Last year, Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport), which is wholly owned by the Government, allocated $200 million to set up the Cyberport Macro Fund (CMF) to provide development capital for local digital technology start-ups. CMF has been open for application since August last year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of applications received by CMF since its inception, the number and percentage of applications approved, as well as the average amount of the fund granted to each approved case;
(2) of the administrative costs incurred since CMF’s inception and the existing staff establishment for supporting its operation;
(3) how the Government evaluates the effectiveness of CMF; whether the Government and Cyberport have any plan to inject funds into CMF in the coming three years; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) whether it has explored ways to further assist local start-ups in business development in the coming three years, including providing such companies with training in corporate management and patent applications?
Cyberport has been providing financial and professional support to start-ups at different stages of their development. This includes funding start-ups to turn innovative ideas into prototypes and physical products, and, through its incubation programme and accelerator support programmes, assisting start-ups in formulating marketing plans, raising funds and exploring local and overseas markets. The 2016 Policy Address has introduced a series of initiatives to promote innovation and technology development. These include setting up a $200 million Cyberport Macro Fund to invest in information and communications technology start-ups in Cyberport by providing them with seed to Series A funding, thereby fostering the development of venture capital and angel investments in Hong Kong.
My reply to the four parts of the question is as follows:
(1) Since the launch of the CMF in August 2016, a total of around 100 applications have been received up to the end-March 2017, and assessment of the applications is underway. Cyberport has in principle approved the first application and will announce the details after both parties have completed the relevant procedures;
(2) Cyberport handles the work relating to the CMF with its own resources. No government manpower or expenditure is involved;
(3) After the CMF has approved more applications and has operated for some time, Cyberport will review its operation and effectiveness, and will consider whether additional resources should be allocated in future; and
(4) Cyberport will continue to identify more start-ups with potential and capability and, through its incubation programme and other measures, provide them with comprehensive financial, technical and business support, including marketing, patent application, training and hiring of interns, etc, to assist them in further development.