Future talent with global ambitions meet in Shenzhen to launch their startups

Interview with Dr. Alar Kolk and Mr. Rick Rasmussen

In 5 days an impressive array of groundbreaking entrepreneurs, renowned investors, top-level founders and mentors from around the world meet in Shenzhen. Prior to the official launch of the Asia-Pacific Innovation Academy (APIA) in Shenzhen, China we had an interview with the people responsible for bringing this venture the Asia-Pacific region – Dr. Alar Kolk President of the European Innovation Academy (EIA) and Mr. Rick Rasmussen – Industry Fellow at University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Alar Kolk explaining what is APIA and what makes it unique compared to other innovation initiatives:

Having built programs like the APIA in Europe for 5 years, I can assure you that the APIA is much more than a conference or a hackathon. APIA caters to passionate entrepreneurs and talented individuals with global ambition, by creating a unique opportunity to experiment with new innovations and business models that have the potential to disrupt many industries and improve our lives. s This year, APIA launches a program which brings together 50 teams from around the world to discover, test and validate their innovative ideas just over 15 days – it is called the extreme accelerator program. Teams focus on the most innovative technologies in the domains of AI: machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision to name a few.

“APIA aims to educate 10 000 students. These future entrepreneurs will build new industries, products, and services which do not exist today. The entrepreneurs will develop and nurture a different mindset to master global markets through digital innovation. They follow the pattern of Googles, Facebooks, WeChats and Alibaba’s. They challenge the status quo of existing industries. Therefore one indicator of success is related to the creation of unicorn companies. The APIA aims to create 3 billion dollar + companies in the future,” says Alar Kolk, the president of The EIA and one of the founders of the APIA.

“Not only are we launching the extreme accelerator program for students, The APIA will also launch a program that focuses on the digital transformation of existing companies. APIA aims to digitize 1000 companies from China and transform them into global leaders in their industry segment,” Mr. Kolk adds.

Mr. Rick Rasmussen explaining the foundation of APIA competences:

The EIA has developed unique and modern programs tailored to technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship. Not only are these programs recognized by top universities such as UC Berkeley and Stanford, but also by global corporate innovators like Google and Daimler. APIA’s collaboration with The European Innovation Academy has resulted in the creation of a unique platform, specifically tailored for the Asia-Pacific region.

International mentors and teachers in APIA programs

“Success in innovation requires a diverse set of competencies in business, design, marketing, software, IP and human resource dynamics. One of the keys to the success of the APIA is the strength and quality of the mentors. APIA has over 65 mentors who are all professionals and experts in their fields, dedicated to helping the next generation of world-leading entrepreneurs succeed. These mentors bring the latest knowledge directly from industry and apply it to the startups being formed in the APIA program,” Mr. Rasmussen commented.

Mr. Rasmussen explaining the unique methodology helping early-stage startups get off the ground:

The APIA is an experiential, hands-on program where students learn by doing, rather than learn through textbooks, lectures and case studies. Students learn to build companies from scratch and are assessed by investors and venture capitalists from all over the world.

The European Innovation Academy – The European Innovation Academy has become a recognized leader in tech entrepreneurship education. Our non-profit, educational programs are developed through joint partnerships with professionals from the world’s top institutions; to include Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, and Google.

About the Asia-Pacific Innovation Academy – The Asia-Pacific Innovation Academy program, which is intended to be a long-term collaboration organized by BVC and the European Innovation Academy. The first edition of The Asia-Pacific Innovation Academy will take place on July 19th – August 9th, 2018 in Shenzhen, China. Students from top universities in China and across the world will take part in the program, which enables participants to leverage a network of globally-experienced mentors to advance their startup ideas.

About Brightvision Capital – BVC is an innovative, market-oriented private equity fund management company which is co-financed by CITIC Group and Bank of China Group. In serving China’s New-Type Urbanization strategy, BVC develops advanced business models on the urban operation, focusing on providing a full range professional financial service for Chinese Urban Operation including high-tech industrial park and equity investment.