The signing ceremony of angel investment from China Prosperity Capital (CPC) to i²Cool Limited was held in HK Tech 300 Incuspace, City University of Hong Kong on May 10, 2022. The founding partner of China Prosperity Capital, Mr. Hendrick SIN (right, front row) signed an Angel Investment Agreement with Dr. Edwin TSO (left, front row), an Assistant Professor in School of Energy & Environment, CityU, and one of the co-founders of i²Cool. The Associate Vice-President of Chinese Mainland Affairs Office, CityU, Dr. Laura LO (5th from the left, back row), other co-founders of i²Cool, Mr. Martin ZHU (4th from the left, back row) and Dr. William LEE (3rd from the left, back row), and the representatives from the Office of the Vice-President (Research & Technology), CityU, have attended the ceremony to witness the signing of Angel Investment Agreement.
By aligning the passive radiative cooling innovation with a real customer need, i²Cool Limited, a technology-based startup incubated by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) HK Tech 300 program, pioneers the advancement of energy-saving technologies in Hong Kong. The funding and assistance provided by HK Tech 300 empower i2Cool to grow at an incredible speed within a year. On May 10 2022, China Prosperity Capital (CPC) Fund and i²Cool have put in place an agreement for their collaboration. CPC Fund and i²Cool, sharing the common goal of building a sustainable future, will work hand in hand to promote renewable energy transition. It is believed that CPC Fund’s angel investment will catalyze the expansion of i²Cool into global market.
The members of CPC in Shenzhen and CityU Shenzhen Institute joined the ceremony online.
Facing acute energy crisis and climate change, Hong Kong and other countries have announced the decarbonization target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. According to the data of International Energy Agency (IEA), the use of air conditioners accounts for a fifth of the total electricity consumption in buildings around the world. In Hong Kong, air-conditioning occupies 30% of the total energy consumption used by buildings. To catch up with global energy transition trends, i²Cool, founded in June 2021, is dedicated to advancing the passive radiative cooling technology for energy saving. Unlike traditional air-conditioning systems, the passive radiative cooling is an energy-free and refrigerant-free cooling technology that reflects incoming solar irradiance, while emitting thermal radiation to the cold universe, thereby achieving sub-ambient cooling. It is noted that the research team has spent over six years in doing the research of passive radiative cooling technology before founding i²Cool. Beginning with high cost of laboratory inventions, i²Cool has successfully turned the expensive and advanced cooling technology into an affordable product. iPaint, the first product of i²Cool, has been launched to the market in November 2021.
Thanks to the consistent support of HK Tech 300 organized by City University of Hong Kong (CityU), i²Cool is able to navigate through difficult times and gain a foothold in the market of energy-efficient technology. Obtaining HK Tech 300 Seed Fund HK$ 100,000 and Angel Fund HK$ 1 million, i²Cool manages to afford initial Knowledge Transfer (KT) and marketing spending. Besides, HK Tech 300 offers location for i²Cool operation and nurturing skilled engineers. I²Cool research team consists of high-calibre postdoctoral fellow, PhD students, and research assistants in CityU.
Apart from the tangible support, i²Cool co-founder and technical advisor Dr. Edwin TSO, and training programmes, mentorship schemes as well as entrepreneurship seminars conducted by HK Tech 300 provide comprehensive guidance and knowledge of starting a business and tackling the challenging legal (e.g., Inland Revenue Ordinance), financing, sales and marketing, intellectual property, liability protection, human resources, and more issues.
“Hong Kong is fully capable of maintaining an integrated startup ecosystem. Government and University’s supports for innovation and technology contribute to the rapid growth of i²Cool, while other prosperous cities in the Greater Bay Area provide not only the large consumer population for i²Cool products, but also a comprehensive entrepreneur supply chain for i²Cool to expand their business on a large scale.” Dr. Edwin TSO expressed his vision of i²Cool’s future development. Dr. TSO indicated that i²Cool steps up to seize the opportunities in Greater Bay Area and achieve international business expansion by setting up business in Shenzhen and collaborating with CPC Fund. He wishes i²Cool could administer results-oriented approach and take their eco-friendly business to the next level.
Considering the support on assisting startups to increase market share, HK Tech 300 serves as a bridge connecting i²Cool and the potential customers as well as business partners, leading to successful commercialization of iPaint in the market of green building materials. Besides, HK Tech 300 encourages the team of i²Cool attending numerous entrepreneurship competitions. By attending competitions, i²Cool seizes the valuable opportunities to improve product functions and fine-tune the business model.
HK Tech 300 is a credit to the rapid and smooth business growth of i²Cool. To date, i²Cool is competent to produce large-scale, light-weight iPaint at low cost after continuous research and innovation. The real-world data of multiple job cases in Hong Kong has demonstrated that the application of iPaint on buildings is able to reduce the rooftop surface temperature by 30 ⁰C and indoor air temperature by 5-6 ⁰C. The remarkable cooling effect of iPaint leads to more than 30% building energy saving in the computational simulation.
Mr. Martin ZHU presented the progress and future vision of i²Cool at the ceremony.
According to the latest data, the service area of iPaint in Hong Kong has reached 8450 ft² which contributes to 22757 kWh energy saved and 13654 kg carbon emission reduced. Energy crisis is an international problem. It is crucial to facilitate sustainable energy use and electricity-saving technology around the world for possible solutions. To propel global energy transformation, i²Cool has established two strategic directions: (1) expanding into global market, and (2) developing novel, diversified energy-saving products.
Up to this point, apart from providing the service of iPaint in Hong Kong, i²Cool has already supplied iPaint to Canada and approached potential customers from mainland China, Singapore, Middle East, Thailand, etc. In addition to Asian countries, i²Cool targets the market of Europe and North America with large population and hot climate or hot weather in the summer, making the best use of passive radiative cooling technology.
Mr. Hendrick SIN and Dr. Edwin TSO signed at the ceremony, showing their greatest wishes to i2Cool.
New investors are essential for i²Cool to foster business growth and R&D. Aided by an investment from China Prosperity Capital (CPC) Fund, the development of i²Cool could be accelerated to catch up the ever-changing industry trends. CPC Fund, a renowned venture capital firm jointly founded by Mr. Hendrick Sin, Mr. Ken Xiao and Mr. King Ma, is dedicated to investing the growth stage companies in Technology, Media and Telecom sector as a means of promoting national technological advancement. Mr. Sin and Mr. Xiao are also the co-founders of China Mobile Games and Entertainment (CMGE) Group Limited, the largest publisher of mobile games in China and the first China’s mobile game company listed in an oversea stock exchange. Upholding the mission of “Enhancing business efficiency, connecting with capital markets”, the competent team of CPC Fund supports numerous startups with rich industry knowledge and business connections.
Mr. Hendrick SIN shared the background of CPC Fund as well as his professional insights about knowledge transfer and the entrepreneurship eco-system in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) at the ceremony.
Mr. Hendrick SIN shared his professional experience in developing CPC Fund, and encouraged young people to pursue their careers in the Greater Bay Area. “The initial startup team of CPC Fund has 12 years’ experience in developing innovations and technology. We were startup before, that’s why we understand the hardships of launching a startup. We hope to support these potential entrepreneurs overcoming startup challenges with abound resources, superior business management skills and integration capability in capital markets services.” he said.
CPC Fund has accumulated a number of awards, including "Top 100 Best Venture Capital Institutions in China for the Year 2018-2021", “Top 30 Best Venture Capital Institutions in the Greater Bay Area for the Year of 2020”, “Top 10 Best Investment Institutions with the Greatest Growth Potential in China for the Year of 2020”, and “Top 20 Best Venture Capital Institutions in China for the Year of 2020”, etc.
Mr. Hendrick SIN and the attendees visited the laboratory in the School of Energy & Environment, CityU, after the ceremony. Dr. Edwin TSO introduced the laboratory equipment to the visitors.
Mr. Hendrick SIN and the attendees visited the exhibition hall of Hong Kong Institute for Clean Energy, CityU. Dr. Edwin TSO introduced the technology of thermochromic smart windows developed by the research team of i²Cool to the visitors.
Among a long list of startups supported by CPC Fund, NIO Capital is a prominent company achieving great success locally and globally. NIO Capital is snapping at its heels in the new-energy vehicle (NEV) market with advanced technology of autonomous driving and premium in-car entertainment system. Owing the promotion of low-carbon lifestyle around the world, NIO outperforms the electric vehicle market with the sales expected to be increased by 68.9% to US$ 9.58 billion in 2022. As a fast-growing startup invested by CPC Fund, i²Cool aims at leading the global development of energy-saving technologies in the near future.
Mr. Hendrick SIN holds high expectations for the future development of i²Cool. “CPC Fund stays focused on the goal of carbon neutrality by investing in renewable energy, energy storage systems, and energy saving technology. Regarding energy efficient technology, we are very optimistic about the valuable technology of passive radiative cooling materials, and the extensive application of this innovation in building industry. As an Angel Investor closely connected with Shenzhen and Hong Kong, we will consistently support the development of i²Cool. We wish i²Cool team in Shenzhen and Hong Kong could promote their self-developed, eminent technology in China successfully.” he said.
Aside from investment, CPC Fund provides all-round support assisting i²Cool to expand business into China. To improve the proficiency of i²Cool management team, CPC Fund may give constructive comments and suggestions. In addition, with extensive business network, CPC Fund provides i2Cool with most up-to-date business trends for fine tuning the marketing strategy and product designs to satisfy the needs in China’s and global energy efficiency market. It is estimated that the investment of CPC will speed up i²Cool’s business growth and promote energy-saving innovations in China’s market simultaneously. In the meantime, i²Cool is looking for more investment to cultivate their sustainable business with capital and diversified knowledge, so that i²Cool team can impact the world with unprecedented, cost-effective passive radiative cooling technology.
I²Cool is now in the midst of attempting to diversify their products by integrating the passive radiative cooling technology into materials with different textures and features. For instance, iPaint 2 is a new i²Cool product not only inheriting the splendid passive radiative cooling effect from the first generation but also developing into different colors, so that the customers can choose their favorite color. Furthermore, iPaint 3 will also be launched later by i²Cool to possess the features of changing colors and self-adaptability with an aim to performing cooling in summer and warming in winter, which is best fit the weather in North China and Europe.
Apart from iPaint, an intelligent thermos-responsive energy-efficient thermochromic smart window is developed by i²Cool to enhance energy saving in buildings. The smart window will passively regulate the incoming solar irradiance to conserve around 10% of total energy used for space heating, cooling and lighting in the buildings. On the other hand, i²Cool invents novel iTextile with passive radiative cooling function to produce energy-efficient daily necessities, such as umbrella, mask and clothing. Besides elevating the outdoor thermal comfort of general public (e.g., people can use umbrella or wear clothing made by iTextile under very hot and sunny weather to reduce body heat), iTextile is beneficial to outdoor workers by integrating passive radiative cooling technology into their uniforms to prevent body overheating.
As a company of advancing energy-efficient technology, i²Cool desires to enable everyone in the society performing sustainable lifestyle easily. To give back to the community, i²Cool is committed to producing diversified innovative energy-saving products which is able to satisfy the specific need of every individual. For instance, i²Cool’s novel, assorted textile products can be utilized by general public instead of only industrial or business users. Entering an era of energy crisis and climate change, it is a critical moment to build a concreate foundation for a Net-Zero world. Receiving generous capital and knowledge resources, i²Cool will collaborate closely with CPC Fund to foster sustainable development and zero-carbon emission by incorporating energy-saving innovations into everyday life.