Yonsei University, renowned as one of South Korea’s most prestigious institutions, recently embarked on an exciting journey of entrepreneurial exploration. Collaborating with beSUCCESS Media Group., the university hosted a transformative entrepreneurship course from June 27 to July 14, 2023. With a global reach, the program attracted investors, mentors, and esteemed experts from the startup world to share their invaluable knowledge with Yonsei’s diverse student body.
As the top private university in Korea and ranked 73rd globally in the QS World University Rankings 2023, Yonsei University’s reputation made it the perfect host for this summer course. The program welcomed students from various faculties, including business management, computer science, fine art, and English literature. Its primary goal was to introduce participants to the dynamic world of entrepreneurship and provide insights into the ever-evolving global startup trends.
Insights into the Thriving Chinese Startup Ecosystem
On July 13 and 14, Dr. Gang Lu, the founder and CEO of TechNode Group, one of China’s leading global technology influencers, mentored students about the Chinese startup ecosystem, startup investment trends and environment, and different sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, Smart City, and Metaverse, as well as Chinese unicorn companies
Dr. Lu started TechNode as a personal blog, which has grown into an internationally respected innovation platform. The media platform includes business segments TN Media (Chinese and English technology media platform), TN Inno (corporate innovation services), TN Global (Asian and global business), and TN Events (branding and events services). Through these activities, TechNode connects China’s startup technology ecosystem to the world.
Dr. Gang Lu is the co-founder of BEYOND Expo, which aims to be the world’s leading technology and innovation expo held annually in Macau, China. Dr. Lu holds a Ph.D. in Wireless Communications from the University of Sheffield, UK. Dr. Lu was selected as an Overseas Advanced Talent in Shanghai and received the Entrepreneurship Award at the UK Study Abroad Alumni Awards hosted by the British Embassy in 2017-18. Previously he worked as Asia Business Development Director at Netvibes and Research and Development Engineer at Dialogue Communications UK.
For his mentorship session, Dr. Lu highlighted how technology is a leading factor in most sectors of the modern world. He gave examples of various sectors where technology changes food, fashion, auto, logistics, and space.
China’s Global Influence and Expanding Brands
Dr. Lu then presented some interesting facts and figures about technology penetration in China. One of the fascinating aspects Dr. Lu highlighted was the evolution of Chinese companies from mere imitators to pioneers. He emphasized how, two decades ago, they replicated successful Western business models to suit the Chinese market, resulting in thriving copy-to-China (C2C) ventures. “However, China’s startup scene has come a long way since then. Today, it boasts a cashless market, with digital transactions being the norm,” he said.
Intriguingly, Dr. Lu discussed China’s transition from being a technology consumer to a technology creator. Chinese companies have carved their path by creating innovative versions of global commerce platforms like Alibaba, QIY, and BaiDu, showcasing the country’s tech-driven approach. This transformation, Dr. Lu emphasized, was a pivotal turning point for China’s economic growth.
Among the hottest markets in China, Dr. Lu pointed out the surging popularity of live streaming as a powerful sales channel. Additionally, the electric vehicle (EV) market is rapidly gaining traction, and large-scale development of AI models is becoming increasingly prevalent, Dr. Lu shared. The session further highlighted the success of global Chinese brands such as Shein and Temu, exemplifying China’s expanding influence in the global market.
Fostering Entrepreneurship in Academia
The online mentorship session proved to be an invaluable experience for Yonsei University students, who eagerly engaged with Dr. Lu, seeking insights on investment trends, market profitability, and high-interest sectors. Dr. Lu’s ability to provide tangible examples and practical advice offered aspiring entrepreneurs a deeper understanding of the Chinese startup ecosystem and the secrets to its global success.
Yonsei University’s collaboration with beSUCCESS Media Group and Dr. Gang Lu’s mentorship showcased the importance of fostering entrepreneurship in academia. The program exposed students to the world of startups and provided a unique opportunity to learn from seasoned industry experts.
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