Co-incubation Program:
The AI Cohort

Application for this program is closed. Check out Idea Launcher Program

Your AI Vision. Powered by AWS. Fueled by HKSTP.

This co-incubation program is for top AI & machine learning startups with validated business ideas and functional prototypes. It provides cloud and machine learning technical advisory, product design mentorship, up to HKD1.29M funding from HKSTP, up to US25,000 AWS Credits from AWS Activate Program. The program aims to support AI startups on finding their use cases, scaling up overall AI adoptions, fostering long-term growth and success.

About the program

AWS & HKSTP Co-incubation Program: The AI Cohort is an exclusive joint program by AWS Hong Kong and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP), designed for AI and machine learning Startups in Hong Kong, looking for market expansion and product iteration. Startups would join a 3-year incubation journey, including 9-month with dedicated support and resources from AWS, featuring 1:1 technical consultation, architecture reviews, enablement workshops all related to AI and Machine Learning, and exclusive networking and meetup opportunities through AWS Startups and Marketing events.

Selected startups will benefit from up to US$25,000 AWS Credits from AWS Activate Program*, and an exclusive pathway to HKSTP’s co-incubation programme which offers up to HKD1.29M funding.

*AWS Activate credits are subject to the AWS Promotional Credit Terms & Conditions, startups previously issued AWS Promotional Credit may not be eligible to receive additional credit

Key benefits

Substantial Funding:

Up to HKD1.29M in funding over the course of three years.

Cloud Credits:

Eligible startups receive up to USD25,000 in AWS Activate credits, enabling them to leverage the power of AWS cloud services.

Technical Training:

Topics relevant to cloud, AI and machine learning

Exposure & Resources:

Gain exposure to potential partners, VCs, investors interested in AI-based tech startups, R&D support to accelerate your startups’ growth and development.

Developer Advisory:

Technical consultation with AWS experts to make the most of AWS products and technologies

Business Mentorship:

Receive 1:1 consultations, enablement workshops during the first 9 months of the program, specifically tailored to help you succeed in product design, AI adoption, and commercialization.


Entry criteria

  • A Hong Kong tech based limited company, established within 5 years of the programme application submission date
  • AI-related startups ideally between Seed and Series A stage
  • Have at least 2 full-time staff working on-site, with 50% of the team involved in R&D
  • Have a prototype or MVP undergoing market validation
  • The founding team must hold at least 51% of company shares collectively
  • Not be currently enrolled in HKSTP/ Cyberport Incubation Programmes
  • For details, please refer to “Incubation Application Guide 2.1 Eligibility Criteria” at

Key dates

  • Applications Open: September 26, 2023
  • Application Deadline: November 9, 2023
  • Panel Interview: December 2023
  • Cohort Kickoff: January 2024
  • Graduation: September 2024

Application Procedures

Due to overwhelming response, we have extended the application deadline to 9 November, 2023.

Submit your application online along with your company pitch deck for our evaluation before application deadline 23:59, 9 November, 2023 (Thursday). The pitch deck should include (but not limited to): targeted market, solution explanation (ideally with demo link), technology stack (diagram), business model, product roadmap, and fundraising timeline.

Application Closed

Frequently asked questions

An exclusive joint initiative organized by AWS and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP). HKSTP offers a comprehensive 3-year program that includes HKD1.29M funding, R&D support, mentorship, investor matching, and more. In collaboration with AWS, the co-incubation program provides dedicated support in the first 9 months to help selected companies succeed in their AI development and commercialization journey. AWS offers up to USD25,000 in cloud credits, technical support, mentoring, access to the startup community and events, as well as go-to-market resources. AWS is the first commercial partner to run such a program with HKSTP

The AWS & HKSTP Co-incubation Program: The AI Cohort is open to Hong Kong-based AI-first startups ideally between the Seed and Series A stage, established within 5 years of the program application date. To be eligible, startups should have at least 2 full-time staff working on-site, with 50% of the team involved in R&D. Additionally, startups should have a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP) undergoing market validation. The founding team must collectively hold at least 51% of the company shares, and the startup should not be currently enrolled in any Cyberport programs.

If I do not fulfil the entry criteria for this program, are there other programs for me to apply?

  • Yes, you may consider the Startups Idea Launcher, a 6-month ideation program by AWS & HKSTP. Idea Launcher Program is designed for early stage startups to turn ideas into prototype with funding, credit support and training. Please add your name to waitlist here. We will notify you once the application is open in 2023 Q4. 

The selection criteria for the program will be based on various factors, including the viability and innovation of the AI-related solutions proposed by the startups, their potential for scalability and market impact, as well as their alignment with the program's objectives.

Yes, you can join the program even if you are not currently an AWS customer. However, we do require that you commit to a serious trial and exploration of Amazon/AWS technology during the co-incubation phase. This will enable you to fully leverage the benefits of the program and maximize your AI development potential.

Yes, overseas companies are eligible to apply for the program. However, it is important to note that you must have an eligible Hong Kong Business Registration and also other entry criteria before the cohort commencement date. This requirement ensures compliance with relevant regulations and facilitates participation in the program. If you do not have a HK company OR not fulfilling at the moment, you may consider to apply for the Startups Idea Launcher, a 6-month ideation program by AWS & HKSTP. Please add your name to waitlist here. We will notify you once the application is open in 2023 Q4. 

As an existing AWS Activate customer, participating in the Co-incubation Program offers you additional advantages and resources specifically tailored to AI development and commercialization. You will receive dedicated support, including technical assistance, mentoring, access to the startup community and events, as well as go-to-market resources. This program will help you further enhance your AI solutions and accelerate your business growth within the HKSTP ecosystem.

No, participation in the program is currently not available virtually. However, we are continuously evaluating options to accommodate virtual participation. Please stay tuned for any updates regarding virtual participation in the program.

The funding support consists of two parts. Part 1 includes a rental office subsidy of HKD12,500 per month, which will be reimbursed over the three-year duration of the program, totaling HKD450,000. Part 2 comprises six milestones over three years, with each milestone providing approximately HKD140,000 in grants. This totals HKD840,000 in grant funding over the course of the program to further support your startup's growth and development.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]. Our team is available to help you and provide any necessary guidance.

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