A group of 33 elite students from HKUST, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and the University of Sao Paulo (USP) gathered in Hong Kong SAR and China’s Guangdong Province this August, and spent an exciting and fulfilling summer, participating in the “Technology and Management International Business Plan Competition 2012”.
It’s the 7th competition since the launch in 2007. Being the host this year, HKUST Dual Degree Program selected a hot local issue regarding the “Six new industries in Hong Kong” as the theme for the competition. Students from the three universities mixed together to form teams, and the project challenge, spanning one week, was about conducting research, market analysis, and development of viable business plans on any of the six industries, which were then presented to a panel of distinguished judges from industry and Government.
Prior to the start of the competition, the students had an exciting day of rafting in Sai Kung to build team spirit, which equipped each team, consisting of different cultural backgrounds, to understand the working style of others and facilitate cooperation for the duration of the competition. The competition then kicked-off on 3 August, with opening remarks from Dr Eden Woon, Vice-President for Institutional Advancement of HKUST. Dr Woon gave an overview about education in Hong Kong, enriching the participants’ knowledge about the important linkage and strong cohesion between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta for the development of education.
Apart from the local visit at ASTRI to learn about how business merges with the research industry in Hong Kong, all participants had a 3-day exploration trip in Guangdong Province of China to experience Chinese culture and the development of entrepreneurship in the country. Company visits at Bear Electric Ltd and Tencent provided opportunities for students to learn from the success stories and online business strategies of two fast growing companies in China.
The company visits definitely provided students with actual examples of interconnection between Technology and Management in the real business world. Plus, having intensive consultation and feedback sessions with faculty advisors, students’ business plans were well-polished by the end of the week for their final presentations. After keen debate among the judges, Team “WeCycle” was selected as the champion of the competition with their idea about running a business centered around waste reduction and collection of recyclable materials. The plan utilized the Octopus smart card system, image recognition technology and a novel machine to accept, crush and store the recyclable products. The scheme was recognized for it’s incentive to reward the public in the form of credits and points.
Throughout the competition, the students experienced and shared different cultures with teammates, and developed team spirit, problem-solving skills, and friendship with each other. They made great advances in business analysis, case study and business presentation skills throughout the whole process.