Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. What is it and is it worth joining?

As a student in Wu Yee Sun College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, I had an opportunity to join the Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (GEB) through Global Learning Award Scheme (GLAS). GLAS encourages students to come up with ideas of self-development and provides fundings to support these kinds of initiatives. Simply speaking, I found GEB by myself and everything starting from application to joining the program was self-initiated, but I funded my expenses through GLAS program of Wu Yee Sun College. I would like to Thank all staff members of Wu Yee Sun college for their support.

About GEB:

Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is a 4-day educational/leadership session designed for the youth. GEB brings together many young innovative minds from around the world and puts them on a common platform to innovate and create new businesses through collaboration. The primary aim of GEB has always been to provide participants an overwhelming lifetime experience to develop the necessary entrepreneurial skills to start their venture. GEB is the platform to interact with mentors, successful entrepreneurs who are willing to hear what budding entrepreneurs are thinking of, and guide them on the right path to making a successful startup.

Now that you know what Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is, I am going to tell you what happened during the Bootcamp, day by day. We mainly had two types of activities, speeches by Mentors and teamwork. In this report I mostly focused on speeches by Mentors, therefore please note that we had several teamwork sessions that are not listed below.

1st Day (27th June 2019)

On the first day of the Bootcamp, we started up with the Informal Networking among the participants and organizers. I met lots of young entrepreneurs and got to know what was their business fields. It was great to see people who are of the same age as me but who have made tremendous progress as entrepreneurs. I was inspired by them.

After informal networking, we had Opening Ceremony where we got introduced to what we will be doing throughout the Bootcamp. After the opening ceremony, there was a team formation session where everyone will pitch his/her ideas to 9 other participants and get scores. After the pitching session, participants with top scores pitched their ideas to everyone else and all other participants joined the teams which were more suitable for them.

After the Team Formation session, there was a talk by Prof. Rajesh Nair. Prof. Rajesh Nair, Director of ASB innovation and entrepreneurship center spoke on ideation which was very helpful to the participants to generate new innovative business ideas.

After Prof. Rajesh Nair’s speech, we had another talk by Nicole Nguyen. Nicole Nguyen, Head of APAC for Asia Blockchain Review and Infinity Blockchain Ventures, spoke on Networking and the Secret Sauce of Bonding with People.

With this, the first day was over.

2nd Day (28th June 2019):

The second day started with the visit to the 9th Social Business Day held in Centara Grand Hotel. Social Business Day is an annual two-day conference organized by the Yunus Centre and is hosted by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.  The conference serves to highlight developments in the realm of social business and to provide social entrepreneurs with the opportunity to connect with established individuals in the field. It is one of the largest gatherings of the social business community, bringing together leading experts, academics, innovators, and aspiring business owners.

Social Business Day conference covered a wide array of topics in different settings to participate in open discussions with invited and distinguished speakers. Intimate panel sessions have taken place for participants to engage in smaller groups to discuss the application of social business in specific industries. Some topics that were covered relate to the intersections between social business and technology, healthcare, youth leadership, sports, arts, microfinance, and the environment.

The most notable part of Social Business Day was a talk by Prof. Muhammad Yunus. His vision on how businesses should be run to help the society was very eye-opening to me.

After visiting Social Business Day Conference we came back to the Bootcamp place and Aditya Dave, a founder of LAARI, gave a talk about how to develop Business Model Canvas. I learned what should be considered during the development of Business Model and right after the talk I and my teammates brainstormed about our own Business Model Canvas.

After brainstorming about Business Model Canvas we had another talk by Anurag Singh, co-founder, and CEO of Crumbley. As a specialist in data mining, Anurag has worked on numerous data analytics projects with academia and industry. Anurag spoke on “Who is your customer”. This speech was particularly important because we had to consider the things that Anurag mentioned in our business model.

Following we had another talk by Daniel Concha Zegarra, Product Operations Manager at Tencent. Daniel spoke on “Product Design” and helped us to understand how should a team design a successful product.

After Daniel’s talk, we had another talk by Subeed Ahmed. Subeed Ahmed, Sr Director- Capgemini, spoke on “Building your High-Performance Team”. Subeed is the Sr Director- Capgemini. His focus is on building high-quality software for enterprise applications using Automation, AI and ML and IoT. He talked about what kind of teams perform well under stress and what kind of problems teams may face during the development of the product.

After Ahmed’s talk, we listened to Huy Q Nguyen. Huy Q Nguyen, Founder, Vietnam Social Innovation Challenge, spoke on “Successful Entrepreneurship in the 4th Industrial Revolution”

After Huy’s talk, Aung Ye Kyaw, Founder and CEO of White Merak Comics Studio spoke on “Passion and Entrepreneur”. In his speech, he mentioned some very important points that one may encounter in his entrepreneurship journey.

After Aung’s talk, we had another very interesting talk by Rahuel Stone from Polynation Ventures. Rahuel spoke on “Building Innovative Startups – The Israeli Way”

Rahuel spoke about why Israeli companies are very successful and how to run a business the same way as Israelites do. He said that the survival instinct forces people to think out of the box and be more innovative.

Rahuel’s talk was the last talk of the day and after that, we had to work on our Business Model Canvas. It took us several hours to think of a good Business Model and that was a quite tiring night for us.

3rd Day (29th June 2019)

The third day started with another talk by Prof. Julie Ciancio. Prof. Dr. Julie Ciancio, Dean of Westcliff University, who shared about “The Education Startup Mindset ”. She told us about how to create a successful business in the education field.

After Prof. Julie’s talk, we listened to Shantanu Kumar, Head of Artificial Intelligence Products, inFeedo, where he spoke on “Starting and Scaling New AI Venture ”

Being a very skilled person in the field of AI, it was a pleasure to listen to Shantanu and learn new things about starting new AI ventures.

Following was another talk by Dr. Dost. Dr. Mir Dost, Asst. Prof. of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management and Head of the Department of Finance and Management Sciences (F&MS) at the Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS) Uthal, Balochistan, spoke on “Effectuation – Doing More with Less ”. He mainly talked about how to allocate the budget for startup and also when it is necessary to stop your business.

After Dost’s speech, we had another talk by Buna Dahal. Buna Dahal, Founder, DynamicBuna, spoke on “Driver Seat ”

After Buna’s talk, we had yet some more time to finalize our presentation for the next day’s demonstration. All groups submitted their presentations and after that, we had Cultural Night. During Cultural night people from different countries performed some national dances and sang national songs.

Although the 3rd day of the program was over, we had no time to rest. We had to prepare our pitch for the next day.

4th Day (30 June 2019)

We started the fourth day by each group’s demonstration of their business model. Each team made a presentation for the juries and those juries gave the teams points accordingly. We had a great presentation and because our business plan was promising, juries gave us special mention award which was the first of its kind in the Bootcamps history.

Conclusion:

My experience at GEB Bangkok was fruitful. From validating a business idea to pitching and winning the “Judge’s Special Mention” title, it was a journey worth remembering. What makes the Bootcamp a must-attend event is the resourceful people whom you interact with. We received a lot of insights and inputs from almost every mentor. In the end, Cultural Night at GEB was so much fun to learn about different cultures. The Bootcamp might be over but the friendships I made there will stay forever.

Furthermore seeing so many young entrepreneurs in the same place was something that I have never experienced before. I got inspired by them and those encounters motivated me to be more active and pursue my goals at a faster pace. I am really happy that I joined Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Bangkok and recommend it to everyone who wants to strengthen his/her entrepreneurial as well as social skills.


Written by: Rustami U.

A 3rd-year Computer Science student at The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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