Google’s Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Program in Collaboration with CUHK Launches in Hong Kong


Remember back in November with Google’s Eric Schmidt announced the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) Program in collaboration with the Chinese University of Hong Kong?

Since then, the Google-backed program has drawn 900+ young and aspirational minds to vie for a coveted spot in EYE. While the Google and CUHK partnership is great news for the startup community as it adds another valuable resource to the ecosystem, what exactly is this program and who is it for?

It’s a one-year program providing interdisciplinary entrepreneurship training which will put participants through a series of workshops and seminars. Networking opportunities will be peppered throughout the EYE program, and entrepreneurial trainees will have the opportunity to draw from a deep well of expert mentorship.

“The program aims to strengthen participants’ entrepreneurship skill sets and encourage them to think out-of-the-box through a series of multi-disciplinary trainings,” said Professor Kevin Au, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at CUHK. “By working with experienced mentors to establish clear long-term goals – these young creators can take the first step towards successful entrepreneurship.”

(EYE Program kick-off ceremony on Feb/16th)

The program will operate in three phases:

The first will be “boot camp for aspiring entrepreneurs” – which runs from February to April 2014. At this level, participants build the foundation of entrepreneurship and tech know-how, and will be split into teams to work on business proposals.

Phase two will have teams “pitching for a place in the mentorship program,” where entrepreneurs-in-training will have a chance to get their feet wet by presenting their business plans and/or prototypes to a panel of judges. If successful, they secure a place as mentees in the mentorship program.

The final phase “journey to Mountain View,” is exactly what it sounds like – a trip out to tech Mecca. After mentee teams collaborate with mentors from May to August – the ones that stand out will be sponsored to visit Google’s Mountain View HQ and have the chance to connect with the Bay Area’s established community of entrepreneurs and investors.

There’s no doubt that the EYE program is an exciting opportunity for young would-be entrepreneurs to cut their teeth in real-world training, alongside bright peers and veteran mentors.

Dominic Allen, the managing director of Google Hong Kong says that the program is proof that hundreds of young people are keen on re-imagining the future of Hong Kong in their own way, with fresh new ideas – and resources at all levels are keen on lending a hand. “We are here to help Hong Kong live up to its potential, with better connections and collaboration across the government, schools, business community and other key players in promoting entrepreneurship.”

Get more information from CUHK’s Google EYE Program page.

Watch Google’s Eric Schmidt’s talk at CUHK back in November on YouTube.

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