INTRODUCTION

 

The HKU Entrepreneurship Engine Fund (EEF) marks a monumental step for The University of Hong Kong in nurturing entrepreneurial minds and translating disruptive technologies into meaningful societal impact through investment. Collaborating with investors and stakeholders, this new fund will serve as patient capital, seeding deep tech ventures and accelerating promising start-ups.

 

Collaborating with venture capital (VC) institutions is crucial to the HKU EEF. VC firms can partner with the HKU EEF through various partnership models, including as a Co-branded Joint Fund Partner, Lead Investment Partner, or Ecosystem Co-builder.

 

HKU Entrepreneurship Engine Fund (EEF) is calling for 1st cohort of partnership proposals by March 8, 2024.

 

Partnership Options

Option 1: Co-branded Joint Fund Partner:

A Co-branded Joint Fund Partner will serve as the General Partner (GP) or Investment Manager (IM) for its proposed Co-branded Joint Fund (JF) within the EEF framework. The proposed fund’s size must be a minimum of HK$200 million to ensure cost-effectiveness. HKU is open to participation in the proposed JF as the cornerstone LP, subject to other conditions and legal agreements.

Option 2: Lead Investment Partner:

A Lead Investment Partner will serve as the GP or IM of an existing private investment fund which will be selected as the Lead-investment Partner Fund (LPF) of the EEF. HKU is open to participation in the proposed LPF as a special LP, subject to other conditions and legal agreements.

Option 3: Ecosystem Co-Builder:

An Ecosystem Co-Builder will contribute to the entrepreneurship development of the HKU without financial commitments.

Basic Requirements

EEF Partners must fulfil the following:

 

  • Venture Capital Proficiency: Demonstrated success in VC fund management, showcasing satisfactory financial returns, with a preference for expertise in early-stage investments.
  • Experienced Investment Team: The core investment team possesses deep experience in financing and nurturing deep tech start-ups, highlighting a robust capability in growth facilitation.
  • University Collaboration Success: Proven effectiveness in supporting university-affiliated academic entrepreneurs with a portfolio of successful cases.
  • Fundraising and Investor Management: Proficient in raising capital for investment funds and adept in managing investor relationships, especially with university endowments and government entities.
  • Ethical Integrity and Reputation: Solid ethical principles and a dedication to social responsibility, underscored by a broadly acknowledged positive reputation.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

Two-Envelope Method

To ensure a fair, transparent, and comprehensive evaluation process that prioritises the quality and technical merits of proposals ahead of financial considerations, bidders must submit their proposals in two distinct, sealed envelopes: one for the technical proposal and another for the financial proposal.

For detailed proposal requirements, please contact Senior Manager, Patrick Chen Qi Ming, at patrick.chen@hku.hk.

Proposal Submission

Proposals are expected to be submitted before 13:00, March 8 2024 (Friday) by mail to the contact office as below:

Address: G.02, Run Run Shaw Building, The University of Hong Kong
Contact: Patrick Chen Qi Ming
Telephone Number: +852-39102243
E-Mail: patrick.chen@hku.hk

 Late submission will NOT be considered in this batch of partnership solicitation.

EVALUATION PROCEDURE

Technical Evaluation

The technical proposals (first envelope) are opened and evaluated by the evaluation board against predefined criteria, without any reference to the price. This phase focuses on the technical capabilities, experience, quality of the solution, and adherence to the project’s specifications. Bidders that do not meet the minimum technical requirements or scores are disqualified from further consideration.

Financial Evaluation

Once the technical evaluation is complete and the technically qualified or highest-scoring bidders are identified, the financial proposals (second envelope) of these bidders are opened. The evaluation at this stage looks at the financial aspects of the proposals, comparing the financial bids of the technically qualified bidders.

Due Diligence and Agreements

The decision for partnership is made after a holistic review of both technical and financial proposals. HKU will establish a task force to engage in deeper due diligence with the chosen partner and negotiate detailed agreements.

OTHER INFORMATION

Confidentiality Obligation

All information provided by TEC in connection with HKU EEF (including this invitation) is confidential and shall be kept strictly confidential. Parties who receive this invitation and the related confidential information shall establish and maintain all necessary security measures and procedures for the safe custody of all confidential information.

Use of Term "Partnership"

The term “partnership” referenced in this invitation is used as a generic term and by no means carries any formal legal implications.

Reservation of Rights

TEC/HKU is not bound to accept proposals submitted. TEC/HKU reserves all the rights to (i) decide whether to further proceed with the potential cooperation and (ii) negotiate further with interested bidders about the terms of cooperation.

Non-Binding Nature of Invitation

This invitation is only an expression of interest to potential cooperation and is not intended to create any legally binding contractual or financial commitment on the parties except the confidentiality obligation.