A 50-day entrepreneurship programme organised by the Greater Bay Area International Institute for Innovations (GBA I3) concluded successfully last week. In this first-of-its-kind immersion programme, 76 students from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas had the opportunity to widen their horizons in entrepreneurship and innovation, engage in cultural exchanges, share ideas and collaborate with one another.
The students also participated in incubation and internship at start-ups in the region. Many felt that the knowledge they gained about the start-up ecosystem and market environment in the GBA will be helpful to them if they start a business in the region.
The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Start-up Internship • Immersion Programme, launched by the GBA I3, was jointly established by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Shenzhen University (SZU). Running from May to July, the programme hosted 17 PolyU students, 32 SZU students, and 27 students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
This year's programme included a series of field trip studies at start-ups, incubators and multi-national technology companies in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. In the programme, students also learned from entrepreneurship coaches and capital venture heads on how to design business models and validate business plans. Additionally, the 17 PolyU students were able to participate in five-week internships at various Shenzhen start-ups.
Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President of PolyU, said, "The programme is one of the key projects for GBA I3 to promote entrepreneurship development. With a wide spectrum of learning models that combine field trips, internships, and exchange opportunities, we aimed to broaden the perspectives and experiences of the students from different countries, cultures and disciplines and inspire them to come up with innovative ideas. Through similar initiatives, we hope our young people embrace the tremendous opportunities made possible by the GBA, and that global talent is attracted to the region for career development."
Professor WANG Hui, Vice President of SZU, said, "The programme is the first key initiative for developing talent in the GBA I3 established by the two universities. With full support and funding from the Ministry of Education, the programme aims to integrate the resources in innovation and technology across the region, develop technology professionals in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, encourage the exchange of creative talent within the GBA and the rest of the world. We also hope that the programme will give students in Hong Kong and Macau a better understanding of economic and social developments in the Mainland. The seven-week programme offers a wide range of activities including corporate visits, training courses, internships and roadshows for entrepreneurship projects. Through these activities, we hope to establish a distinctive brand for the programme that fully implements the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in the GBA."
For LUO Yuxi, a year-2 student at SZU studying Business Management, the programme has widened his horizons by exposing him to first-hand experiences of the different learning and working cultures in the Mainland, Hong Kong and among overseas students. "In our business planning with PolyU peers, we were impressed by their very pragmatic approach, dedicated mindset and high efficiency in problem solving. On the other hand, we Mainland students are usually strong in research on the wider market trends taking place across the Nation. Learning how to integrate our complementary strengths and achieve common goals will certainly empower us for future cross-cultural career development and cooperation."
A year-3 PolyU student in Product Design, Ivan WONG worked as an intern at a Shenzhen start-up providing smart caring solutions and products for the elderly. Working as a User Interface User Experience (UIUX) designer during his five-week internship, he was responsible for creating a functional and fashionable sneaker for the elderly. "The day-to-day real-life experience of working and living in Shenzhen strengthened my confidence about looking beyond Hong Kong to develop my career. I now think about realizing my dream of setting up a studio start-up with my classmates when I graduate and providing industrial design services targeted at the huge GBA market."