University of Chicago Yuen Campus Hong Kong Prepares Next-Generation Innovators with ‘Start-Up of the Self’ Bootcamp

  • Mark Barnekow, Executive Director of the University of Chicago Yuen Campus Hong Kong teaching the “Start-Up of the Self” Bootcamp for 12 talents at HKSTP’s Idea Lab.

  • The talents visiting the University of Chicago Yuen Campus Hong Kong on August 23, 2021, for a full day lecture, team work and coaching sessions.

September 27, 2021

The University of Chicago Yuen Campus Hong Kong recently designed and led the ‘Start-Up of the Self’ Bootcamp to give rising science, engineering and technology talents from Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) InnoAcademy’s Technology Leaders of Tomorrow (TLT) Programme 2021 the tools to conceive, develop and pitch their own start-up.

Twelve TLT talents chosen from more than  900 applicants were provided with in-depth training which included teaching modules on ‘Thinkstorming,’ ‘The Innovation Mindset,’ ‘Silicon Valley Start-Up Ecosystems,’ and ‘Silicon Valley-Style Leadership,’ while also introducing core financial, product management, marketing, organization and other critical business concepts. The Bootcamp spanned one week and included teaching sessions, intense team study and coaching on the University of Chicago Yuen Campus.

“Our partnership with HKSTP and the talents was extremely gratifying. In a very compressed timeframe, we witnessed tremendous growth in each individual,” said Mark Barnekow, Executive Director of the University of Chicago Yuen Campus Hong Kong. “It was a pleasure to share twenty years of personal experience working in Silicon Valley combined with additional support from the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to enrich the local Hong Kong entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem. We look forward to more collaborations with HKSTP InnoAcademy.”

HKSTP InnoAcademy’s flagship program - the Technology Leaders of Tomorrow (TLT), selected the talents from a pool of recent graduates who hold bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in the sciences and engineering. The selected TLT talents participated in a two-month internship and leadership training, which included the University of Chicago Bootcamp. Talents will continue to engage in a full-time research and development  role within HKSTP partner companies for two years.

The Bootcamp’s main objective was to assist the science and engineering talents in acquiring a start-up mindset to help them innovate and become leaders in their respective fields. Most importantly, the talents acquired the skills to conceive and craft high-quality, investor fund-raising presentations for their unique technology and business start-up ideas within the training period. At the end of the Bootcamp, the talents’ presentations deeply impressed HKSTP partner companies’ senior leadership, the HKSTP leadership and the UChicago teaching team.