New business adventure competition nurtures entrepreneurship and innovation

Gao Jiabei, Year 3, Department of Electronic Engineering; Li Shiyun, Year 2, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics; and Wang Xiaowen, Year 2, Department of Mathematics

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We are honoured to have won the New Business Adventure (NBA) 2011 Business Plan Competition organised by Student Development Services, which was held from October 2010 to February 2011. It taught us a great deal about entrepreneurship and innovation.

There were four rounds in total for the business plan competition. In round one, we had to submit a proposal for an innovative business idea, followed by a complete business plan in round two. Then we had to deliver a five-minute oral presentation in rounds three and four.

Our business idea concerned LED technology. When we were trying to transfer the technical invention from the laboratory into a profitable product, and into a business plan, we encountered many difficulties. One was connected to communication: we could not describe our product and service in layman’s terms. After a great deal of research and improvement, we solved that problem. The other obstacle we met was a lack of experience putting academic knowledge into practice. So we felt frustrated when the project did not go well, and sometimes we even wanted to quit. But we encouraged each other every step of the way.

The main lesson we learned from this business adventure is an exciting word: entrepreneurship. We now understand that entrepreneurship combines business knowledge, technology and engineering knowledge, and communication skills.

Entrepreneurship is a highly integrated research process that requires all kinds of skills. The key word behind entrepreneurship is innovation, and we learned that meaningful innovation does not necessarily mean coming up with crazy ideas and carrying out bold but impractical business proposals. Rather, it is about creating ideas based on consumer behaviour and understanding society and industry.

The NBA competition provides such a great platform for young adults and university students from all disciplines to experience all the excitement that entrepreneurship brings. We really feel the impulse this word has given us. It has made us more well-rounded, confident and mature.

Throughout the competition, we were given a lot of support from CityU faculty and staff. Professor Henry Chung Shu-hung from the Department of Electronic Engineering showed huge interest in authorising students to use his research outcomes to initiate this business adventure. After winning the competition, Mr James Leung Sing-chung, Senior Counselor in Student Development Services, and other judges proposed some constructive ideas. We want to convey our sincere appreciation to them and thank them for the training workshops on creativity, business plan writing, presentation, and entrepreneurship.

We also want to reiterate our thanks to the organiser for helping us to understand entrepreneurship better and advising us on planning for the future.


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