The 2019 Shenzhen Dream Catcher Cup University Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest was officially launched Wednesday, offering a total of 3.6 million yuan (US$545,000) in prizes.
The final will be held in September.
Students who have a registered startup or who aspire to start their own business and live on-campus at Shenzhen colleges or have graduated within the past five years are eligible to apply.
The first-prize winner will get an award of 500,000 yuan, according to a release from the city’s human resources and social security bureau.
Those who are interested can register at www.szhr.com.cn/zmb by May 31.
Into its fourth year, the annual event for the first time canceled its prior hukou restriction to expand participation.
The contest has become a well-known program for student entrepreneurship. In the past three years, it has received sign-ups from 1,032 innovation teams and given out 8.7 million yuan to 85 winning projects. The highest prize for a single project is capped at 500,000 yuan.
The organizer has worked out other incentives, such as mentorships, loans, project promotion and financing matching to support contestants. An individual applicant can receive a loan of up to 300,000 yuan, while a partnership startup can get a loan of up to 3 million yuan with three years of interest subsidies.
Wen Yanming, the winner of the 2018 contest, expressed gratitude to the organizer for offering such a platform and rewards to encourage student entrepreneurship.
Through the contest, she met a lot of people who shared her vision. After the competition last year, she participated in training programs to improve the entrepreneurial capability and project promotions in the Pearl River Delta area.
Zeng Jingqiang, founder of Shenzhen People Strong Science and Technology Co., was a contestant in 2017. His company is engaged in intelligent systems and device development for senior nursing centers. Through the contest, Zeng was able to network with potential investors, obtain resources, and raise investment from them.
Yang Wenwu, the first-prize winner in 2017, received 5 million yuan in angel-round investment for his Dongchuan Technology Research Co. Ltd. The firm’s product, silicon nitride, has achieved mass production while reaching globally advanced level in many quality indexes.