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DBIT students brainstorm business ideas with Indonesia university students

7 January 2016


Singapore Polytechnic Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) Year-3 student Kin Hou recounts his memorable experience at the YES Challenge Indonesia bootcamp (14 Jun to 18 Jun 2015)
One reason why I enjoy being in the DBIT course is that our lecturers constantly source out partners from other countries to organise very interesting cross-cultural programmes for us to enrich our minds and expand our global perspectives.

For instance, in Dec 2013, we had a couple of collaborations with Korean university students who came to Singapore and in Sep 2014, 10 lucky DBIT students went to South Korea for a 9-days Technopreneurship discovery trip!

Though I missed out on those experiences, I am glad I was part of another awesome cross-cultural programme – the YES Challenge @ Ciputra 2015 held in the beautiful city of Surabaya, Indonesia in June this year. The YES Challenge programme is a 5 days business ideation bootcamp aimed at training students like me to understand how new business ideas can be derived through collaborative teamwork to come up with solutions to problems that people face.

The programme was planned and co-ordinated by Mr Michael Lee, a well-respected entrepreneur from Korea and hosted by Ms Suriyani Halim, the Head of the Business Incubation Unit at Universitas Ciputra.

A total of 11 DBIT students from Singapore Polytechnic and 16 students from Universitas Ciputra, Indonesia were selected to participate in this programme.

During the camp, my fellow DBIT friends and I worked in cross-cultural teams with the Indonesian students and held brain-storming sessions with them to understand the problems that residents of Surabaya face.

Each team then came up with a business idea to alleviate a selected problem. My team chose to focus on the pain-points of Surabayans that revolve around transportation, in particular, the traffic jams around crowded shopping districts.
Figure 1: Brainstorming with our Indonesian team-mates
To validate our business ideas, we went on a field-trip to interview real customers at the Ciputra World Mall on the second day of the camp. My team managed to gather the inputs of 20 respondents! We then further refined our business idea based on the users' inputs.
Figure 2: Validating our business idea with shoppers at the Ciputra World Mall shopping centre
On the very last day of the event, we were tasked with 2 assignments, all to be completed within the span of four hours in the morning.
  • We had to create a group video to capture our time together.
  • We had to come up with a role-play which illustrates the 'before' and 'after' scenarios of the problem we were trying to solve. The 'before' scene would highlight the pain-points of an imaginary Surabayan persona. The 'after' scene would showcase how the team’s business idea can help to alleviate that problem.

When told about the first task, my first thought was, "Phew. Thank goodness we have learnt how to film and edit videos in the DBIT curriculum!."

Despite the hectic schedule, we completed the tasks well and on time to the credit of great team-work!

All good things must come to an end. Despite it being a 5 days event, to me it barely felt like a 2 days one. I have learnt and benefitted so much from this trip. However, it is not just about the learning; the warm and generous hospitality that was bestowed upon us by our friends from Indonesia is what makes the experience truly memorable. From the bottom of my heart, I thank the organisers and my new-found friends for being part of this wonderful memory that would stay with me for life.
Figure 3: Group-jump photo on Day 3 of the camp
 
"A final group photo dedicated to the successful YES CHALLENG CIPUTRA event"

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