The School of Engineering (SENG) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) successfully organized its first-ever Technology Leadership and Entrepreneurship Youth Camp for secondary school students from 8 to 12 August. The 5-day camp provides the participants a broad overview and understanding of entrepreneurship and enables them to have a taste of entrepreneurship through a team project to formulate the business plan of a technology product.
Fifteen Form 3 and Form 4-to-be students, including eight girls and seven boys, from seven schools joined the camp. Over the 5-day period, they had the opportunity to shadow HKUST students who are enrolled in the MPhil Program in Technology Leadership and Entrepreneurship (TLE) as well as visiting their start-ups at Science Park. They also gained first-hand experience as entrepreneurs in the team project, where they were asked to propose ways on how to differentiate a particular technology product in the market place and to build a sustainable business model. In addition, laboratory tour and campus tour were arranged where students experienced the vibrant entrepreneurial culture on campus and dynamic university life.
Prof King Lun Yeung, Associate Dean of Engineering (Research and Graduate Studies) and Director of MPhil Program in TLE, said, “The camp is a pioneering initiative of the School to extend entrepreneurship education to junior secondary school students. Technology innovation and leadership skills are key elements of successful entrepreneurship. We hope the camp will nurture students’ entrepreneurial spirit and inspire them to explore entrepreneurship in their future career prospect.”
In the camp, the young students learned about what entrepreneurship involves and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, the benefits and challenges for entrepreneurs, as well as entrepreneurial resources in Hong Kong and Southern China, such as co-working space, funding sources and competitions. Through working in the team project, they also developed their teamwork and communication skills and understood the importance of these skills in business.
Prof Terrence Yee, Associate Director of MPhil Program in TLE, said, “We hope these experiences will not only foster students’ innovative mindsets but also give them early exposure to understand entrepreneurship in terms of what they can do. Entrepreneurship is not something difficult to pursue and they can start planning in their age.”
The School of Engineering has been strengthening its entrepreneurship education over the past years. The MPhil Program in TLE was launched by the School in Fall 2014 and the Minor Program in Entrepreneurship, jointly offered with the School of Business and Management for undergraduates, was introduced in Spring 2014. The School’s students and faculty also have a large number of start-ups, including DJI, founded by Electronic and Computer Engineering alumnus Mr Frank Wang, who was named one of the Top 10 Innovators in China by Forbes magazine China edition in 2014.