Eric Pan (front row, left) and his teammates win the Most Favourite Product prize in the MIT Entrepreneurship and Maker Skills Integrator Programme for their business idea of an intelligent plant watering sensor.


潘至祺同學(前排左)與團隊研究一項互動的澆水感應器,該創業意念獲美國麻省理工學院的創業訓練課程頒發「最受歡迎產品」獎。

Date: 03 Feb 2017 (Friday)

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HKBU student learns entrepreneurship skills and wins prize

浸大生體驗創業兼獲獎

HKBU student Eric Pan (Computer Science, Year 3) and his team won an award after completing a 16-day entrepreneurship training programme entitled “Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Entrepreneurship and Maker Skills Integrator (MEMSI) Programme”.

Eric and his team Happy Farm developed a user-interactive plant watering sensor by assembling an intelligent chatbot. This viable business idea stood out from six competing teams to win the Most Favourite Product prize. In the six-member team, three of Eric’s teammates come from two Hong Kong universities and two come from MIT, USA.

A total of 14 students from MIT, USA and 16 Hong Kong students from five local universities were selected to join the programme held in Hong Kong this year. Students from different disciplines formed teams to identify and solve problems, develop a solution through team interaction, and build a prototype using advanced technologies.

Eric thinks that a startup’s first priorities are to address the needs of the market and build team chemistry. He said, “There was great diversity in our team and I believe this was the reason why everything went smoothly. We had two business members; two hardware engineers; one data analyst; and I handled graphic design and software. We learnt from each other. I learnt how to do a good pitch, and to communicate with teammates.”

Eric said a lot of people think a startup has to have great engineers to make things happen, however, he believes a team made up purely of engineers does not guarantee success. He said, “You must target the correct market by doing tons of researches and interviews. A startup is more about how you target the right market and differentiate your product from those offered by competitors.” Eric did not see much of a cultural barrier when working with his US teammates and said, “They balance play, work and networking pretty well. I was impressed by the way that peer members of the programme do very well in their own realm while enjoying an awesome life.”

浸大潘至祺同學(計算機科學系三年級)與「開心農場」團隊完成16天的美國麻省理工學院創業訓練課程並獲頒獎項。他與團隊研究一項可以與用者互動、模擬「聊天機器人」的植物澆水感應器,從六支隊伍中脫穎而出獲頒「最受歡迎產品」獎。他的六人團隊中,其他三人來自本港兩間大學、兩人來自麻省理工學院。

今年共有14位美國麻省理工學院同學及16位來自本港五間大學的同學參與在香港舉行的創業訓練課程。不同主修的同學組成隊伍一同運用創新技術解決創業難題。

潘同學認為,初創企業的首要任務是滿足市場所需和建立團隊默契。他說:「我的隊員來自不同背景,相信這是團隊運作暢順的原因。兩人來自商科、兩人是硬件工程師,一人分析數據,我專責平面設計和軟件。隊員間互相學習,我學會了比稿提案技巧及與隊員溝通。」

潘同學說,許多人認為初創企業需要卓越的工程師,但他相信只有工程師的團隊不能保證成功。他說:「企業更需要做大量研究和訪問,對準市場所需。初創企業需找對目標市場,並推出有別於競爭者的獨有產品。」他與美國的隊員並未因中西文化差異而產生障礙,他說:「外國的同學能夠平衡玩樂、工作及社交生活,他們享受生活,亦能在自己專屬領域發揮所長。」