Entrepreneurial Trend on Campus! CCU Startup Land, now officially opens for business

Published on Dec 12 2018

In line with the recent trend and interest of students to pursue their entrepreneur dream, in June 2018, National Chung Cheng University (CCU) introduced the "CCU Startup Land” to its campus as the support center for entrepreneurship development. On the 12th of December 2018, CCU Startup Land, held an opening ceremony at the university dormitory EB1 area to officially announce the establishment. In the meantime, CCU also co-founded the "Chiayi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance" with Chiayi County Government, Chiayi City government, Chiayi Business Association and several major corporations and research centers in central Taiwan area, further consolidating cooperation resources and connection for CCU students and faculty members to pursue their business project venture. Since then, the CCU Startup Land has provided a series of innovation and entrepreneurship courses, counseling services, and training seminar to students, creating more than 24 student startup teams. The first Chiayi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance meeting was also held at the same time to lay out future missions and strategic planning. CCU Startup Land will provide a full range of entrepreneurial counseling and services, and free office space for students and newly formed startup teams to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and projects.

In order to meet the diverse demands, the CCU Startup Land integrates the critical resources from industries, government offices/research agencies, academic institutions and the venture capital fund to provide a wide range of free, accessible, and resourceful services to our campus members, such as the various training programs, professionally entrepreneurial counseling/mentorship, angel funding support, and opportunities for international collaboration. Through the guidance and resources provided by the CCU Startup Land, it will greatly speed up the startup process and increase the success rate for CCU students and faculty members to fulfill their business dreams. The recently renovated 624-square-meter office space is located at the center of the CCU dormitory area. It provides an easy access to student habitants nearby. Eight separate rooms, each sized from 20 up to 26 square meters, can host 8 startup teams to initiate their business ideas. There are also extra spacious public area and educational resources for idea brain storming, discussion, and hosting conference/startup competition, etc.

After only 1 year of the establishment for the CCU Startup Land, Professor Shin-Yuan Hung, the Director of CCU Startup Land, said with a very enthusiastic tone: “So far, in addition to hosting 32 professional speeches, seminar, and workshops, CCU Startup Land also provides funding up to NT$30,000 per course for CCU faculty members to develop new innovation and entrepreneurship courses. So far, we have developed 7 new online entrepreneurship courses and created more than 24 startup teams. In 2018, we also hosted a major startup competition in central Taiwan, Changhua-Yunlin-Chiayi University College Alliance Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, inviting more than 150 students coming from 15 universities to participate this event. We are very excited to announce that two of CCU startup teams won the champion and second place in this competition”. Director Hung further mentioned that CCU Startup Land also invited two very successful local business founders, Ms. Su-Ling Dai (General Manager of Light Hotel) and Mr. Yung-Chung Chen (Founder of Green Burger Restaurant) to serve as mentors for CCU startup teams. On November 23, 2018, CCU Startup Land also invited Dr. Limin Hu, the co-founder of Ellie Mae Corp. and the President of Monte Jade West Science and Technology Association from Silicon Valley, to visit our campus and share his valuable startup experience and information about Silicon startup environment.

With the help from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub, CCU students finally catch up with the entrepreneurial trend on campus. The BZNK team formed by students of the Department of Finance and the Graduate Institute of Business Administration is one of the most successful examples. The team firstly realized there was lack of an efficient platform to fulfill short-term capital need from small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The short-term capital of SMEs is usually tied up at many notes receivables which they received from sales. Through P2P lending business model, the team successfully build an efficient platform to serve as the mediator to match short-term fund borrowers with short-term fund providers. The whole idea of BZNK is to allow small-size individual investors with spare cash to provide discounting service for the notes receivables of SMEs in order to finance their short-term capital need, for a reasonable interest (profit) in return. The BZNK establishment has been a successful case for the entrepreneurial development on CCU campus. In the past year, the average monthly fund mediated through BZNK team has reached 20 million NTD per month.

Another successful entrepreneurial case on CCU campus is the RIDE team. The campus electric vehicle renting program managed by CCU students, in cooperation with the Industrial Technology Research Institute, is aiming to build a green campus by developing a safe and convenient electric bike rental service. It offers an alternative choice to meet the traffic needs for students travelling inside and outside campus. In the future, the RIDE team plans to extend its electric bike rental service from CCU campus outwards Minghsiung township and even the wider areas of Chiayi county and Chiayi city.

Chiayi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance was initiated in June 2018 to strengthen the regional relationship among several networks and institutions in Chiayi area. At the unveiling ceremony for Startup Land on the 12th of December 2018 when the first Alliance meeting was also held at the hub, the director of the Startup Land at CCU pointed out that as the alliance has now expanded to Tainan area, the alliance wants to encourage more resource integration and sharing, on either the matter of providing teaching resources or technical guidance to reinforce local entrepreneurial networks, with key mission to motivate Chiayi area to become the best hub in Taiwan for innovation and entrepreneurship.