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9 Sep 2021

APU Enterprise Workshop Aims to Develop the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Having an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial and should be nurtured early on to ensure budding entrepreneurs and future professionals succeed in the growing world of business.

This is why Asia Pacific University (APU) has taken the initiative to form the [email protected] programme to increase the number of meaningful and sustainable startups amongst students. Covering 3 entrepreneurial phases — seed, cultivate and nourishing — the programme aims to instill entrepreneurial mindsets and resilience through a series of webinars and online events.

The three key entrepreneurial phases

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During the ‘seed’ phase, giant industries, companies and academics are invited to share their entrepreneurial experiences, latest practices, ideas and challenges from the pandemic crisis through the Entreprise Wednesdays and CEO/CTO Series.

In the ‘cultivate’ phase, founders of early stage startups will learn how to gain market acceptance and validation through a series of exercises in the Ideas Accelerator programme. Held over 8 weeks, the 2-hour programme teaches entrepreneurs how to use a systematic and methodical approach to market their ideas.

An in-house Venture Building Programme will kick off the ‘nourishing’ phase where students with validated ventures move their prototypes and business to the marketplace.

Bringing industry to APU

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With ongoing series and workshops, APU deputy vice-chancellor and chief innovation officer as well as [email protected] team lead, Prof Dr Ir Ts Vinesh Thiruchelvam, aims to bring industry real-life experiences to its students. According to Prof Vinesh, connecting students with industry experts is a good way to inspire budding entrepreneurs.

“A key element in the [email protected] initiative is the real-life experience (by industry experts) to inspire students into pursuing their entrepreneurial ambitions by connecting them to a wider ecosystem and the entrepreneurial community at APU,” he explained. He also added that the [email protected] programme can empower students to achieve success in an increasingly agile and disruptive business environment.

Meanwhile, entrepreneur-in-residence Dash Dhakshinamoorthy believes everyone should be entrepreneurial, even if they do not start companies.

“The world is an uncertain place, and the heart of entrepreneurship is uncertainty. Experienced entrepreneurs embrace uncertainty and act swiftly to navigate through challenges in the real world.”

He also said that the goal behind the programme is to stimulate young minds, provide them with an entrepreneurial boost and equip them with the right tools and techniques to help them in their entrepreneurial journey.

Heavy-hitter advice 

With the many webinars conducted, you can expect some nuggets of wisdom from top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

In the latest CEO/CTO series titled What Organisations Are Looking For, SP Setia Berhad chief human resources officer Nadiah Tan Abdullah shared that the core behaviours most organisations look for when hiring new talent include passion, versatility, influencing power, bravery, enthusiasm, savviness, resilience and resourcefulness.

Meanwhile, entrepreneur and Rackspace Technology Head of Partnerships Peter Tam shared his start-up journey from a coach’s perspective.

“Learn problem-solving skills, and how to break down solutions,” he said, adding that storytelling skills would help convince and gain investor attention.

During an Enterprise Wednesdays session on Venturing Ideas To Market, Fave Group co-founder Yeoh Chen Chow shared that you should make a difference in things you can control and influence. He also added that you must always bring value in your business ventures and find ways to make it accessible for your target audience.

In Getting Started – The How session, Dropee.com co-founder and chief executive operator Lennise Ng shared that the smallest habits we practise make us more resilient through difficulties and hardships, a piece of advice given by her uncle she held dearly and only understood once she was on her entrepreneurial journey.

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