CUHK Global Business Students Win HSBC Young Entrepreneur Award
Three Global Business Studies (GBS) Year 1 students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) championed at the Hong Kong Final of The HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards. The winning team, Seizers, comprising Jeff Hui, Derek Sin and Juliana Tam, introduced an innovative concept of ‘NuBurger’ to address the obesity problem prevalent in the United States, which helped them to beat 342 teams from other universities in Hong Kong.
The GBS team presented their business plan in front of a panel of judges consisting of prominent business leaders and government officials on 3 April. The panel was chaired by Mr. Vincent Cheng, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. Other panel members included Mr. Michael Suen, Secretary for Education, the HKSAR Government; Mr. John Chan, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr. Victor Li, Managing Director & Deputy Chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited and Ms Betty Yuen, Managing Director (Hong Kong) of CLP Power Hong Kong Limited. The competition attracted participation of over 900 undergraduates in Hong Kong.
The GBS’s business plan ‘NuBurger’ offers a solution to obesity by adding alginate, a tasteless and odourless substance extracted from brown algae, into burgers. With this new element, the fibre content of burgers can be highly increased, reducing fat absorption by half and making fast food healthy for everyone.
The winning team points out that the culprit of the obesity crisis in the United States lies in the prevalent fast food diet of the Americans. Statistics showed that nearly 4,500 burgers were sold every minute in one of the major hamburger sellers alone. This illustrates the extremely unhealthy diet habits of the Americans, and inspires the Seizers to come up with ‘NuBurger’. ‘If the Americans cannot change their fast food habits, then why don’t we change the food they eat?’
The panel was most impressed by the creative idea and commercial viability of the proposal, and named the GBS team as the Gold Award Winner of this year. The team was awarded an HSBC self-development fund of HK$40,000, and will represent Hong Kong in the regional competition to be held in June.
The winning team said, ‘The competition process is filled with challenges. As the “NuBurger” business is set in America, it is challenging to research for local market information. Fortunately, we can overcome these difficulties through the training of GBS, which equips us with a comprehensive understanding of the global markets, and broadens our international exposure. Our in-depth knowledge in the business operations of “NuBurger” enables us to answer some of the toughest questions raised by experienced judges. To increase the commercial viability of the proposal, we have revised the content of the proposal for more than 20 times. The intensive training and preparation before the Hong Kong Final was a tough process, yet Seizers made it through with perseverance and faith, as well as the support from other GBS students.’
Prof. Gordon Cheung, GBS Programme Director, was pleased with the achievements of his students. ‘The three of them are only in their first year of studies and have limited business knowledge. It was a huge challenge for them to write a professional business proposal. I am very impressed by their hard work. They have actively contacted entrepreneurs who have lived in the US before to obtain first-hand information about the American market. They have also studied the annual reports of a number of American fast food shops to investigate the costs, strategies and the most recent market trends.’
The HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards is an annual regional business plan competition for post-secondary students in Hong Kong and other Asian countries to demonstrate their creativity and business acumen.