The sixth edition of the Startup Weekend in Suzhou was held on October 19, 20 and 21 at Suzhou S&HE Aerospace. SKEMA Ventures was the academic partner of the event and Sudeep Chhabra, Professor, SKEMA Business School, participated as a mentor. Mariapaola Saponaro, a student from SKEMA, and her team won the first prize.
Startup Weekend is an innovative event which aims at providing practical entrepreneurship education to students. The 54-hour event began with a pitch and brainstorm session on Friday night, followed by building a business model, product prototypes and designing a marketing strategy, ending with a road show on Sunday night. The participants were introduced to novel entrepreneurship practices. This edition of the Startup Weekend in Suzhou was focused around the general aviation industry.
According to Mariapaola, participating in the event helped her improve her work attitude and develop more flexibility, as she was often involved in team roles that she had never taken before. “It was challenging. Although we faced some difficulties initially while communicating with each other, we achieved the objective successfully in the end!” she asserted.
The idea of Mariapaola and her team comprised elaborating a mobile application through which, during a flight journey, passengers would be able to enjoy the scenery, check an interactive map, get information about main cities, book hotels, restaurant, and buy local food. The airline company (which would be a partner) would deliver the required products and services to the travelers. All the information and data would be supported by a Cloud platform.