SKEMA Ventures’ InnovAlley and Startup Kafe event was held in Suzhou on September 25. The event’s objective was to facilitate an exchange of innovative ideas between SKEMA and Chinese student-entrepreneurs. Prof. Philippe Chereau, director of SKEMA Ventures, began the event by welcoming the participants and jury members on behalf of SKEMA Business School. He explained in detail the unique value chain of SKEMA Ventures that supports students and alumni entrepreneurs.
Urging them to think as strategists and act as business modelers, Prof. Chereau provided important suggestions to t/he pitchers. Laurence Lau, managing consultant at Suzhou CIEL Consulting Co. Ltd. and entrepreneurs’ mentor at the National University of Singapore, evaluated the pitches. Other panel members included Charles Huang, entrepreneurs’ mentor at NUS and founder/CEO of Lynchpin Technologies, Prof. Hua Lin, academic director of SKEMA Suzhou, Matthieu Dumont, campus director of SKEMA Suzhou and Prof. Chereau.
The entrepreneurial projects covered a wide range of product/market domains, ranging from energy savings, property trade, high-end sustainable bed linen and soil testing to a social platform and customized gourmet pastries.
The first prize for InnovAlley and Startup Kafe Suzhou was awarded to Le Lab, a project by SKEMA’s MSc International Business student Ghizlaine Oussedik. The second prize went to Le Drap Français by SKEMA MSc Corporate Financial Management student Margaux Chevrier. The third prize was given to the Integrated Pore-Water Injection (IPI) Sampling Technology project by XJTLU’s Yuxiang Ren.
The winning projects emphasized putting users at the core of their value proposition. They also highlighted the need to combine fostering of excellence in traditional practices with innovative technologies and strong sustainability. The event reflected SKEMA Ventures’ core value: supporting entrepreneurs who create value for individuals, the economy and society.