NTU to cultivate young entrepreneurs
By Ted Chen , The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Amid declining compensation levels in Taiwan's business sector, National Taiwan University yesterday announced its NTU Garage program, an initiative designed to promote entrepreneurship among students.
October 22, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The program invokes the humble beginnings of numerous industry-leading companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Google.
With many graduating students facing low monthly salaries of NT$22,000 and persisting unemployment woes, the university plans to cultivate over 30 entrepreneurial endeavors a year and to help create over 1,000 new companies in the coming decade.
NTU stated that the program is designed to show graduating students entering the workforce that there are alternatives to contending for poorly paid jobs, and rather that it is possible to create jobs by starting one's own company. The program will focus on specialized knowledge and abilities in startup ventures. Rather than giving fish to students, the school would rather provide them with the tools and know-how of the trade, said NTU.
Since the program's pilot run six months ago, the university has invited numerous Silicon Valley venture capitalists, experienced entrepreneurs, and veteran teams to guide students' endeavors. Experts are drawn from the fields of technology, social sciences, liberal arts, and service industries.
NTU noted that one of the teams being cultivated had seen success in its Fersonal wardrobe consultation platforms, which offers one-on-one fashion advice for males around the age of 30. In a single month of operation, Fersonal employees earned wages of NT$30,000, a figure markedly higher than the average for fresh graduates. Employees on the team remarked that despite uncertainties, the startup environment is ideal for students to apply what they have learned in a professional setting. Working in a startup company, we feel that we are truly able to direct the path of our futures, said the students.
However, NTU stated that entering the operational stage represents the greatest challenge for entrepreneurial endeavors. NTU hopes to lead by example in encouraging universities to promote entrepreneurship among students. The long-term goal is to see Taiwan's economy shift its focus to the pursuit of efficiency and to creativity and innovation, said NTU.