Business

Shanghai students help create gateway to Asia

Students from Shanghai Commercial School take part in a customised UTS Hatchery+ program. Photo: Kate Paterson/UTS

Twenty Chinese high school students are a step closer to becoming young entrepreneurs after spending two weeks undertaking a customised curriculum at the UTS Hatchery.

The group from Shanghai Commercial School followed a Hatchery+ program of masterclasses, mentorship and entrepreneurial thinking exercises, covering modules on entrepreneurship and innovation, design thinking and the business-building method Lean Canvas.

The students were also thrown head first into what it takes to launch a start-up, and guided through stages such as problem, solution, customer segment, unique value proposition, distribution channels, revenue, cost, key metrics, unfair advantage and market sizing.

The Shanghai students were the first international delegation to visit the Hatchery. Their trip was conducted in partnership with UTS Commercial and Tripalocal, which aims to connect Chinese schools, students, teachers and parents with international educational and innovation experiences. It comes after a successful pilot program with Shanghai high school students in February 2017, organised by Tripalocal and UTS Access.

The Chinese students, working in four teams, joined Hatchery+ alumni companies GetFoodi, SoEasy Travel, Cookitoo and Fixit to find creative solutions for how these Australian start-ups could launch into the China market.

The students’ program culminated in presentations to the start-ups and a wider audience at Haymarket HQ, Australia’s first not-for-profit start-up hub supporting entrepreneurs wanting to expand into Asia.

Christina Zhu, teacher at Shanghai Commercial School, said: “During the two weeks they spent with the UTS Hatchery, the students learnt a lot of business knowledge that they couldn’t get just by being in the classroom. They were able to connect directly with start-ups and receive first-hand information on how to make a company work.

“Everybody wants to be the CEO of the next Alibaba, so perhaps one day some of our students will be the founder of their own start-ups. This experience has certainly broadened their vision and has been a great help for their futures.”

Caroline Lepron, co-founder of Cookitoo, said: “I have always believed that young people can have really powerful insights even at such a young age and the Shanghai group was no different. We managed to learn how our most important demographic felt about sharing economy (they’d rather not!); we learnt about what the government and food regulations were like and probably most importantly we found out which channels they would listen to. ”

Monique Potts, acting director, UTS Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creative Intelligence Unit (IECIU), said: “We’ve seen a rapidly increasing interest from students in entrepreneurial careers, and in creating their own livelihoods and businesses when finishing university. It’s critical that we equip them for the workforce of the future and help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

“For our Hatchery+ start-ups, the journey doesn’t just end when they fly the nest. International market expansion is a crucial part of growing a business, and it’s important that we can support the next phase beyond life within the Hatchery+, program by connecting our alumni with invaluable international insights.”

Source: UTS

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