So the D-Biz has been open for applications for almost 1 month now and the rumours are that there have been 10,000 applications already submitted.  I cannot verify this but if everyone has applied for the full amount of 300,000 that would mean 3 Billion in funding requests which since the programme has only 500 Million available it would mean in the first month of application the programme is 6 time oversubscribed already.

The reality is that this will not be the case.  The number of applications is unlikely to be this high and most applicants will not have applied for the full amount.  Having said that this is most definitely a very popular programme.

I was very disappointed to see IT Vendors launching solutions that cost exactly HK$100,000 on their websites to try and coach the potential client into using their services.  This is both unprofessional and not in the spirit of the programme.

These are the main points that a company wishing to apply for the programme should know.

Firstly you can only make one application. In that application if you want to submit 3 projects you can but you cannot submit one project now and another one in a month or two.  You need to plan your application strategy carefully.

The projects should not be linked.  i.e. you cannot have one project to buy a new firewall and as second project to configure the firewall.  Related items need to be in the same project.

As far as we are aware the programme is not first come first served.  In fact the vetting committee will not review more than 10 applications in one week where the same IT Vendor is included.  Therefore I would recommend you stay away from the big vendors who may have made 100’s of applications as your application may never be reviewed.  Based on this each vendor can in theory make a maximum of 240 applications before they reach their limit.  Pick your vendor carefully.

I am not expecting applicants to get approval for the full amount they apply for on all 3 projects.  If that is done the programme will run out of money quickly unless the government puts more money into this programme.

The price of the project you apply for should be realistic.  Apply to purchase one laptop that costs 90,000 is not realistic so ensure your pricing is market based to ensure the vetting committee can assess and approve your application.

I would recommend companies apply for projects that are easily audited.  At the end of each project an auditor needs to verify that what was proposed was delivered.  In the case of laptops with Teams installed for remote working this is easy.  For a custom web solution this may be hard if the scoping is not very clear.

You need to make the application yourself as a company and your IT Vendor cannot apply on your behalf.

Good luck with your application and should you need help with your Distance Business Programme (D-Biz) Application please contact FunctionEight.