To boost the entrepreneurial projects of SKEMA students in Suzhou, SKEMA Ventures organized the Bootstrap workshop from April 20 to 23.
Five student-entrepreneurs from SKEMA – Gabriel Koun-Yune, Shannon Levy, Jianan Ye, Shaohan Niu, and Léon Genty – attended the online workshop. All of them gave a two-minute “elevator pitch” of their business projects at the beginning of the workshop. After three days of intensive online lectures and coaching by SKEMA Ventures director, Professor Philippe Chereau, and SKEMA Ventures China manager, Chali Zhou, the participants gradually transformed their business ideas into a solid business plan.
They also benefitted from the testimonials of successful SKEMA entrepreneurs. “Don’t be afraid to practice your business pitch,” affirmed SKEMA alumnus Mathias Bucci Faoder, the founder of X-Makina, a reward survey company. On the fourth day, the five participants gathered their courage and pitched their projects in front of a jury comprising Hua Lin (academic director of SKEMA Suzhou), Matthieu Dumont (campus director of SKEMA Suzhou) and Jade Zhao (founder of CreativeX).
Some of the students got the opportunity to pitch their projects at SKEMA’s Suzhou campus, which reopened on April 23, while the others participated online. After the pitches, the jury members congratulated the students and appreciated their hard work. During this difficult time, SKEMA Ventures proved that nothing can stop the creativity and innovation of SKEMA’s faculty and students!
Jianan Ye, an M1 student, plans to build an e-commerce platform to create a channel between dental supplies and dental hospitals.
“I learned a lot during these four days of training. The coaches assisted me in applying my knowledge and skills to my project. They also helped me to improve my project plan and gave me professional advice. I was able to hone my speaking skills. On the last day, professionals from different fields listened to my pitch, asked me questions and helped me to improve my project,” he said.
L3 student Shannon Levy’s project is to create an application that will enable users to use their phone completely through voice commands.
“I thought the Bootstrap was really challenging and interesting. I learned things that are not taught in class,” she asserted.
Koun-Yune Gabriel TAN, an MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation student, wants to solve the sleep issues of Chinese high school students taking the “gaokao” (university entrance exam) with safe plant-based sleeping pills.
“I learned a lot from the SKEMA Ventures coaches who advised me on how to effectively pitch a business idea in two minutes and the process of making a business plan. Even though I already had a similar course before, the Bootstrap workshop helped me to consolidate my knowledge. Getting other people’s feedback gave me a better insight into the flaws I couldn’t see in my project and enabled me to polish my idea,” he explained.