ParticleX Urbantech Global Challenge FAQs

What do people ask us?

Our most frequently asked questions are listed below. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking, feel free to email us at: [email protected]. These FAQs will be updated periodically.

Who can join PUGC?

Startups with:

  • Primary business focus on providing Urbantech solutions
  • Solid foundation for exponential growth, developing new business opportunities, or seeking next-round funding


What kind of solutions are we looking for?

Please refer to


Others, please contact [email protected]

Does our startup have to be registered in Hong Kong?

Your company can be registered anywhere, but we welcome you to expand your business in Hong Kong. We have liaised with various stakeholders in the Urbantech ecosystem, to help you get in touch with the right parties. Selected startups can apply for the HKSTPC-ParticleX Accelerator Scheme with access to selected HKSTPC startup support services. 

How can I set up a business presence in Hong Kong?

You can contact StartmeupHK or InvestHK. InvestHK is a HKSAR government department responsibile for attracting and retaining foreign direct investment in Hong Kong. StartmeupHK offers a wide range of free and customised services to global innovative startups to help them set up, launch and scale in Hong Kong. 

Their services: 

  • provide information on planning and evaluation
  • facilitate visa/bank account opening
  • introduce ecosystem players and useful connections
  • provide marketing & PR support for launch/expansion

Contact person

Mr. Stanley Ho, Senior Manager, StartmeupHK of InvestHK

Email: [email protected]


How much does it cost to apply?

Application is free of charge.

What are Technology Readiness Levels?

Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) are indicators of the maturity level of particular technologies. This measurement system provides a common understanding of technology status and addresses the entire innovation chain. There are nine technology readiness levels, TRL 1 being the lowest and TRL 9 the highest.

Technology Readiness Level Innovation Activities
1. Concept Evaluation The translation of scientific research into applied research. This is mostly exploration of a technology’s basic properties.
2. Technology Evaluation The study of how technologies could be applied in the market. This is the point where the project’s direction takes form.
3. Proof-of-Concept Research At this phase, active R&D begins and a technological solution is developed. This stage looks at the critical function of the technology and asks, “what is required for this technology to meet the application’s requirements?”.
4. Early-Stage Prototype Development The integration and testing of basic components in a laboratory environment. This can be done multiple times during development to ensure the technology is progressing toward its desired purpose.
5. Late-Stage Prototype Development The integration and testing of basic components in a simulated environment. This is done following lab testing and usually involves accessing better testing equipment to identify potential issues.
6. Simulated Environment Pilot Upon completion of the technology’s design, final testing can commence. This will provide data critical to the commercialization phase where the technology is applied.
7. Operational Environment Demonstration Using the prototype in an operational environment to understand how it performs in non-simulated testing. Further development may be required to address performance issues.
8. Final Testing and Evaluation Upon further testing, the technology has proven itself to be successful under normal operating conditions.
9. Successful Deployment The application of a technology, in its final form, in real-world conditions.


While there is more than one definition of Technology Readiness Levels, applications to ParticleX Urbantech Global Challenge will be accepted as long as they demonstrate proof of concept. For example, a tech startup develops a Li-ion battery storage technology for the construction industry that can hold 50% more energy by weight than the diesel generator on the market. They are able to prove with great success in a laboratory environment with simulated real-world settings. In this case they attained proof of concept. 


What stage should the participating startups be at?

This collaborative endeavor intends to encourage and further develop potential tech companies in the thriving Urbantech ecosystem, with the ultimate goal of developing breakthrough technology solutions for urban cities. The majority of startups are eligible since the majority of their technological proposals are in some way related to the Urbantech ecosystem and sustainability challenges. This program is open to startups in the Seed to Series A stages as well as expansion of businesses. ParticleX, HKSTP, MTR, SOCAM, Baguio, HKAI Lab, and Chinachem will choose various startup criteria for collaboration, investment, or incubation. StartmeupHK | InvestHK offers a wide range of free and customised services to global innovative startups to help them set up, launch and scale in Hong Kong. 

Startups with a TRL of Level 3 or higher are more likely to attract the interest of stakeholders.

What is the programme format?

Our program selection process is completely virtual, a one-of-a-kind program free from the financial shackles of classes, cohorts, commuting, and other additional costs.

What is the selection process?

First round evaluation is conducted by our internal screening team, based on the pitch deck and a checklist of questions to prioritize which teams will be selected to the next stage. We will also categorize your team in different runways (business, funding, incubation and business support) according to your intention. Some teams may be approached by different partners during this stage to provide various support, such as business matching and incubation offers.

Shortlisted teams will be invited to join the virtual interview. We will identify teams with the most suitable solutions for our corporate partners, or offer attractive investment opportunities. The best teams from the second round selection will be invited to attend our monthly investment committee meeting.

How long will it take to consider my application?

The first round screening can be complex and time-consuming. To ensure that all startups are fairly and thoroughly evaluated, several stages must pass through. We evaluate the applications on a weekly basis, and it is highly recommended that applicationa are submitted as soon as possible, since we will respond on a first come first serve basis and a limited quota every month. Please refer to the timeline on the program landing page. (

How is the program different from others?

Our programme is uniquely designed to offer tech startups the opportunity to meet investors, corporate clients and government support resources within one program and one process. It is a completely virtual programme. Selected startups will be invited to attend online investment committee meetings with HKSTP, HKAI Lab and our Urbantech corporate partners. We promise a unique, one-of-a-kind program free from the financial shackles of classes, cohorts, commuting, and other additional costs.

How can I get funding support?

You may be eligible for funding support from this program after going through our investment committee meeting. Selected companies will be evaluated by the team of ParticleX’s investment Fund, HKSTP’s corporate venture capital fund or our co-investment partners’ fund. However, investment by all parties it is not guaranteed. The respective investment teams will determine if your business is a good fit for their funding and support on a case-by-case basis.

What is the funding arrangement for selected startups?

ParticleX is an institutional angel fund with a fixed ticket size of US$200K for each investment and follow-on investment opportunity. We also provide various resources to support our portfolios, please visit for more details. Our Programme Partners also have their own investment strategy and are subject to their discretionary policies.


We are a start-up and we don’t really need the money. Does it still make sense to apply?

You may also consider applying to our program as a great opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities, and work alongside Hong Kong’s leading property developers and relevant private and public corporations in the urbantech’s six core areas.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis, but it is highly recommended to submit your application as soon as possible, since we will respond on a first-come-first served basis with a limited monthly quota.  Please refer to the timeline on the program landing page. (

Do I need to be concerned about my intellectual property?

Not at all. 

Can I apply again if I participated in a previous programmes?

Yes, feel free to reapply with an updated business plan and indicate if your business has reached any key milestones since participating.