Hong Kong, May 29, 2018 – The Young Founders School (YFS), a technology-focused educational non- profit organization supported by Credit Suisse, has successfully rolled out its first ever Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Cantonese for secondary school students in Hong Kong. Credit Suisse is the headline sponsor of the YFS.
The Cantonese bootcamp was held on May 19-20 at Credit Suisse’s offices in the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon. The Bootcamp was attended by 34 students aged between 11 and 17, and supported by over 20 mentors from Hong Kong-based established technology companies as well as startups, including Microsoft, Techstars, Alitheia Advisors, Dinning City, Great Harvest Group, SITA, Zunosaki, Bubbles Link, Tellcap and Weava Tools. The Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF) is also a sponsor of the Cantonese program. Timothy Yu, CEO of Snapask, and Steven Lam, CEO of GogoVan, shared their entrepreneurial experience with the students.
The YFS is the world’s first global entrepreneurship program for high school students. It aims to provide real-world startup experience and CV-boosting skills, as well as unique mentorship opportunities with inspiring entrepreneurs. At the Bootcamp, the students learned from their mentors from the tech industry about the latest startup techniques such as lean startup, product market fit and competition analysis. They also had the opportunity to develop their startup ideas into fully-formed business presentations, and pitch to a panel of three venture capitalist judges for funding.
The winning team was Blinkpage, which plans to develop an App to trim down lengthy non-fiction books and allows teenagers to read or listen to the key insights in under one hour in a fun way. The team was composed of three students.
The new Cantonese Bootcamp is an expansion of the existing English language programs the YFS has been running since 2016. The YFS was founded in Hong Kong in 2016 by Billy Naveed, Co-Head of Hedge Fund Sales and Equities Digitization Lead at Credit Suisse, who works closely with startups and tech investors across Asia. Billy himself began as a ‘young founder’, having established two startups before the age of 16.
Commenting on the program, Mr. Naveed, who is also the CEO of YFS, said: “The YFS was always designed from day one to be scalable into different countries and languages. This bootcamp is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team to bring the YFS to students all around the world, regardless of their background, as entrepreneurship is one of the most valuable gifts we can pass on to the next generation.”
Mr. Naveed added: “By introducing the Cantonese Bootcamps, we aim to reach more students from local schools. We are pleased with the overwhelming response to the first Cantonese Bootcamp from both the students and the mentors. We will continue to run the Cantonese Bootcamp in conjunction with the English programs.”
Commenting on the partnership with the YFS, Carsten Stoehr, Credit Suisse’s CEO, Greater China, said: “Credit Suisse is proud to be the headline sponsor of the YFS. The vision of the YFS resonates with and complements our position as The Trusted Entrepreneurs’ Bank of Asia Pacific. Entrepreneurship is deeply embedded in Credit Suisse’s DNA. Credit Suisse is committed to promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the entrepreneurial education of the next generation. ”
The YFS runs two flagship programs throughout the year:
- 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 Attendees are then invited to apply for the main Bootcamp.
- Weekend Bootcamp – This signature course involves eight hours of workshops and ten hours of breakout sessions with successful local The participants are taught about all the elements of a pitch deck in an intense action-packed weekend. At the end, they pitch in their teams in front of parents, teachers and local venture capitalists for funding.
Graduates and mentors of the first ever YFS Cantanese Entrepreneurship Bootcamp
The YFS hosts their programs in cities across Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Shenzhen. In the past 24 months since its inception, the YFS has run 12 startup Bootcamps and seven Ideation Express programs, involving around 1,000 students and more than 300 mentors from companies such as Alibaba, Google, 9GAG and GoGovan, as well as a number of staff volunteers from the bank. The YFS plans to roll out Mandarin language programs in Shenzhen and other cities in China later this year.