Home Team Wins the 15th MBA Entrepreneurship Competition
Alumni and Public Relations Office 2017-07-24
The 15th China MBA Entrepreneurship Competition concluded on a hot summer day in late July on Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Xuhui campus.
The final saw the host team snatching the first prize with their medical supply chain management project, with first-time entrant Jiangnan University and Xinan University as runners-up, and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, Renmin University and Nanjing University getting the third place.
It also marks the end of a six-month nationwide competition involving over 200 teams from 70 business schools, with 17 teams vying with each other in the final.
Established angel investors such as Pivot Capital, CID Group, Newsion Venture Capital, 4fangguan and Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates also attended the contest, getting in touch with aspiring entrepreneurs and exploring possible investing opportunities.
Digital-supported healthcare, renewable energy, information technology and the sharing economy are the focus of this year's final.
Among the four projects in healthcare, the team from Tsinghua University sets up an online psychology clinic in the south western Guizhou province, the first of its kind in China; Tianjin University's proposal combines DNA sequencing and AI to diagnosis cancer; students from Taiwan's National Chiao Tung University introduces a wristband to improve blood sugar tests; while the winner, the medical supply chain management project from Shanghai Jiao Tong University targets the niche of pharmaceutical cold chain logistics, providing customised packaging and a complete range of relevant services.
In renewable energy, students from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences developed a hydrogen fuel battery which can sustain drones for three hours' continuous flight; Sichuan University brought forward semi-solid and solid-state lithium batteries; while Xi'an Jiao Tong University and Sun Yat-sen University devised electric automible control system and energy-efficient industrial heating system respectively.
Among this year's participants, there are 12 projects rooted in the real economy, with 11 belonging to the hi-tech sector. Seven teams, including three of the four with ambitions in the renewable energy industry have already obtained patents for their core technology.
The robotic wheelchair built by Jiangnan University for example, features functions such as following, obstacle avoidance, real-time positioning, remote control and QR-code reading, and is much smarter and more user-friendly than its traditional counterpart.
The GIS-based mining information broadcasting system designed by Xinan University meanwhile, can calculate and analyse data in designated mining area, forecasting possible accidents and providing digital support for sensible safety precautions.
Comprised of professors, investors and business leaders, the seven-member jury was pleased with this year's projects, praising them as up-to-date, high-quality and mature, with several already reaching the Pre-A or A-round funding phase.
Participants' presenting and roadshow skills have also improved significantly.
However they also pointed out that some proposals lacked creativity, and some of the technologies involved were actually lagging behind the market, and suggested more investment in the technological side and adding more technicians and other non-MBA members to the team.
Since its launch in 2002, the annual China MBA Entrepreneurship Competition has grew in scale and influence, and has produced a host of successful start-ups and trained a group of young entrepreneurs.
A revisit of former competitors and their companies in the past five years reveals that two-thirds of the 55 companies interviewed started operation within six months after the competition, among which 81% have survived, and 70% have gained a considerable market share.
Sixty percent of the companies visited have managed to turn a profit, with sales value increasing 38.8% year on year.
Some of them have fared particularly well. The 'Captain Da Che' project which won the competition in 2016 has seen sales soaring to 10 million yuan in the first six months and is expected to hit over 50 million in the first half of this year.
The smart gas network designed by a team from Renmin University, which also competed in 2016, has gained over 40 million yuan in annual sales last year.
Investors have also favoured the entrepreneurial attempts from MBA students, with nearly one-third of the projects receiving venture capital funding worth millions of dollars.
This year's participating MBA students will soon leave campus and enter the business world, and their choices in funding start-ups in industries such as platform economy, virtual economy and hi-tech are also early indicators of China's entrepreneurial future.