General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3254
Course name: Law, Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship: 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

1.2 Course description

Technology entrepreneurs often seek new and innovative ways of introducing products and services through new business models (eg, fintech, online marketplaces, software-as-a-service, Web3.0) and/or new technologies (eg, AI, blockchain, Internet of things (IoT)). Even the legal profession is evolving.  Inevitably, questions arise regarding whether these innovations conform with existing law and regulations, many of which are still evolving and differ across borders.

This course in novel in various ways:

  • Survey course introduces the entrepreneurial and legal journey of tech startups and social entrepreneurs, covering the myriad of applicable laws (organization establishment, operations, funding, negotiating partnerships, protection of assets, and consumer protection), and more cutting-edge areas of frontier technologies.
  • Interdisciplinary approach welcomes law students who seek to better understand and serve tech startups and social entrepreneurs, as well as students across HKU as would-be tech startup and social entrepreneurs, with enrolments from 7 of HKU’s 10 faculties (including as part of the Bachelor of Science and Arts (Fintech) and (Design+) degrees).
  • Blended learning/ flipped classroom with curated online webinars and tools to enable more facilitated interactive classroom discussions. Active learning is required to succeed.
  • Experiential learning through simulated legal information service startup, where students work collaboratively in teams on the LITE Lab@HKU website as they would in a real-world tech startup or social enterprise, learning and applying industry innovation and technology methodologies (including legal design thinking, business model canvas, agile methodology and computational thinking).
  • Digital artifacts using no/low code tools as final deliverable, such as creating a website that may include document automation and legal animation video explainers as proposed to and approved by the instructor. No technical background is required, and more technical students are encouraged to develop on more advanced platforms.
  • Varied assessments will also include student peer review and final presentations (either in person or on the metaverse).

Selected final projects may be hosted on the LITE Lab@HKU website to serve as a resource to benefit the Hong Kong innovation and technology ecosystem. LITE Lab also organises field trips and offers opportunities to compete in global and local legal and technology competitions (which our past students have won).

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

Learn more about LITE Lab@HKU via the student-created website (still being updating) (https://litelab.law.hku.hk/) and via Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/@litelabhku6246/videos ).

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 TBC 5% 1, 2, 3, 4
Peer assessment and review TBC 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/