IBSS is thrilled to announce successful participation in this year’s “Tech Innovation Challenge” hosted in Shenzhen and featuring student teams from universities in China, US and UK. Three talented IBSS students – Wang Yirui (Alva), Sun Chang (Bella), and Liu Yeyan (Cici) – were among those chosen to compete in the 2nd annual Challenge, which ran from December 17 to 19.
In keeping with the event’s focus on collaboration and diversity, during the competition the three IBSS students were grouped with teammates from participating overseas universities: University of Chicago, University of University of Southern California, and University of Warwick. Each team, created by combining students from different universities and disciplines, had three days to develop a technology product for a specific company to be used by the residents of a “co-living space.” Each team competed to create an ideal technology product to showcase the environmental consciousness of the company’s brand. In the final round of competition, on December 19, students presented to a panel of judges comprised of executives from VC firms and successful entrepreneurs.
The results? The student team including Bella Sun finished in 2nd place overall, while the teams including the other two IBSS students also competed well. Ms Sun (Year 3, Economics & Finance) says the competition offered her a chance to illustrate “leadership” and to “broaden first-hand knowledge from professional industry experts.” She explains how the competition encouraged teams to develop technology to facilitate eco-friendly ‘co-living’ spaces—a concept which allows single young adults to share apartments in high-priced urban areas by using common rooms for cooking and socializing. Says Sun: “Communicating with people from diverse education backgrounds substantially boosted my understanding of marketing and of the ‘co-living’ industry.” Sun adds that the event helped her to hone useful professional skills. “Through collaborating with others, I also found shortcomings in myself which I can overcome in the future.”
Meanwhile, fellow IBSS competitor Alva Wang (Year 3, marketing) describes her learning points from the competition in this way: “During the event, we visited co-living spaces, cooperated with great people, and communicated with mentors from various industries. We also witnessed how concepts are realized and we gained deeper understanding of diversity from the real business world.” She adds that promoting IBSS and XJTLU during the competition was “a meaningful experience an a valuable chance to let more people know about us.” In addition, she reminded fellow students that “winning isn’t everything” and that “every experience is a chance to grow.”
Finally, competitor Cicy Liu, Year 2, Economics & Finance major at IBSS, says she “really learnt a lot” during the competition. She describes feeling “excited but anxious” at the start. “It was my first chance to attend an event on behalf of IBSS, my first time to work with top students from the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California, even my first time to Shenzhen.” However, after beginning work with her three group members – students from UChicago and USC -- she found herself more relaxed. “They were very active and enthusiastic to express their own thoughts when new ideas struck which made me feel I was not alone to fight.” She adds: “I really enjoyed the atmosphere where we listened to each other's ideas but also argued during the discussion to perfect the initial plan.” Her takeaways? “I should enhance my English skill in presenting and comprehending.” Overall, however, Liu says “It was great to participate. It was really an unforgettable journey.”
All three students expressed their appreciation to IBSS, XJTLU, as well as to IBSS Associate Professor of Practice and University of Southern California alumna Dr Ellen Touchstone, who introduced IBSS to the competition and accompanied the students during the event. Dr Touchstone, who is also Director of Internationalisation for IBSS, shared this comment on joining the Challenge: “Our students did an incredible job of representing IBSS and XJTLU at this global competition. It was very rewarding to witness our students utilizing the lessons they’ve learned and the skills they’ve acquired at IBSS to contribute to their groups.”
By Laurie Underwood, edited by Ellen Touchstone