On September 4th, 2018, the first Entrepreneurship Week event was unveiled in Shanghai, inaugurating four days of learning, sharing and networking among students, academics and entrepreneurs. This event was jointly hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) of University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute and the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (SEI) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It brought presentations from academics, entrepreneurs and practitioners together and added practicum visits to incubators and maker spaces in Shanghai. This was probably the first in-depth English event in Shanghai on recent advances in entrepreneurship. First two days were focused on technology commercialization, and the next two on technology-based social entrepreneurship, especially mHealth, along the countries and regions under the Belt and Road Initiative. The event was attended by nearly 120 people from 14 countries.
Figure 1. Entrepreneurship Week 2018 group photo
In the opening ceremony, Prof. Michael Condry, the Chair of IEEE TEMS, delivered the keynote address online on the successful business implementation of technological innovation. Mr. Hocking Xu, CEO of AInnovation (and ex-VP of Microsoft China) presented startups and investment landscape in China. The ceremony was also attended by dignitaries of Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a message of congratulation by Mr. John Wu, a successful technology entrepreneur and the Chief Advisor to CFE of UM-SJTU Joint Institute.
This was followed by a session on corporate entrepreneurship chaired by Mr. Bradley A. Feuling of Asia Institute (Shanghai), with presentations by three entrepreneurs from Intel, GM and GE.Prof. Pradeep Kumar Ray, the director for CFE at UM-SJTU Joint Institute, chaired the next session on biomedical technology covering telemedicine, robots for elderly and technology for human feet. Dr.PaulWeng of UM-SJTU Joint Institute, chaired the next session on AI with four speakers from Chinese industry using AI technology. The day ended with an interactive session on Entrepreneurship as a career between students and the invited speakers.
Figure 3.Group photo at HC Club Shanghai.
On the second day (Sep. 5th), all the participants toured around Shanghai to visit three places that exemplify the kind of promotion Shanghai is providing to entrepreneurship. First stop was neoBay – an incubator that combines the resources of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Government. Next was First Build, a maker space located in Pudong area, and last stop was HC club, an incubator located in one of the largest industry clusters for technology start-ups in Yang Pu district of Shanghai. Managers of these establishments explained their works followed by visits to start-ups on site. It also included a session to explain Shanghai government policy of promoting entrepreneurship and intellectual property (IP) protection.
Figure 3. Participants shopping at an unmanned supermarket in neo Bay
Day 3 (Sep. 6th) focused on social entrepreneurship and was organized into 5 sessions:
- Drone and robots for healthcare
This session was chaired by Dr. Yasuhiro Soshino from Red cross Japan and introduced technologies of drones and robots for post-disaster aid and insect-borne disease prevention by Mr. Takahiro Oohata of Real globe (Japan), and Dr. Jahangir Alam of South China University of Technology.
- Portable Health Clinic(PHC)
PHC is a healthcare module that contains instruments to provide basic healthcare check-up to improve wellness among the poor. Dr. Ashir Ahmed from Kyushu University chaired this session and provided an overview. Dr. Rafiqul Islam Maruf of Kyushu University and Dr. Faiz Shah of Asia Institute of Technology (ATI) presented cases of application in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
- Blockchain for social business
Dr. Raghava Rao Mukkamala of Copenhagen Business School chaired this session to introduce utilization of blockchain technology for social business. Mr. Sankar Halder, founder and president of Mukti, presented how blockchain can be applied to his work in India. Dr. Shariar Akter from Sydney Business School, and Abgaryan of Shanghai Jiao Tong University then provided technical insights into using blockchain technology for social business.
- Information System for mHealth in developing countries
Prof. Naoki Nakashima of Kyushu University hospital chaired this session with an introduction on information system for mHealth projects. Prof. Sean He of University of Technology Sydney shared his research using data science for Parkinson’s disease; Prof. Tor-Morten Gronli of Westerdals, presented his insights on interface planning and designing; and Prof.Hairong Wu of Guangxi University shared his research on rabies prevention in rural China.
- Global Engagement
The Global Engagement session was chaired by Dr. Sam Ro of CFE, UM-SJTU Joint Institute, who is leading a project to integrate mHealthprojects for a poverty reduction in Bangladesh. Ms. Xue Yao, Deputy Director of International Affairs Division of SJTU, outlined the Global Engagement Initiative of SJTU followed by three examples around Belt and Road region, presented by Mr. Sohel Ahmed, the managing director of Grameen Shakti, Dr. Faiz Shah, Director of Yunus Centre of AIT Thailand, and Ms. Ying Shen of Guangxi University.
Figure 4.Social entrepreneurship sessions participants
On the last day of the event (Sep. 7th) a concluding session was held to summarise discussions on social entrepreneurship.Then the group moved to Shanghai International Institute of Design & Innovation (SIIDI), where Prof. Ping Zhou, director of SIIDI, led a discussion on the topic of “Design thinking for social change” and the whole event closed with Shanghai Immersion Experience, organized by Mr. Jerry Zhu of SimpliCity, providing an in-depth understanding of the local culture of Shanghai.
The Entrepreneurship Week 2018 event provided a unique opportunity to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions among various stakeholders of entrepreneurship both commercial and social using cutting-edge technology. Five collaborative projects on mHealthemerged as a result of these discussions: An ambulance drone project, PHC for animals as well ashuman wellbeing, implementing blockchain technology for NGOs, utilizing robots and wearables in conjunction with mHealth for social. Next year, the event will be held in Thailand, hosted by Yunus Centre for Social Business, Asia Institute of Technology in Bangkok, to share progresses in these projects.
About the Authors: Sam Ro, Dominikus Brian, Pradeep Ray, University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, China.