For the first time, Young Pin Design Award 2019 has created a series of exclusive courses for the winning teams of the Special Entrepreneurial Potential Award. Guest speakers invited to speak on May 26th were distinguished experts such as Kevin Ho, Chief Investment Officer of TMI-Labs; Chih-Hung Fu, Chief Procurement Officer of citiesocial; Jimi Chen, founder of Unipapa; and Chih-Chyi Chang, co-founder of Simpleinfo. Through aspects of entrepreneurial mindsets, branding, business strategy, and experience in youth entrepreneurship, they helped the winners understand the required core skills and knowledge of entrepreneurship, and provided them with 1-on-1 counseling regarding their products.
The Young Pin Design Award initiated the Special Entrepreneurial Potential Award for the first time last year, which encourages participating students to develop independent thinking and entrepreneurial skills. The award category therefore drew much attention and has continued and expanded in 2019. In addition to making participation recommendatory, with each school recommending one team excelling in entrepreneurial potential to participate, the winners are eligible to participate in an exclusive entrepreneurial course for free. This year, four market trend experts, designers, and youth entrepreneurs were invited to support and further nurture the winning teams.
Special Entrepreneurial Potential Award winning works. (Click to browse larger images.)
First to speak was Kevin Ho, the judge coordinator of this year’s entrepreneurship category. With over a decade of experience in venture capital management and a long term focus on new startup investment, he gave an introductory lecture on how to “establish the fundamental mindset of an entrepreneur.” Ho started by stating the purpose of the course, which was expected to help students with the transformation of their entries into feasible product plans. The mindset and preparation required for the process of turning entries into products include design positioning, finding the right target market, and establishing brand value. He encouraged the students to keep asking themselves: “What is my next step?” Ho believes that the most important part of entrepreneurship is to quickly verify and receive feedback from users, make continuous alterations to product direction. He therefore pushed the students to remain nimble, flexible, and to keep an open mind for experimentation.
The second lecture was given by Chih-Hung Fu, another judge of this year’s entrepreneurship category, who shared how to “build your own brand” with his involvement in starting the popular e-commerce platform, citiesocial. With extensive experience and an eye for quality products, Fu started his lecture on the subject of branding, emphasizing the important methods of brand development, which include how to decide on a market, identify brand positioning, and develop product schedule. He also mentioned that even if a student’s next step is not towards entrepreneurship, this course can still provide the opportunity to become familiar with different aspects of the industry and discover his or her own goals and core values.
The third lecture was given from an entrepreneur’s point of view. Jimi Chen, founder of the emerging lifestyle brand, Unipapa, shared his journey in entrepreneurship. Besides discussing his personal career and the bumpy ride that is entrepreneurship, Jimi Chen also openly shared his strategies when developing his brand, such as how he expanded a new niche market in lifestyle products with design, and utilized data analytics to fully grasp the consumer market. He also noted that the failures encountered during the process of entrepreneurship enlightened his team to the fact that the true difficulty in design lies not in putting functions into a pretty product, but in designing a practical, affordable, quality product that can be reliably produced and loved by consumers, thus building a loyal customer base and creating lasting value.
The final lecture was delivered by the co-founder of Simpleinfo, Chih-Chyi Chang, who concluded the course with his experience in youth entrepreneurship. Straight out of the gate, Chang made clear the hardships that entrepreneurship entails, beginning with his near-decade long career of exploration and identity shifts. From urban planner to designer, to information designer, to social media marketing communications planner, to online course lecturer, to business operator, to YouTuber, Chang talked about the emergence of each new identity as a need to solve the problem at hand, and how the most important part is learning and growing in the process. He shared generously how he adapted along the journey and his reflections upon bottlenecks and breakthroughs. Chang said, “Entrepreneurship is actually just like design, a continuous process of problem-solving,” and encouraged students to explore their own paths with courage.