On December 24, the Carnival Event of the 4th Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summit (IES) was held in the Conference Center. This year, the IES was co-organized by Shanghai Clinical Research and Trial Center and lasted for 3 months, including 4 startup-practice lectures, 3 different industrial innovation specialties (physical science specialty, life science specialty and information science specialty) and 1 science popularization specialty, with 114 startup projects and 75 science popularization projects. During the Carnival Event, patent license agreements were signed with 8 companies, while 6 ShanghaiTech incubated startups signed early-stage venture financing agreements, and 39 college enterprise mentors were appointed.
The university leadership was invited to attend the event. Nobel Laureates Roger D. Kornberg and Michael Levitt, Banu Onaral, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, Jamie Mak, Director of Global Innovation Partnership Program, School of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, Fang Hanming, Dean of SEM at ShanghaiTech, and Amir Reza, Dean of Babson Academy for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurial Learning at Babson College respectively delivered video messages to congratulate the success of the 4th IES.
The IES has achieved huge development
In 2017, in order to implement the national strategy for innovation-driven development, ShanghaiTech designed and deployed a development strategy for delivering an innovation and entrepreneurship (IE) platform at the highest level. The ShanghaiTech IES was implemented as a fundamental platform, with steady and progressive upgrades in scale and quality, to eventually serve the mission of IE in the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center.
From the 1st IES in 2018 to the 3rd one in 2020, the scale of the summit has expanded, and the number of participating faculty, students and projects has continued to grow, with a total number of 142 projects and 549 faculty and students taking part in the past three summits, which has demonstrated that the IES has created an IE culture, promoted IE education, and more effectively promoted original patent licensing and accelerated the incubation of science-based startups. By 2021, 100% of the winning projects at the 2nd IES, and 17% of the winning projects at the 3rd IES have established their own companies, with an amount of early-stage financing exceeding 600 million RMB, and the amount of ShanghaiTech patent licensing contracts exceeding 900 million RMB.
Li Ruxin, Secretary of the Party Committee of the university, said that the 4th IES is the largest ever in terms of the number of participants, the number of competition projects, and the number of judges from the investment and business sectors, with a total of 114 startup projects, 42% of which are from outside the university, brought by 479 students and faculty from 9 universities, 6 research institutes and 8 Class A tertiary hospitals, and judged by over 200 investors.
Entrepreneurship education along with the entrepreneurship competition
4 lectures of the Startup School Lecture (SSL) series, the education brand of the university’s startup-practice, were held with different themes as the corresponding instruction lectures of the 4th IES, and they were also open to students and faculty from outside the university. The topics of SSL ranged from business plan coaching to patent implementation, serving as foundations to the startup-practice education of IES. This year, the SSL series was also carried out during the National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Event Week held in Henan Province, which was a good opportunity to show ShanghaiTech’s viewpoints on metaverse and smart manufacturing.
“The IES is not like a competition, but more like the soil in which seeds are cultivated,” said Chen Yixuan, a second year Master student of ShanghaiTech, who participated in the IES for the third time. This year her team won the First Prize of the student group in the physical science specialty. “Every year, students and faculty who are passionate about IE bring their carefully nurtured projects to the stage, and the judges give valuable advice. There are also professional lectures before each specialty in business coaching and guidance, helping the ‘seeds’ to get better prepared for the upcoming challenges.”
The IES open to faculty and students from outside campus for public benefit
As one of the national IE demonstration bases, ShanghaiTech has created a new sustainable model to proactively share the university’s ecological resources for IE, providing students and faculty from universities, research institutes and hospitals with an education platform for startup-practice, and a financing platform for the scientific research transfer and early stage entrepreneurship. ShanghaiTech aims to help the transformation of scientific research results and achieve a new economic development stage driven by innovation.
The First Prize winner of the faculty group in the life science specialty, Professor Yu Jianxiu of School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, expressed a deep appreciation, “I am very grateful for the shared IE platform provided by ShanghaiTech, which brings me industrial recognition in the drug development technology of lung cancer and small RNA interference.”
High-quality patents recognized by the industry
At the Carnival Event, ShanghaiTech signed patent license agreements with Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group, Shanghai Jing Medicine, Shanghai Degron Therapeutics, Sound Pharmaceuticals, and another 4 biological technology companies, with R&D payments of over 800 million RMB and commercialization payments of over 1.3 billion RMB. The 6 ShanghaiTech incubated startups signed early-stage financing agreements with representatives of WuXi AppTec, Kaifeng Capital, Lianxin Capital, Yuansheng Ventures, Eli Lilly Asia Fund, Boyu Investment, Wanwu Capital, Sequoia Capital, and another 9 investment organizations, with a total financing amount of over RMB 600 million. The total post-investment valuation of the ShanghaiTech incubated startups since 2016 has now exceeded RMB 3 billion.
Science popularization competition specialty
The science popularization competition event is an additional competition beyond the three main competition events. The university actively took social responsibility by spreading knowledge of the latest scientific research achievements to the public. There were 75 projects from more than 140 creators from both inside and outside the university, covering topics such as scientific research progress, frontier science and technology fields, and social life hotspots with various exhibition forms including video animation, scientific experiments and literature creations. There were 22 popularization works awarded the Gold Star Award, Silver Star Award, Bronze Star Award and Excellent Works Award.
The college-enterprise cooperation promotes quality undergraduate education
The Residential College is an educational unit of ShanghaiTech which aims to develop undergraduate students’ all-round abilities. There are three different colleges, each of which has mentors to tutor students in extracurricular activities. Centering on the College’s talent training goals, and in order to cultivate IE talents, 39 corporate executives with rich experience and high industry influence were appointed as the first batch of College enterprise tutors. Vice President Zhu Zhiyuan, in charge of College affairs, and Vice President Jiang Ge awarded them letters of appointment.
Through this summit, a science, education and industry integration platform for startup-practice education, scientific research transfer, and early entrepreneurial financing has been successfully built and publicized. Additionally, the “2021 Annual Report on Innovation and Entrepreneurship” was released for the first time, fully demonstrating the university’s IE achievements and strength.
The ShanghaiTech 4th IES has come to a successful end, and the university will go forward on the path of IE education to continue to serve the development of the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center.