Innovative business ideas presented at PolyU Innovation and Entrepreneurship GSC 2015

Organized by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), PolyU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Global Student Challenge (GSC) 2015 has come to a fruitful close.

The Final competition was held on 24 June on PolyU campus, with six finalist teams competing in the University Division and another six teams in the Secondary School Division. These aspiring young people presented their innovative business ideas to a panel of judges comprising of renowned entrepreneurs, business executives, school principals, university professors and venture capitalists from Hong Kong and overseas.

After rounds of keen competition, the Gold Award of the University Division went to two teams – the team ClubQnect of The University of New South Wales, Australia and White Light Medical of John Hopkins University, United States. ClubQnect is a free to download “social ticketing” mobile platform that facilitates interactions between event goers, prospective event goers and event organisers. Not only does it allow a person to invite friends to different events, it gives users clear visibility when their friends purchase a ticket to any event. Users can purchase tickets on their phone and create groups of friends to attend events together for discounts and special offers. The mobile platform enables ticket re-selling and gifting, thereby minimizing ticket scalping.

White Light Medical is a medical device startup that develops a low-cost and smarter pedicle probe, AccuSpine, for accurate placement of pedicle screws in spinal fusion surgery. The self-contained device combining mechanical, electrical, and computational systems aims to reduce screw breach rates, operating room time, and radiation exposure, and therefore limit the cost of the procedure while enhancing safety for both patients and surgeons.

As for the Secondary School Division, Colyton Grammar School of the United Kingdom snatched the Gold Award (Team name: Salus). Their product – StopAid is a device to alert car drivers to keep a safe “stopping distance” with vehicles ahead in order to improve road safety. Infrared lasers are mounted in the front headlights to gauge the distance between the car and vehicles ahead. A red light warning will be shown on a dashboard monitor if the distance between cars is below a safe level. The red light will be off until a safer distance is reached. Although this feature is common in new cars, StopAid targets second-hand cars which lack advanced safety features.

GSC is an international business case competition launched by PolyU in 2009 as a major initiative to embrace internationalization, innovation and entrepreneurship. Run for the fourth time, this year’s GSC has attracted 130 teams from secondary schools and universities from 22 countries and territories (Secondary School Division: 65; University Division: 65). A total of 54 teams with more than 200 contestants were sponsored to Hong Kong for the Semi Final and Final from 20 June to 26 June.

PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, “Apart from providing students with a valuable opportunity to unleash their innovation and entrepreneurship potential, GSC helps develop their international mindset or global perspective, which is a sustainable competitive advantage in the global economy. Participants in this week meet up with peer groups from all over the world, thus opening their eyes and minds to different value, culture and systems.”

The judging panel of GSC 2015 was composed of a total of 30 Semi-Final and 10 Final judges with diverse experience coming from all over the world, all of them being renowned academics and senior executives in their respective fields. In addition, 8 overseas academics from globally renowned institutions were invited to play the role of international advisors as well as judges to provide top tips for students preparing for the Challenge and add international dimensions to the judging mechanism of the competition.

The business proposals were grouped by the sub-themes of Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Environment and Sustainability, and Corporate Social Responsibility / Social Enterprise. Winners of Gold, Silver, Bronze, Commendation Awards as well as the Theme Award and Best of the Best Elevator Pitch Award for each division were selected and announced last night at the Gala Ceremony. All winning teams were presented with a trophy and cash prizes, and each individual team member received a certificate.

GSC participants were able to get a taste of life at PolyU. They resided at the Student Halls of Residence and visited PolyU’s eight Faculties and Schools, accompanied by PolyU Student Ambassadors. Company visits, as well as sharing sessions conducted by young entrepreneurs and PolyU students on business startups were also arranged. They also enjoyed cultural and heritage tours to local attractions.

The GSC was made possible due to the generous support from The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong for sponsoring this Challenge. The Challenge was also supported by The Mira Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University