Breathing Life into Business Ideas

Three teams comprising students, alumni and staff of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) stood out among over 100 competing teams and garnered the top three prizes in the HKUST-Sino One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition 2019 (competition). They will compete with the finalists from six different cities in the Grand Final to be held in Nansha in September.

The competition – now in its ninth year – attracted as many as 117 participating teams, up by more than 15 per cent over the previous year. While the competition continues to gain popularity among HKUST and other community members, it has also fostered diversity by launching an Online Matching Platform since last year. Helping interested participants match themselves across and outside of Hong Kong, the feature encourages young entrepreneurs with different backgrounds to exchange ideas. This year, fifteen percent of the teams identified their members through the platform.

For the first time, the top 6 teams entering the Final Round will be invited to join the Science and Technology Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) organized by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP). STEP is a one-year program designed to nurture tech-focused entrepreneurs to become successful startups and help turn their innovative ideas into reality.

Horizon Biochip – a company consisting of students and graduates from HKUST and Xiamen University, took the President Award this year with the technology Cryochip. Cryochip automates and standardizes the process of embryos vitrification – a crucial step in the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure that freezes embryos for later use. The new technology reduces the dependence on the level of technician skills and the chance of human error, effectively boosting the success rate of vitrification. The innovation also won the GF Innovation Award and Focus Area Awards (Healthcare Prize).

Deltron Intelligence Technology Holdings Ltd. – which develops a multi spectrum sensor for agricultural purposes – won the Gold Award and Focus Area Award (Robotics & AI Prize). The sensor is a non-invasive technology that allows efficient selection of fruits according to their sweetness and ripeness level, thereby facilitating standardization and productivity of fruits in Mainland China. Meanwhile, Quommni Technologies L.L.C. received the Silver Award with its creation of a point-of-care assay that can detect up to 100 infectious disease pathogens, including tuberculosis, measles, influenza and African swine fever virus. The detection can be achieved in a nasal swab, saliva or blood sample within 30 minutes, it’s not only cheaper than the traditional systems, but also much faster than the current procedure which may take a few hours or even a couple of days.

Mr. Andrew YOUNG, Associate Director (Innovation) of Sino Group, said, ‘Sino Group is committed to supporting innovation and technology as it is central to what we care. We take a holistic approach to support Hong Kong’s growth into an international innovation and technology hub. We are delighted to support this inspiring initiative, the second consecutive year of our participation, to provide students and alumni of HKUST with an integrated learning experience to prepare themselves in entrepreneurship. We would like to extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes to the three winning teams in the Grand Final, and we look forward to seeing the entrepreneurial ideas turn into real products and services.’

Prof. Gary CHAN, Director of HKUST’s Entrepreneurship Center, said: “We are proud to see the steady increase in student interest in entrepreneurship. This year, we are particularly excited to see so many innovative ideas with high quality business proposals and execution plans. With continual support from our industrial partners and government, our Center will continue to nurture our youths to create economic, social and cultural values for the society.”

To learn more about the HKUST-Sino One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition 2019, please visit:

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is ranked as the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2019. Its graduates were ranked 16th worldwide and top in Greater China in Global Employability University Survey 2018.

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