From May 28 to June 3, School of Entrepreneurship and Management (SEM) hosted the 2017 International Student Innovation Competition (ISIC) at ShanghaiTech. 24 students from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (“HKUST”) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (“NTU”) came to Shanghai to join 13 ShanghaiTech students to form eight mixed teams. All eight teams were given one week to create a solution and business plan to the following challenge: create a new product or service related to a Smart Home appliance designed to solve a social issue. The intensity of the competition is designed to mimic real-life conditions faced by businesses and entrepreneurial teams.
In the past few centuries home appliances have liberated us from the drudgery domestic work. ‘Smart Home’ is the new trend and next frontier. The promising future of ‘Smart Home’, however, does not only lie in less work. Smart Homes have the potential to create Sweeter Homes: less work as well as improved psychological well-being.
During the competition program, students engaged in 12 hours of intensive activities every day including expert talks, company visits, customer interview, faculty mentoring, team brainstorming and investor pitching. SEM invited experts from industry and academia to give talks on the latest development of Smart Home appliance, how to apply consumer centric design in the Smart Home appliance and innovation ecosystem. Students visited the Haier Innovation Center, XNode, Tezign.com and interviewed staff and customers in several appliance stores in Shanghai to know further about customers’ needs.
The winning team The Elderly (Guo An from ShanghaiTech, Tang Suet Chung from HKUST, Lim Shu Fang and Dennis Tan Yi Xuan from NTU) created an IOT device that aims to deliver a communication experience by virtually linking their homes together through video capturing and 1-to-1 scale projection on home walls simulating face-to–face communications in the same virtual space. The Elderly has the vision of creating a friendly space for elderly to adopt technology and a platform with scalability for further development in Smart Home for elderly.
The judges and industry experts left a deep impression on students’ work and had some surprises. One of the judges stated that in his years of judging similar competition at other universities, these presentations and solutions were better than any he had previously seen. All of the judges congratulates the students. Through the competition, students from three universities reinforce the culture appreciation and teamwork capability with people from different backgrounds. New lifelong friendships were formed and new skills were acquired. Students are already eagerly anticipating ISIC 2018.