade marks or other intellectual property of the University.


9.4   Accepted companies will receive resources and services from the University, which may include the following (subject to periodic amendment):

A. Seed Fund:

Incubatees will have a chance to receive up to HKD500,000 investment in return of equity. The fund will be distributed in 2 instalments: (i) at the start of the programme (ii) mid-term, after completing the agreed KPIs.


B.  On-Campus incubator services:

  • Free use of iDendron workspace, meeting rooms and event space: iDendron incubatees will be given up to 5 workspaces for a period of up to 6 months, according to the no. of team members.
  • Exemption from supplementary charges for basic utilities (lighting, air conditioning and electrical supply);
  • Access to photocopier: operating costs paid by the incubated companies.
  • Free flow of coffee and tea.
  • Campus temporary access card for each staff member.


C.  Access to Network

  • Access to our mentors for advice and guidance
  • Introductions to potential investors, venture capital companies and partners.


D.  Outreach Opportunity

  • Discounted rates or free tickets for attending local and overseas competitions and exhibitions.
  • Field trips to explore overseas and regional market and get connected with the local contacts of startup ecosystem.


E.  Business Support

  • Discounted rates or free when applicable for all services and programs provided by us or our program partners


F.  Public exposure

  • Regular open pitch events, demo days, and exhibitions will be organized.
  • Articles and stories on company’s achievements will be featured in HKU newsletters, website and other relevant channels.
  • Opportunity to connect with medias.


9.5   Accepted companies must not use any facilities or resources of the University without prior approval or without making additional payment, as may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


9.6   During the incubation period in the iDendron workspace, a company must not use the occupied space (a) solely as a sales and marketing office, or (b) to pursue any retail activity or mass production.


10 Probity Policy for Applicants/ Incubatees


To ensure openness, fairness and integrity of the Programme, each applicant/ Incubatee shall:-


10.1   Observe the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Hong Kong Legislation – Cap. 201) and shall advise its employees, agents, subcontractors and other personnel who are in any way involved in its application/project (the “Personnel”) that they shall observe the same and that they are not allowed to offer to or solicit or accept from any person any advantages as defined in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in relation to the application/project;


10.2   Not offer or give or agree to give any person employed by the University of Hong Kong, the members of the Vetting Team or acting on its behalf, any gift or consideration of any kind as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do or for having done or forborne to do any act in relation to the Programme or for showing or forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the Programme;


10.3   Promptly declare and notify the iDendron management team in writing of any potential or actual conflict of interests upon becoming aware of the same. “Conflict of interests” shall include (but are not limited to) any situation where the personal/financial interest of an applicant/incubatee or its Personnel, conflict or compete, or may be expected to conflict or compete, with the role, duties and/or impartiality of such applicant/incubatee or Personnel under the Programme;


10.4   Use the services prudently, efficiently and solely for the purpose of the project approved under the Programme;


10.5   Abide by the principles of openness, fairness and competitiveness in the procurement of any goods/services in connection with the Programme;


10.6   Take all necessary measures (including by way of a code of conduct or contractual provisions) to ensure that its Personnel are aware of and comply with the requirements under this Policy.

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