Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Program (EYE Program)
The Empowering Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) Program is a year-long entrepreneurship program launched by Google and Center for Entrepreneurship of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013. The initiative is inspired by the budding entrepreneurial environment in Hong Kong. We aim to encourage local youngsters to innovate and promote Hong Kong as a city for entrepreneurship.
In November 2013, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and CUHK Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung announced the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Program (EYE Program), then the program was kicked off in February 2014. Since then, we have witnessed how the program inspired and changed the lives of the entrepreneurs and their mentors, and hundreds more participants and people associated with the program. The dynamic of Hong Kong’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is changing.
EYE Program will continue in 2015 with the theme “Living in the Mobile-First World”. In Hong Kong, mobile first is very much a reality. There’s a new trend emerging – mobile only, with 14% of Hong Kong people are using smartphone only when they go online. This is a huge opportunity for startups and businesses to embrace mobile technology and make a difference in user lives. The 2015 program will build an even more connected network for startups and entrepreneurs, both locally and globally, encourage homegrown startups to think big and go beyond their comfort zones, empower startups with the potential to succeed, and match them with passionate mentors and enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness.
This year’s program is supported by Key Partners Cyberport and KPMG; as well as Strategic Partners including Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, ASTRI, Cherrypicks, CUHK EMBA Alumni Association, and StartupsHK.
Theme of EYE Program 2015: Living in the Mobile-First World
- Healthcare & Sports: to offer services related to our health, well-being, and physical activity; e.g. fitness facilitators, health diagnosis, medical treatment solutions
- Home & City: to support smart home solutions, to promote and offer environmentally-friendly and eco-conscious designs, and to enhance city life experience and the use of city’s infrastructure; e.g. smart appliances, utilities management, recycling, public service facilitation, real estate information
- Transportation & Travel: to improve travel experience and planning in daily life and on vacation; e.g. vacation planning tools, commuting planning, travellers’ information, position/location tracking
- Communication & Productivity: to improve communication, teamwork, and efficiency in daily life and at work; e.g. social networks, data analytics, data management, teamwork facilitators, sales management
- Arts & Fashion: to improve access to, better understand, and develop appreciation for arts and fashion; e.g. multimedia tools, fashion information, design tools, creativity enhancers
- Leisure & Enjoyment: to promote work-life balance, lifestyle choices, hobbies, and to help people to unwind and feel good about themselves; e.g. entertainment, food & beverage, books & reference, news & magazines, style advice, or shopping
What to Expect
- 5-month Mentorshipfor 10 startup teams, experienced mentors working in teams supported by experts in technology, law, finance, etc.;
- Challenge series, speaker series & networking events with seasoned founders, pioneers, and business leaders to inspire EYE teams on real opportunities;
- Workshops by Google experts on innovation, technology and mobile-first;
- Overseas roadshow to Taiwan, meeting forerunners in mobile technology, creating synergy and connecting regional startup communities together;
- Project demo day with showcase and pitching session with investors.
Who Should Apply
Hong Kong startups founders and/ or entrepreneurs-to-be, who:
- Want to make an impact in everyday’s life with creative solutions and innovations using mobile technology;
- Have the established business/ high-potential business idea to bring innovation to user’s daily life while using mobile technology ;
- Have a vision to expand outside of HK and reach markets beyond; and
- Have completed groundwork and preferably have launched the business for at least one year.
Eligibility of Applicants*
- Applicants can apply as a team consisting of ONE to FOUR members;
- The team leader (business founder) must be Hong Kong resident with a Hong Kong Identity Card who primarily lives, works and/or studies full-time in Hong Kong;
- All team member(s) must between the ages of 16-40 (by the application deadline: May 26, 2015);
- Each team must apply with an established business/ high-potential business idea to bring innovation to user’s daily life while using mobile technology, and to match with at least one of the theme topics.
*Each participant can only be associated with ONE team, and each team can only submit ONE idea.
- The business summaries and videos received will be evaluated by our judges, who will be a group of seasoned entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators and professionals.
- After online evaluation, around 40 teams (to be confirmed) will be invited to give pitch in fronts of the judges in July, and 10 teams will be selected as Mentee Teams.
- Selection Criteria: Team Capacity (40%), Market Potential (40%), Impact (20%).
Apr 2015 Apr 15, Wed | Announcement of EYE Program 2015
Apr 2015 Apr 17, Fri | Open for Application
May 2015 May 9, Sat | Information Session
May 2015 May 26, Tue | Application Deadline
Jun 2015 Jun 17, Wed | Announcement of Teams Selected for Pitching
Jun 2015 Jun 25, Wed | Mentorship Briefing & Pitching Skills Training
Jul 2015 Jul 11, Sat | Pitch for Mentorship
Jul 2015 Speaker Series [date to be confirmed]
Aug & Sep 2015 Talks & workshops [date to be confirmed]
Oct 2015 Overseas roadshow to Taiwan [date to be confirmed]
Nov 2015 Project Demo Day [date to be confirmed]
How to Apply
Application Guideline | FAQ
- Step 1: Prepare a Business Summary and a 2-minute Video to introduce the team and business idea;
- Step 2: Upload the business summary to Google drive and upload the video to YouTube;
- Step 3: Fill in the online Application Form, provide the required information and links to your business summary and YouTube video by 12 noon, May 26, 2015.
* Gather at least 200 likes for the video on YouTube by 12 noon, June 1, 2015.
** Team leaders must make sure that each team member completes and submits the application form before the deadline.
*** Eligible teams will receive a confirmation email on June 3, 2015.
More information: http://entrepreneurship.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/eyeprogram