THE 2018 Shenzhen Dream Catcher Cup University Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest was officially launched Thursday, offering a total of 3.6 million yuan (US$565,761) in prizes.
The contest will last six months until Oct. 15 and consists of six stages, from registration to the preliminary and final contests and awards.
On-campus students at Shenzhen colleges, and those who have graduated within five years and have Shenzhen hukou, can apply for the contest if they plan to start a business or have registered a startup business for no more than three years.
The first prize winner will get an award of 500,000 yuan, according to a release from the Shenzhen Human Resources and Social Security Bureau on Thursday.
Those who are interested can register at www.szhr.com.cn/zmb by June 30.
Into its third year, the annual event has become a brand for student entrepreneurship, according to Zhang Hong, director with Shenzhen Public Employment Service Center. The organizer has worked out incentives, such as tutorship guidance, loans, project promotion and financing matching to support the competing items. An individual applicant can receive a loan up to a ceiling of 300,000 yuan, while a partnership startup can get a loan of 3 million yuan with three years of interest subsidies.
Zeng Jingqiang, founder of Shenzhen People Strong Science and Technology Co., was a contestant in 2017. The company is engaged in intelligent systems and device development for senior nursing centers.
"The development of the company, at its initial stage, relies heavily on policies and funds from the government. Since graduation, I've received housing rental subsidies, loans for my team and funds for me to start up the business. Through last year's contest, I got the contacts of many investors and cooperation resources, and finally raised our investment from them," said Zeng.
Yang Wenwu, last year's first prize winner, received 5 million yuan in angel-round investment for his Dongchuan Technology Research Co. Ltd. at end of last year. Their product, silicon nitride, has started mass production and reached globally advanced level in many quality indexes. The new material has great potential as it can be used in corrosion proof as well as temperature and wear and tear resistant products.