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Learning about start-ups at HKSTP

The CEO of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP), Albert Wong, wanted his shadows to gain a greater understanding of the start-up ecosystem and learn how to make tough, timely decisions while keeping quality and accuracy in mind, he says.

The students got the opportunity to meet different stakeholders at HKSTP. “I was shadowed during engagements with various park companies and a multinational corporation, which helped the shadows understand more about our role in promoting a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem,” Wong says.

He adds that the shadows additionally attended several important presentation sessions with Jardines senior management and the Commissioner of Tourism, and sat in on a radio interview the CEO did on management philosophy with RTHK.

The shadows were very engaging and proactive, says Wong. “They asked some good questions and handled the tasks well despite the fact that it was undoubtedly challenging for them to observe without actually participating in the meetings.”

Shadow Kong Chak-ming, a business management student at Baptist University, says she enjoyed attending meetings with start-ups alongside head of incubation Peter Mok. “It was encouraging to see how these new businesses are growing with the assistance of HKSTP,” she says.

Kong learned that collaboration is crucial for good business during her shadowing experience. “A company cannot do everything on its own, and a well-established firm may need innovative solutions from start-ups.”

Charles Tse, a business management student at the University of Hong Kong, says shadowing the Science Park CEO underlined the importance of corporate culture within a large business.

“We met HKSTP staff from different teams and roles, and every single one of them was very clear about their role and mission in the company. All of them additionally share the same values and vision: to help start-ups in HKSTP grow.”

Before participating in the shadowing programme, Tse thought HKSTP simply provided start-up companies with offices and funding support, but he discovered that it does much more than that.

 “HKSTP helps start-ups fine-tune their business so they can scale up and expand to the global market, as well as providing linkage for small companies to cooperate with large organisations such as the government.”

The shadowing provided him with a valuable opportunity to observe top executives in action, something students or even junior members of staff don’t usually get to do, he points out.

‘The experience also equipped me with business development sense and helped me understand how to cooperate internally and externally in an organisation. I believe that this can definitely help me in my future career.”

Tse advises future shadows to be bold and proactive. “Although the executives’ schedules are always packed very tight, shadows can grab the chance to chat and learn from them when they have a break.”