HKBU Spin-off Company Highlight: Pragmatic CEO Tips for Running a Startup – HKBU Alumnus Mr Jefferson LAU Wai-fung

Mr Jefferson LAU Wai-fung
CEO of Mat-A-Cell Limited

"I've always wanted to contribute and make a difference in the world. I hope to fully utilise my scientific background and knowledge to incorporate our latest technology into our life so that the world could become a better place."


Are you aware of nanotechnology in your everyday life? For example, your glasses or swim goggles are anti-fog coated with nanoparticles for good vision. What's more? A new product Mat A® Culture Nanomatrices by Mat-A-Cell Limited ("Mat-A-Cell"), which is a biological cell culture substrate coated with a self-developed nanolayer, can substantially reduce the risk of carcinogenesis or inflammation in stem cell therapy.


Supported by Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU)*, Mat-A-Cell, one of the HKBU spin-off companies, was established in 2017 by HKBU researchers, aspires to develop bionanotechnical products to improve the quality of human life.


In the following, you may get some inspiration and pragmatic tips for running a biotechnological startup from Mr Jefferson Lau Wai-fung, the CEO of Mat-A-Cell Limited, who is also an alumnus of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).

Team trust matters

Jefferson pursued his career on nanotechnology after the completion of his Bachelor degree in Applied Physics. He worked for HKBU Functional Nano Laboratory after graduated. He later joined the research team consisted of Dr Jeffery Huang Zhifeng, who is an expert in molecular devices and nanomaterials; and Prof Ken Yung Kin-lam, who is an expert in neuroscience, molecular biotechnology and nanomedicine. The two brilliant scientists have jointly developed a bionanotechnical product, namely Mat A® Culture Nanomatrices. Jefferson is responsible for the commercialisation of this technology.


"Our team consists of scientists with strong nanotechnology background and individuals with sound business mentality. We share the same vision and persevere to work towards the goal." Jefferson proudly shared. Building a team that shares the same vision and goal is an essential element to any successful company, and a good team also helps to build camaraderie which fosters the growth of the startup.


Not fear to share

The technology has successfully got patent in the U.S. as well as filed in China and Europe. The team had no fear to share their ideas with investors and potential business partners. They believed all valuable experiences help them grow the business. He led the company to join various exhibitions and entrepreneurship activities around the world to reach out to prospects. "Our most successful tactic was to take part in various regional and national entrepreneurship exhibitions and competitions. It is always easier to establish connection with our target end users when we are eager to share." Jefferson said.


Mat-A-Cell accomplished great achievements and awards on the global stage, which also brightened Jefferson's entrepreneurial journey. Last year, Jefferson participated in SmartHK "Innovation Upgrade, HK Forum" 2019 in Guangzhou and was invited for a television interview by Guangzhou Broadcasting Network, sharing with the audience their products and development in Greater Bay Area China.


Mat-A-Cell co-operated with Guangzhou Saliai and set up the establishment in Guangzhou-Hongkong Stem Cell Biomedical Parallel Incubation Park in November 2019. 


Jefferson believed that technology integration enabled a significant integration-related synergy when two companies co-operated. With co-operation with the industry leader, Guangzhou Saliai Stem Cell Science and Technology Company Limited ("Guangzhou Saliai"), Mat-A-Cell successfully attracted attention from renowned pharmaceutical companies and was eager to expand market share through global sales platform. Recently, Mat-A-Cell has set up a subsidiary company in Guangzhou, namely "Guangzhou Mat-A-Cell Limited", to expedite the development of the Mainland markets. Seizing the opportunities brought Mat-A-Cell one big step closer to their goal.


"Our experience taught us to always be well-prepared, know your product well and present it clearly on every occasion, so that we can turn unexpected challenges into opportunities." Jefferson shared one of his biggest learning in this entrepreneurship journey.


*HKBU TSSSU aims to bring R&D results from campus to real world, by encouraging more entrepreneurial activities at the University and facilitating more commercial development of HKBU's intellectual property rights (IPR) and technology developed at the University. It is a "company start-up" scheme designed to encourage spin-off companies to commercialise the IPR and technologies developed at HKBU.