Hong Kong, May 3, 2018 – Young Founders School (YFS), the world’s first global entrepreneurship program for high school students, announces that Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF) is sponsoring Young Founders School to advocate for the importance of entrepreneurship education in Hong Kong. Last month, YFS successfully partnered with Credit Suisse as its headline sponsor to expand the entrepreneurial education programs for high school students.
AEF joins Credit Suisse to enable YFS to roll out its existing programs in Cantonese to benefit more students in local schools. Neil Hosie, Credit Suisse’s Head of Equities, Asia Pacific said “As the headline sponsor, we welcome AEF to Young Founders School. Alibaba Group is a valued client and we are excited to have them now as partner to help YFS achieve its goals.”
YFS is also pleased to announce a new program: “Teacher Training in Entrepreneurship”. The first teacher training will take place on May 5 (Saturday) in conjunction with AEF. This program aims to give local Hong Kong teachers the tools and mindset required for them to incorporate entrepreneurship education in the school curriculum that they teach.
Mr. Billy Naveed, Founder and CEO of YFS, said, “We are very excited to have AEF on board as a partner. Alibaba’s vision around the importance of entrepreneurial education for the future success of all students is very much aligned with ours. We look forward to also welcoming other corporates, schools, parents and their children, as we train the next generation of entrepreneurs. ”
Commenting on the partnership with YFS, Ms. Cindy Chow, Executive Director of Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, said, “Having the entrepreneurial mindset is important to young generation. We strongly believe that the entrepreneurial education, which helps students think outside the box, build persistence and nurture unconventional talents and skills, should be encouraged in Hong Kong.”
Chow added, “We look forward to working with YFS to promote the entrepreneurship education in local schools in Hong Kong. In the long term, we hope to see that more schools will be committed to instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in students and the ‘Entrepreneurship’ will become the centerpiece of a contemporary education in Hong Kong.”
YFS is dedicated to giving high school students’ real world startup experience and CV-boosting skills, as well as unique mentorship opportunities with inspiring entrepreneurs. In the past 24 months since its inception, YFS has run nine startup Bootcamps and seven Ideation Days in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore involving more than 800 students, 55% of whom were female students, and more than 300 mentors from companies such as Alibaba Group, Google, 9GAG and GoGoVan, as well as a number of staff volunteers from the bank.
Naveed added, “We are growing quickly. YFS currently runsin Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore. We recently added an office in Bangladesh, and will expand to other markets across Southeast Asia, such as Jakarta and Bangkok in the second half of this year. We also plan to launch our online platform to reach high school students anywhere in the world.”
About Young Founder School (‘YFS’) and YFS Program
YFS was founded in Hong Kong in 2016 by Billy Naveed and sponsored by Credit Suisse. Billy himself began as a ‘young founder’, having established two startups before age 16. YFS is a technology-focused educational non-profit organization which aims to change the way entrepreneurial education is taught to secondary school students.
The YFS runs two flagship programs throughout the year all of which are free for students:
- Ideation Express– A two-hour short course for students who are exploring entrepreneurship for the first time, guiding them through the key skills that are the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset. Attendees are then invited to apply for the main Bootcamp.
- Weekend Bootcamp– The signature course which involves eight hours of workshops and ten hours of breakout sessions with successful local entrepreneurs. The participants are taught about all the elements of a pitch deck in an intense action-packed weekend. At the end, they will pitch in their teams in front of parents, teachers and local venture capitalists for funding.
At the Weekend Bootcamps, students will learn from mentors from the tech industry, the latest startup fundamentals such as lean startup, product market fit and competition analysis. All participating students will have the opportunity to develop their startup ideas into fully-formed business pitches, and present to a panel of venture capitalist judges for funding. The winning team will receive funding of US$1,000 towards the development of their startup.
Bootcamps are supported by YFS’s over 300 mentors comprised of tech titans, startup companies. The judges are often venture capitalists from some of Asia’s largest venture capital funds.
Business ideas from the winning teams at YFS’ previous Bootcamps include an Internet of Things (“IOT“) enabled device for walking aids to prevent falls for the elderly or those with disabilities and inform their loved ones in real time, an app that helps people facing mental health issues by suggesting mood-improving tasks, and an online platform for high school internships. YFS hosted this year’s first Bootcamp in Hong Kong last month and in Singapore last weekend, each of which was attended by around 30 students.