Almost every university in Macau has an incubator-or plans to have one soon.

Macau Business | June 2022 | Special Report | Macau Startups


City University of Hong Kong (CityU)

Last year, CityU promoted the “928 Challenge” contest for university students from Chinese and Portuguese-speaking countries. The event attracted about 800 students from 51 universities, including those in Macau.

According to Professor José Alves, through an event at City U called “The Most Important Initiatives Ever Made,” “we have created several networks that connect to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Jury members, China and Portugal. We provided sponsorship and another network between universities in language-speaking countries. “

Regarding business incubation, the university plans to launch a Hengqin-based entrepreneurship center in September next year. “This center fosters entrepreneurial students and helps connect with the industry not only in Macau, but more importantly in GBA.

“Every year, there are about 10 start-ups founded by students in Macau, Hengqin and Zhuhai,” adds Professor Alves. “Although this number is still small and small, we are witnessing a rising wave of entrepreneurship among students. This is for papers and projects related to innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. It can be seen in the increase in numbers. This is a long-term process that produces results in about 10 years. “

CityU’s Dean of Business Department concludes: “As for Macau’s startup ecosystem, I would like to point out that we believe that Macau is too small and not diversified to build a sustainable and autonomous entrepreneurial ecosystem. The system, like our economy, is a cross-border ecosystem. “

Macau Tourism Institute (IFTM)

IFTM has implemented several strategies to generate enthusiasm for entrepreneurship among undergraduate students. A good example is the Entrepreneurship course, designed by Professor Fernando Lorenso and open to students of all bachelor’s degree programs since 2013.

IFTM’s efforts in this area have already been successful, with some undergraduates launching their own businesses after completing their studies at IFTM or after learning internally about work in the tourism industry. rice field.

2021 was a busy year for IFTM’s entrepreneurship project. Professor Lourenço and his colleagues led the development of a new incubator called the “Ideation Lab” and the iRetail Lab. The latter are physical and virtual retail facilities aimed at helping local entrepreneurs and practitioners in the creative industries. At stores run by students in tourism retail and marketing management programs, their learning applies to all aspects of the retail business.

Alongside the brand new Idea Lab, a new contest called “Idea Cation” was launched in 2021.

“Based on our student population, we are now raising awareness and providing tools to our students. First, they know that they can also be entrepreneurs and what that is. You need to learn and understand the tools that will help you pursue such efforts. Then it’s all about deciding whether they go for it. Our top priority is It’s about raising awareness, motivating, and training, “says Fernando Lorenso. Macau businessHe added, “We have adopted a very different educational philosophy than traditional methods aimed at giving students too much knowledge through a lecture-based approach.”

“We are now aware that there are IFTM students who are pursuing an entrepreneurial career path before and after graduation. Also, after years of work experience, alumni follow this path. Entrepreneurship is both a life skill and an important career skill, so I can now understand the importance of teaching entrepreneurship, “he adds.

Macau Polytechnic Institute (MPU)

The Macau Institute of Technology (MPU) does not yet have an incubator, but work is being done in the area.

Sylvia Ferrand, a professor of MPU until recently, said: “I felt that from 2018, collaboration between many potential interdisciplinary departments began. For example, in the trade relations course between China and Lusophone, the final year students are in the business of innovative projects. Develop ideas. I was particularly pleased to be able to follow the development stages of the business plans of the various teams until 2021 when I attended the Brainstorming session and returned to Portugal. “

Professor Ferrao believes that he needs an incubator with roots in MPU. “It is very advantageous to see the birth of a true unicorn, stimulating and supporting the development of these businesses, avoiding mistakes.

“When it comes to creating business plans, we’re already done. Now we have to start implementing them effectively. MPU has a good IT department and we’re prototyping. There is already an initiative for. Incubators are decisive for putting ideas into practice and adopting some ideas that have not reached the level of the real world. Given the competitiveness of today’s market, young entrepreneurs Needs support and encouragement, “concludes the professor himself as an entrepreneur.

Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST)

“To help students establish their core career values,” we must establish the Entrepreneurship and Career Planning Center (CECP) in September 2010.

“Since 2016, we need to be very active in participating in Chinese entrepreneurship and innovation contests, which gives students a valuable opportunity to win the contest early and promote interpersonal networks. You can get it, “says the university. Macau business – “MUST’s ongoing efforts have encouraged other higher education institutions in Macau to participate in entrepreneurship and innovation contests.”

For the past six years, MUST students have won awards at national startup competitions such as the “Internet +” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition for Chinese International University Students, the “Challenge Cup” National University Student Entrepreneurship Plan Competition, and the National University Student E-. Has won the award. Commerce “Innovative, Creativity, Entrepreneurship” Challenge Competition. Must’s CECP recommended at least six elite projects for incubation at GBA in 2020 and 2021.

In March of last year, we need to establish a faculty of innovation and engineering “to develop talent beyond the fields of science, engineering and technical design so that innovation ideas can be embodied and implemented.” Entrepreneurship and innovation, intellectual property protection, financial management and more. “

University of Macao (UM)

“University of Macao students, staff, and graduates transform innovative ideas with commercial potential into entrepreneurial projects,” enter society “to generate economic benefits, and connect people, technology, and industry. UM has set up a center to support. The for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has been approved as a national collaborative workspace that “fully recognizes the university’s efforts in industry-academia collaboration.”

CIE has established itself as an “entrepreneurship education provider” for temporary office space and consultation and advice.

In his interview Macau business Last year, UM Dean Yonghua Song said: Currently, there are more than 30 companies under the responsibility of our center. As a comprehensive research-led university, we can contribute to economic diversification by providing talent and transferring technology to the real economy, for example through spin-off companies. “

CIE is a local representative of the $ 1 million Macau Regional Entrepreneurship Contest launched by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2011. The top three teams from the regional finals will represent Macau in the national finals and compete with other regional finalists for a RMB 1 million award and funding opportunity at venture capital.

“One of CIE’s missions is to help UM’s academic staff and students realize their entrepreneurial dreams by providing support and services to the pre-takeoff“ runway ”in the early stages of business. I want to do that, “explains Jerome Center Director Yen.

St. Joseph’s University (USJ)

USJ has something new to announce shortly: the opening of an incubator that may be operational as early as early 2023 this year.

This is called the “Macau Spin” and begins with an incubation of companies in Portuguese-speaking countries interested in GBA. The reverse is also true.

The incubator is the result of work being performed by the Faculty of Business Law (FBL). In short, through a Bachelor of Business Administration program featuring an “entrepreneurship” specialty / major, “Students are ready to deal with themselves. Businesses not only focus on creating new businesses, but also. We are faced with the essential challenge of developing new ideas such as innovation, marketing, strategy and technology, “explains Alexander Robo. The FBL has also developed an integrated program with several projects related to entrepreneurship and the field of start-ups, which will be implemented in the coming months and years.

“Although consistent integration with Macau’s startup ecosystem was developed at USJ, we are also looking at other vibrant areas of the Greater Bay area, such as Hong Kong and Shenzhen. For example, our FBL team We are actively researching medical technology applications with the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (China Science Institute), one of the region’s most advanced innovation centers, “adds Robo.

Recently, USJ has also established the Institute of Applied Neuroscience (LAN), an interdisciplinary laboratory that supports a variety of research and application disciplines such as business, education, psychology, and the creative industry. USJ hopes that this lab will be a place for start-ups and innovative ideas to devise, design and disseminate for the diversification of Macau’s economy.


“Inter-university interconnection”

If each university has its own incubator, isn’t it time for them to start working together?

José Alves shares that opinion. “Our ultimate goal this year is to work with colleagues from all higher education institutions in Macau to create an open innovation platform that can support the’Macau Platform’. To achieve this, we will leverage the 928 Challenge Competition and Hengqin’s New Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center ”(both above).

Professor Sílvia Ferrão agrees: Projects are increasingly global and interdisciplinary, requiring very different technical skills to be scalable, profitable and long-term sustainable. “

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