- Dave Stamps: Four things to do NOW to prepare for the job market
- Jess Tate: The importance of self-care
- Derek Schardt: So much more to a grad program
- Jie Cheng: Exploring startup opportunities
- Grace Troupe: Starting your literature review
- Christy Burger: Graduation
- Adrian Lara: Planning your summer
- Grace Troupe: Places to study on campus
- Jess Tate: Starting your personal statement
- Derrick White: Creating your professional persona
- Jie Cheng: The art of Chinese seal engraving
- Dave Stamps: Take advantage of grant funding opportunities
- Jess Tate: A day in the life
- Jenny Beth Johnson: Finding your focus
- Adrian Lara: Your winter in Lincoln
- Dave Stamps: Let class assignments work for your future
- Jenny Beth Johnson: Budgeting in grad school
- Derrick White: Research tips
- Christy Burger: Getting involved
- Adrian Lara: 100 things to do in Lincoln
- Grace Troupe: Five time management tips
- Derrick White: Finalizing your application
- Jessica Tate: Valuing diversity and fit in graduate education
- Jenny Beth Johnson: Getting the most out of a conference
- Dave Stamps: Attending grad school with a family
- Derrick White: Getting to know your colleagues
- Derek Schardt: What to expect when starting grad school
- Grace Troupe: What you need to know about American holidays
- Jie Cheng: Graduate education takes you places
- Adrian Lara: Five tips to be a happier grad student
Jie Cheng: Exploring startup opportunities
By Jie Cheng. Posted June 12, 2014.
New business opportunities aren’t just for students with a business degree. Engineering students also have advantages to engage in start-up activities. Generally, because engineers have the technical skills to tackle real world problems and they have experience with patents, they will fare well in the start-up market.
Last year, I entered the “Chunhui Cup’s 8th Overseas Students and Scholars Startup Business Competition” in Guangzhou, China, which is co-hosted by the People’s Republic of China’s (P.R.C.) Education Ministry and Ministry of Science and Technology. It is also partially sponsored by the P.R.C Educational Affairs embassy in the United States.
The “Chunhui Cup” is one of the biggest and most influential startup business competitions open to Chinese students and scholars across the world. In the preliminary competition, each contestant or team of contestants submits its own startup business plan. This plan should be creative, practical, and financially feasible. This plan is then evaluated by committee members.
Evaluation committee members come from venture capitals, business incubators, and enterprise circles. They review and critique the plan according to its technical levels, investment prospects, revenue forecast, and opportunities for industrialization. The most pragmatic and feasible plans then enter the final in Guangzhou.
I was one of those finalists. My plan was to provide QR-code-based coupon management and circulation solutions upon which social network is built to establish brand recognition. My plan was considered to have a clear technical route, significant creative points, competitive advantages and very good market prospects, according to the committee’s comment remarked.
Because of this experience, my eyes were opened to start-up business opportunities. I found out that the UNL Center for Entrepreneurship has two types of start-up event each year. During the fall semester, it has a “3-2-1, Quick Pitch” and during the spring, it hosts the UNL New Venture Competition.
I hope this encourages engineers and other graduate students to consider the potential in start-up companies. I know I will take the great opportunities presented to me and make the most out of them.
As Dr. Yong Zhao from the University of Oregon says, "The world needs creative and entrepreneurial talents who are globally competent to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by technology and globalization and tackle the tough challenges facing human beings.” — Zhao, Yong. (February 2013.) Tech Forum- Chicago 2013.
For more information about UNL and Nebraska resources for entrepreneurs:
- NUTech Ventures
- Nebraska Angels
- UNL Center for Entrepreneurship
- Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO)