The global economy is growing slowly in the post-pandemic era, and while capital markets are turning sour, people must wonder if it is a good time to start a business. Younger generations respond with a definitive “yes!”
The “2022 Stanford-Harvard-MIT Future Tech Startup Competition” in the western American division successfully concluded earlier this summer. Here are some highlights of the competition:
A total of 38 teams signed up for the competition in western America, the projects covered Web3 (32%), software services (24%), consumption (11%), education (8%), hardware (8%), Artificial Intelligence (8%) and other industries. The applicants were students from the top universities in the world such as Stanford (18%), Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, and Tsinghua (21%), and professionals who are working in various front-line companies (32%). The judges then selected 11 teams to participate in the final, covering a wide range of industries.
On May 26th, the final was held at Stanford Business School. The judges, consisting of 12 venture capital experts, joined the final competition and communicated with entrepreneurs.
Zhang Han, a partner of Sequoia China, excited the crowd by opening with the sentence “2022 is still the most worthy era of entrepreneurship”. There are three reasons behind it: technology is still changing our lives, driving innovation is still fundamental; now is the best time to partner with cross-border companies to build world-class Chinese companies, and also the best time for localization, substitution and innovation. Historically good early-stage companies can settle down and polish their products to pass through economic cycles. As for the focus of start-up companies, Zhang Han encouraged everyone to keep the three essential cores of “looking for supporters”, “looking for investments” and “looking for entrepreneurial opportunities” in the current market, and conscientiously do everything well with a positive attitude.
Dai Yusen, a partner of Zhenfund management, made a closing speech at the end of the competition. He recalled how he co-founded the Stanford Chinese Entrepreneurs Association (CEO) with a group of young entrepreneurs over dinner more than a decade ago, and then returned to China to start his own Internet business. Both China and the US are experiencing market changes, so remaining cautious is imperative in the short term. But in the long run, young people have the greater risk tolerance, the opportunity to meet like-minded friends on campus, and the ability to make money in fast-changing capital markets, which is invaluable. From this perspective, trying to start a business as early as possible is still a good choice for enthusiastic young entrepreneurs. Whether it is Web3, AI, Biotech, or any other direction, Zhenfund looks forward to continuing to support aspiring young entrepreneurs.
At the end of the event, Web3 Project Deeper Network, Biotechnology project CellX, and Software services project Heartdub were announced as the top three winners of the competition!
Everyone stayed after the ceremony, took group photos, and had one-on-one in-depth discussions, which brought the competition to a successful end!
- Deeper Network
“Thanks to the organizers for providing us this great opportunity to compete with all these outstanding startups on this stage. We are very honored and grateful to be here to learn about the most advanced technologies in various fields and get to know many outstanding entrepreneurs.
There is no doubt that the leap from the Web2.0 era to the Web3.0 era belongs to the category of disruptive technological innovation. According to Jeffery Moore’s famous Crossing the Chasm theory, any disruptive technology needs to attract at least 16% of early adopters before it can reach the mainstream. The first 2.5% of these early adopters are risk-takers with strong speculative characteristics, and the remaining 13.5% are rational and innovative pioneers.
Due to the financial nature of the blockchain industry, many practitioners can make a fortune simply by mobilizing the speculative money of the 2.5% of the risk-takers in the market, resulting in the industry being in an awkward situation where insiders are excited and outsiders are scratching their heads. If we can’t attract technology pioneers and more mainstream users to this industry, we’ll never be able to leap from web2.0 to web3.0 with the support only from risk-takers and speculators.
At the beginning of the foundation of Deeper Network, we aimed at mainstream Internet users. We have always been user-centric to polish our products and networks. We believe there is an eternal basic rule behind the emergence and development of the era of Web1.0, Web2.0, and Web3.0. That is, as a company or group to provide users with excellent products and high-value-added services. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to ask ourselves whether our products and network will still be valuable to users once the bubble deflates and the speculators have retreated.”
“Thanks to HMS for helping the startup community, providing a high-quality communication and learning platform for high-tech leaders, and allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their entrepreneurial experience with everyone.
CellX is honored to be ranked in the western American division of the HMS startup competition. Developing cell agriculture is an important approach to building a sustainable future, and cell-cultured meat is the ultimate long-term protein supply solution. We hope that excellent talents and investment institutions in related fields can get to know us through HMS, and we also hope that CellX can build a sustainable future together with global partners!”
“Through this competition, Heartdub had the honor to communicate with outstanding startup teams from the world’s top universities and industries, stood out from many outstanding ones, and won great achievements. “Creation is difficult, imitation is easy”, striving to innovate, and become a true “creator” is what Heartdub has been diligently pursuing. Thanks to the HMS Startup competition for providing such a platform to help the team brainstorm ideas and keep pace with the times. In the future, we will also take your affirmation and advice, stay true to our original aspiration, move forward fearlessly, and promote the industry towards better development prospects.”
Final words from the organizers
“The HMS competition team would like to express our sincere thanks to all the participating teams, judges and guests, and all compatriots who have paid attention to the competition. It is every one of you who makes the change, let us see the constant passion and perseverance in turbulent times. Let us believe that the future will be more convenient, more interesting, and better! Look forward to seeing you again next year!”