Twenty-two Hong Kong entrepreneurs will join the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University community as mentors, following an Innovation and Entrepreneurs Mentors event at the University this month.

Jointly hosted by XJTLU’s International Innovation Hub and International Technology Transfer Centre, the event celebrated the appointment of the new mentors, who come from a range of sectors including finance, real estate, media and human resources.

In his address at the event, Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, highlighted the important role mentorship plays in education.

He explained that providing students with access to mentors and the chance to gain industry experience were important elements of the new Syntegrative Education model being developed at the University.

“At XJTLU we strive to combine the best education techniques from Chinese and international institutions,” he said.

“Instead of simply copying the model of British universities or traditional Chinese institutions, we incorporate the best aspects of education systems from around the world, taking into account the future trends and demands.

“Our aim is to pioneer the university model of the future.”

The International Innovation Hub and International Technology Transfer Centre at XJTLU are platforms to foster connections between the University, industries and the wider community.

According to Qiuchen Qian, who is head of education and outreach at the Hub, the two platforms will launch 30 initiatives over the next three years with the aim of increasing the University’s engagement with society.

“One of those 30 initiatives is the Innovation and Entrepreneurs Mentors, which was launched in May this year,” she said.

“Our latest intake of 22 Hong Kong mentors were all referred by the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA), one of the partners of the new XJTLU Entrepreneur College currently being built in Taicang.

“Our mentors play an active role in the University’s innovation community, and this year mentors have already hosted 15 lectures and workshops on campus.

“In the future, we plan to expand the programme further, offering a number of ways in which our students can work with mentors to implement their ideas and projects in the community.

“We are very pleased to be working with HKMA to welcome the newest mentors to XJTLU.”

Founded in 1960, HKMA is a non-profit organisation that promotes management excellence in Hong Kong and the surrounding areas. According to Cong Pan, Head of HKMA Mainland China Business Development, the new Hong Kong-based mentors are experienced in innovation and entrepreneurship and are looking for the chance to give back to the community.

“These mentors want to share their experience with students and teachers who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said.

New mentor Edi Koesno (pictured above) is the president of Topbear Limited. He has worked in cultural industries for many years, including overseeing and investing in films and TV series, one of which went on to win the Taiwan Golden Bell Awards. Koesno said he faced a number of challenges as he set up his business.

“Setting up a new business is hard,” he said.

“If young entrepreneurs had access to someone who had been there before and could share their experience, then that might make the path smoother.”

On the same day as the Innovation and Entrepreneurs Mentors event, a Roundtable Summit was held in Hong Kong to explore future collaborations between universities and industries to further develop the Syntegrative Education model.

The Roundtable Summit was co-hosted by XJTLU and HKMA and attended by a number of business leaders and senior executives from universities.

Written by Luyun Shi, translated by Xiangyin Han

Edited by Tara Hunt and Rosanna Galvin

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