A project seeking to reduce a nutrient deficiency and a sign-language translation project won first prizes at the XJTLU Global Entrepreneurial Dream-chasers Competition finals last month.
The competition, a partnership between start-up incubator XbotPark (Changzhou) and XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), encouraged university student teams to create entrepreneurial projects based on furthering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The competition finals saw sixteen teams from five universities in China, Malaysia and the UK compete online and onsite at the College in two categories.
Student groups receive awards at the XJTLU Global Entrepreneurial Dream-chasers Competition
The project Deep Breath Selenium, which won the Customer-oriented Hard Technology category, aims to help combat selenium deficiency in China, where a wide belt of land running diagonally across the country is lacking selenium in its soil. Although humans need only a small amount of selenium for health and disease protection, low amounts in the soil can lead to deficiencies in some human populations.
In this project, a six-member team led by Xilei Huang, a Year Two student from XJTLU’s School of Science, developed “selenium sites”, which are made from cultivating the plant Cardamine hupingshanensis through . According to the team’s laboratory experiments, these selenium sites can release the nutrient into the air, where humans can then breathe it in and absorb a recommended daily intake at a rate that prevents overdose or selenium toxicity.
Members of Deep Breath Selenium team present their ideas to the jury
Zhongyuan Chen, Investment Manager of XbotPark (Changzhou), says that while the preliminary research and profit model of the project can be improved, the project has incubation value.
The project Silent Partner, which won the Social Entrepreneurship category, would aim to build a channel to ease communication between people with hearing loss who use sign language and people who do not know sign language. The five-member team led by Haoqi Hu, a student from XJTLU’s School of AI and Advanced Computing, cited statistics indicating about 27.8 million people in China may have hearing loss. The team is now focusing on developing an app where users can upload video clips containing sign language that will be translated into text.
Professor Stuart Perrin, Vice President of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), welcomes and encourages the finalists in his opening speech
During the presentations, the teams introduced their entrepreneurial projects to the jury and received professional guidance. They competed through speeches and Q&A with the jury.
The jury evaluates the performance and projects of participating teams
The competition winners will receive the XJTLU Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholarship, mentorship guidance, cash rewards and a surprise gift. In addition, promising entrepreneurial projects will have the opportunity to receive 500,000 RMB of seed investment from XbotPark (Changzhou).
By Haolun Xu
Edited by Luyun Shi, Catherine Diamond and Tamara Kaup
Photos by UMC