In 2014/15, a new Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU), under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) was launched by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), with the below objectives:

  • to encourage our students and faculties to start up technology businesses and commercialise their research and development (R&D) results

  • to provide better support for technology start-ups to translate new ideas into business opportunities


ITC will provide an annual funding of up to HK$8 million to each university on a reimbursement basis for expenses incurred by the University recommended technology start-ups. To further strengthen the support for start-ups, in addition to the original component of the Scheme (which will be termed “TSSSU O” hereafter), an enhancement measure will be introduced with effect from 2023-24 to provide dollar-to-dollar matching funds to those start-ups which have demonstrated good growth potential through securing investment from private sector (which will be termed “TSSSU+” hereafter). In other words, TSSSU will comprise TSSSU O and TSSSU+ starting from 2023 24, the annual funding of up to HK$16 million is provided to the University. An overview is illustrated below for reference.





(a) Annual funding ceiling for each university

  • HK$8 million
  • HK$8 million

(b) Annual funding ceiling for each start-up

  • HK$1.5 million
  • HK$1.5 million

(c) Maximum number of funding years for each start-up

  • 3 consecutive years[1], provided that the respective start-up has not been funded under TSSSU+.
  • 3 consecutive years, same as TSSSU‑O.


[1]  If a funded start-up has made reasonable progress in its R&D and/or business performance, the associated university may recommend such start-up for continued funding for the second or the third year.  The three-year period should count consecutively from the first year that a start-up is approved for TSSSU‑O or TSSSU+ funding.  If a start-up is first approved for funding in 2023-24 (Year One) and only applies for continued funding in 2025-26 (Year Three), it will not be eligible for seeking further funding in 2026-27 (Year Four).


1.    Eligibility:

The applicant technology start-up must be a company, regardless of size, registered under the Companies Ordinance. Details of the eligibility under TSSSU-O and TSSSU+ are as follows –





(a) Years of establishment

  • Registered for not more than two years as of the cut-off date: 1 February 2023.
  • The two-year eligibility requirement does not apply to a start-up which is recommended for TSSSU funding for the second or the third year.
  • Registered for not more than seven years as of the cut-off date: 1 February 2023.
  • The seven-year eligibility requirement does not apply to a start-up which is recommended for TSSSU+ funding for the second or the third year.

(b) Secured private investment

  • N/A
  • Start-ups should submit document proofs (e.g. agreement /letter of undertaking issued by the private investor etc. together with the applications.


2.    Assessment Criteria:

In assessing an application, the selection panel will take into account, including but not limited to, the following criteria:

  • Innovation and Technology Content of the Business
  • Capability of the Technology Start-up and its Team Composition to Undertake the R&D Work and Manage the Company
  • Commercial Viability and the Business and Technology Barrier
  • Social and/or Community Impact of the Technology Start-up’s Business and R&D Work
  • Business Plan Write-up / Completeness


3.    Selection Process:

  • Application package submission (Annex A and related supporting documents) on or before the deadline
  • Upon receiving the complete applications, the University will verify compliance with the eligibility requirements and shortlist the start-ups for selection panel interview
  • The shortlisted technology start-ups will be invited to give a presentation on their business plan, include their plan on the deployment of the funding if awarded, to the selection panel
  • Recommendations for start-ups will be made to ITC for final approval
  • Upon receiving ITC approval, the successfully recommended technology start-ups will be notified of the amount of funding support and the reimbursable period
  • A letter of agreement will be signed between the University designated unit and the approved technology start-ups after ITC notifies HKUST for the funding support.



*Note: Applicants for the 2023-24 financial year should note that the final funding requirements and related arrangements would be subjected to the final arrangement to be announced by ITC in due course.*


Interested applicants are highly recommended to sign up for the information session to understand more about TSSSU 2023/24, details are as follows.

Date: 29 September 2022 (Thu)

Time: 4:00 pm

Format: Zoom Webinar

Registration: Link

  1. Operation Plan of TSSSU 2023/24
  2. Application Package - Annex A
  3. CV Template - Annex A(i)
  4. Midterm/ Annual Report - Annex G
  5. Frequently asked questions - TSSSU FAQ
  6. Information Session - TSSSU Introduction

HKUST TSSSU 2023/24 Information Session

Applicants should complete the Application Package - Annex A, and submit together with the required documents, on or before the application deadline:


(852) 2358 5829
(852) 2358 1493