HK govt sets ups $256m innovation fund

Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Commission will co-invest up to $50m alongside venture capital firms to back tech-focused companies.

Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Commission has established a HK$2 billion ($256 million; €214 million) fund to attract private capital to invest in local start-ups.

Through the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF), the government will co-invest alongside Hong Kong-based or overseas venture firms interested in supporting local start-ups, according to a statement.

For each venture capital firm, the maximum amount of matching investments is capped at HK$400 million. The selection of funds will be based on a number of criteria as well as the recommendation of an independent advisory committee comprising veterans from the business and investment sectors, professionals and academics. Members of ITVF’s investment committee have yet to be named.

The ITVF is open for applications until 15 January 2018.

ITVF is similar to initiatives rolled out by the Chinese and Singapore governments in the last year that aim to stimulate the development of local companies.

Singapore’s Makara Innovation Fund, which was launched in May this year with S$1 billion ($717 million; €657 million) in funding, will target high-growth companies with strong intellectual property and proven business models that use Singapore as a base for their growth and cross-border expansion.

Meanwhile China’s 200 billion yuan ($30 billion; €25 billion) venture fund, which was established in September last year, hopes to spur innovation and upgrading of its state-owned enterprises.