Shanghai mentors bring startup dreams to life


Ten UQ students have returned from Shanghai after being embedded in some of the world’s leading technology startups through a four-week China Mobility Program run by The University of Queensland (UQ).

Idea Hub students stand on the street in Shanghai during China Mobility program

Selected student entrepreneurs from a variety of study areas worked alongside startup founders, CEOs and innovation gurus learning first-hand the process of founding, investing and growing an early-stage business in the gargantuan Chinese economy.

Not only were students immersed in the Chinese culture within one of the world’s largest technology development hubs, Caohejing Hi-tech Park, they also attended development and networking events and rubbed shoulders with Australian dignitaries visiting Shanghai.

UQ Master of Business graduate from Mumbai, Visakh Vignesh, said that the UQ Idea Hub China Mobility Program connected him to a vast network of driven and successful business leaders.

“You get to meet people working for big companies, like Philips, Starbucks and a bunch of other companies that are deeply invested in China, and also get an opportunity to meet with successful investors, accelerator programs etc. that are operating in China,” Visakh said.

“The kind of connections and the kind of networks that you can form in this university, by putting yourself through programs like Idea Hub and some of the other ones that the university is involved in, are second to none in this country.”

Hear more about UQ Idea Hub from Visakh:

The China Mobility Program is part of UQ Idea Hub, a startup pre-incubator that connects young innovators with mentors, and provides workshops and learning experiences to entrepreneurially-minded students.

UQ Idea Hub Director Nimrod Klayman was impressed by the energy and commitment shown by the students, who were supported in the program through a full scholarship.

“We’re equipping these students with the technical skills they need to make real change in the world, and in return we are consistently blown away by the creativity and diversity of business ideas they develop, and their positive, go-get-em attitudes,” Mr Klayman said.

Information technology and business management student Josh Bitossi said the China Mobility Program was “an unreal experience”.

“I learnt more in this month of intensive learning and working than I normally would in six months because UQ put so much effort into making sure the people we were meeting and the activities we were doing were constantly boosting our learning.”

The China Mobility Program runs annually in June and July, and is open to all students at The University of Queensland who have completed the UQ Idea Hub program.


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