Hult Prize at NSYSU workshop:Business Journey from Zero to One

On 2nd February 2021, Hult Prize National Sun Yat-sen University held an online experience sharing workshop: Business Journey from Zero to One. The workshop was divided into two sessions. The first one was a speech delivered by the keynote speaker Jessi Fu. The second session was a period for competing teams from National Sun-yat Sen University to pitch to her.

Jessi Fu is currently the COO of IMPCT Coffee Taiwan. She co-founded this company with her colleagues at National Chengchi University when they were pursuing their MBA degrees. Her team won the 2015 Hult Prize Global Champion startup prize.  In the workshop, she repeatedly emphasized: why you want to start a social enterprise? You will be able to tackle social problems with your business, and eventually, you will receive more than you give. Apart from that, she shared with us the challenges she faced when running her business. Finding the right business partners is hard. However, breaking up with your business partners is even more challenging. If you have a hard time getting along with the founding partners, you should break up as soon as possible. It matters for restructuring the company.

After Jessi shared her experience, three teams from NSYSU pitched their business models. The first team to pitch was Alpha Bettas, the winning team from the campus program. They presented the idea of using aquaculture operations offshore to reduce the usage of land  and food shortage. The second team, Mengi Kenya, proposed to solve the problem of food insecurity in Kenya with their program “US, Farmers, and SBO.” The last team to pitch was Basic Chillies. They came up with the idea of using a mobile application to change people’s diet and save the planet. Overall, Jessi encouraged all groups to engage their audience by distinguishing their products.

Jessi provided concrete feedback to all the teams. Regarding Alpha Bettas, the team working on innovative aquaculture practices, she asked them to specify why they want to focus on the aquaculture industry. What expertise do they have in their team to achieve their goals? Moreover, Taiwan and Thailand’s combined market size is too small for a Hult Prize startup, which asks for a market of 30 million people.

As for the team Mengi Kenya, Jessi said the audience wouldn’t be able to understand their service. Their business idea is too broad and lacks focus. They need to spell out how they are going to train the farmers. Furthermore, how they will engage their project with Kenya is another problem as they do not have anyone from Africa on their team. 

Regarding Basic Chillies, they should demonstrate how their application works. Details such as the user experience should be presented.

In general, Jessi finds all their ideas attractive, but they should tell investors what they will gain if they invest in their startup.

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