Myungjae Han, Yejun Kim, Jimin Lee, Sunwoo Kim – 2023
“I hope that everyone can give the Blue Ocean Competition a shot! This is a unique opportunity for you to interact with like-minded students across the globe. The soft skills and entrepreneurship concepts you learn from this competition will be a significant asset to you. Your pitch does not have to be a scientific breakthrough, come and share something that you are passionate about!”
Below is an interview with the Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneur Pitch Competition best health care pitch winner for 2022. These young people pitched the idea of communication device for children with autism. Hopefully this pitch inspires other students to compete and offer solutions to current problems.
Why did you enter the contest? What did you hope to accomplish or learn?
We decided to enter the Blue Ocean Competition to gain a first ‘feel’ or affiliation with the mind of an entrepreneur and be exposed to the various steps involved with designing and coming up with an initial product. Through this venture, we were able to learn a handful of skills that will be useful for us in the future.
How did you learn about the competition (school or teacher, Internet, recommendation from a friend…)?
When searching the web for interesting competitions we could involve ourselves in, we stumbled upon the competition, and it drew our attention from the get-go. We instantly indulged ourselves in the competition and decided to aim for the best Healthcare pitch.
If you learned about this from the Internet, did you find this through Instagram, Facebook, web search…?
We learned about the competition through a web search.
Why this contest and not another one? What appealed to you about this competition?
The Blue ocean competition intrigued us due to many factors. In our eyes, it was portrayed as a global high school competition that allowed us to pursue our passion for coming up with both a product and a business plan matriculated for the product. Because it was the perfect fit for what we were searching for, we chose the Blue ocean competition.
How or why did you pick your topic?
We picked our topic because we were inspired by one of our teammate’s brothers who unfortunately had been diagnosed with autism. We believed that our idea would raise awareness of autism, especially in young children, in the vast field of medicine and healthcare.
Is this a real business that you plan on pursuing?
Yes, we are all interested in assistive health technology after realizing the importance of well-being after the pandemic. To this end, the meaning and the message AVY carries is special to us. Although very much tentative at this moment, we plan to develop this project further by deciding whether it’s viable.
Do you plan on being an entrepreneur?
Yes. The field of entrepreneurship is very fascinating to us: pursuing our own passion is something that we would like to carry out in the future.
What were your favourite learnings from the Blue Ocean concepts?
If we had to choose one lesson we learnt through this process, it would have to be that people are everything in business, no matter how big or small the firm is. The amount of commitment and trust we had towards each other and in the project was what we believed to be the key factor behind our success in this competition.
How much time did you spend creating your pitch?
We spent around 5 weeks creating our pitch. We met twice a week on zoom (except for the first week where we met 4 times) to discuss our own progress and plan for the upcoming week. Each doing our individual part, we spent on average around 5-6 hours a week.
What was easy?
While mostly everything was challenging throughout the whole process, we personally felt that the easiest thing was communicating with our team members; This allowed us to split the responsibilities and tasks efficiently among members.
What was hard?
The hardest aspect behind this process was definitely coming up with the prototype of our watch and the app for the video. Luckily, one of our team members was able to pull through, and after painstaking efforts, we were able to complete the CAD image.
Did you have fun?
We had a lot of fun doing this. Despite it being challenging, it was a new experience for all of us. However, we considered the whole process as the start of a career. Through this competition, we all had a good snapshot of what it is like to be an entrepreneur.
Did you find the fact that this is a virtual and global competition appealing?
Personally, both aspects were very appealing to us. This was because we wanted to participate and immerse ourselves in a global level competition but we didn’t have the time to travel overseas etc. Thus the virtual aspect was very helpful to us.
If you worked as a team, how did you work together virtually during this interesting year?
Due to the pandemic, our school provides education online. Thus, we developed the project via zoom, endeavoring to best allocate the resources we have available so as to maximize efficiency.
Did your school or teacher encourage you or did you pursue this on your own?
We pursued this project entirely on our own. Being both childhood friends and students with aligning aspirations, we wanted to see how far we could go without any professional or external help.
What did you learn?
We learnt so much during this competition as a whole. The especially memorable and useful skills would have to be the new experiences we gained in the starting stages of creating our own business. As aspiring entrepreneurs, we learned from this competition that even a mesmerizing business plan needs to consider, and must be able to reconcile, the competing demands of civilization and nature.
What would you do differently?
If we could change one thing we could do differently for next time, it would be nothing. We all loved the experience of both the exciting and hard times we went through as a team and we wouldn’t want to change a single thing about it.
What advice do you have for future participants?
Pieces of advice we would have for future participants would be to follow your passions. Instead of pursuing awards, all participants should develop upon ideas that interest them.
Any other comments that you want to make?
Again we would just like to thank the Blue ocean team for such an amazing opportunity; It truly was one of the most memorable experiences we have had and will have in our high school careers.
“The Blue Ocean Competition has allowed us to take our first step toward our aspiration as a successful entrepreneur; An amalgamation of creativity, vitality of intellect, and compassion that is Blue Ocean Competition, it poses a challenging obstacle, yet it nonetheless leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of young entrepreneurs.”