General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3254
Course name: Law, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (LITE) – Tech Startup Law
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: First
Designated research course: Not applicable
Specialization: Commercial, corporate and financial law
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Course offered to non-law students: Yes
Credit point value: 6 credits
Video link: https://youtu.be/KNnPKFTxNT0 (2022);

https://youtu.be/s1abHgJkal8 (2021)

1.2 Course description

Technology entrepreneurs often seek new and innovative ways of introducing products and services, whether through new business models (eg, fintech, online marketplaces, software-as-a-service) and/or new technologies (eg, use of artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology (DLT)/ blockchain, Internet of things (IoT)). Even the profession and delivery of legal services is evolving with these changing business models and technologies.  Inevitably, questions arise regarding whether these new innovations conform with existing law and regulations, many of which are still evolving and differ across borders.

This unique survey course introduces students to the entrepreneurial and legal journey of tech startups and social entrepreneurs, broadly covering the myriad of laws applicable to such entrepreneurs, including organization establishment, operations, funding, negotiating partnerships, protection of assets, and consumer protection, as well as to more cutting-edge areas of data privacy and ABCD technologies (AI, blockchain, cloud and data).

Accordingly, this interdisciplinary course welcomes law students who seek to better understand and serve tech startups and social entrepreneurs, as well as students across the university (regardless of their discipline) as would-be tech startup and social entrepreneurs to better understand the journey and pitfalls ahead. Since its creation, LITE Lab has attracted student enrollments from 6 of HKU’s 10 faculties.

As each class is almost itself a course, students engage in blended learning/ flipped classroom with curated course content that include online webinars and tools to be reviewed prior to class to enable classroom discussions to be more facilitated and interactive. Active learning is required to succeed in this course.

In addition, this course is run as a simulated legal information service startup. Students work in teams on the LITE Lab@HKU website to give students the experience of working collaboratively, as they would in a real-world tech startup or social enterprise, and are also introduced to and apply the innovation and technology methodologies of organisations (startup and established), including legal design thinking,  business model canvas, agile project management and computational thinking.

The main student deliverable, often in teams, is to create digital artifacts to demonstrate student learnings, using tools to create eg, document automation, infographics, legal animation explainers, flowcharts, blogs and even chatbots as proposed to and approved by the course instructor on one or more of the class subjects covered.

The semester will end with a final student presentation including invited guests from our ecosystem partners.

Selected final projects will have the opportunity to be hosted on the LITE Lab@HKU website to serve as a resource to more broadly benefit the Hong Kong innovation and technology ecosystem.

This is the foundational course of LITE Lab@HKU programme. It is highly recommended but not required for enrolment in LITE Lab@HKU’s experiential and interdisciplinary classes:

  • Law, Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship Lab – Emerging Technologies and the Law (LLAW3255 Semester 2) course on co-designing and conducting legal research with real-world tech startups, social entrepreneurs and trade associations;
  • Law, Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship – Lawtech & Regtech Sandbox (LLAW3272, Semester 2) course on co-designing and co-creating proof-of-concepts of lawtech and regtech tools to benefit under-resourced legal and operations departments as well as NGOs to foster access to justice.

Our LITE Lab students have also been offered opportunities to complete in global and local competitions, and have won:

  • Baker McKenzie Boost Legal Innovation 2022 (Frankfurt)
  • University of Hong Kong Faculty of Engineering Innovation Academy’s InnoShow 2021 and InnoSpark 2021
  • Georgetown University Iron Tech Lawyer Invitational 2020 (USA)

To learn more about LITE Lab@HKU, please see its student recently created website (which is still subject to updating) at https://litelab.law.hku.hk/.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Brian Tang bwtang@hku.hk CCT 802 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Students will be able to describe and explain core issues facing entrepreneurs and tech startups in Hong Kong and elsewhere and the legal, regulatory and/or policy issues and consideration arising from these.

CLO 2 Students will learn to appreciate and contribute to the pervasive role of law (domestic and cross-jurisdictional) in the context of ABCD of technology (namely AI, blockchain, cloud and data) and business models (such as digital assets and circular economies), as well as the importance of self-governance standards and ethics, especially where there is an absence of laws and regulations.

CLO 3 Students will be able to apply knowledge and understanding of tech startup and entrepreneurial legal, regulatory and/or policy issues to real world situations.

CLO 4 Students will demonstrate creativity and teamwork in approaching challenging legal, regulatory and/or policy issues for entrepreneurs and tech startups.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Classroom attendance and  participation N/A 5% 1, 2, 3, 4
Final presentation 29 Nov 2022 5% 1, 2, 3, 4
Peer assessment and review 20 Dec 2022 10% 1, 2, 3, 4
LITE Lab@HKU website project (team-based) TBC 30% 1, 2, 3, 4
Final deliverable (individual; team-based upon approval by course instructor) TBC 50% 1, 2, 3, 4
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by the course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/