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Stanford Ignite Innovation Program Powers up for Third Year in China


Stanford Ignite Innovation Program Powers up for Third Year in China

Silicon Valley program returns to Beijing, Sept. 2 to Nov. 13, 2016, at Stanford Center at Peking University in collaboration with Z Park.
March 2, 2016
Stanford Ignite-Beijing faculty director, Professor Joseph Piotroski, addresses a new class of Igniters at Stanford Center in Beijing.

Stanford Graduate School of Business will offer its Stanford Ignite program in innovation and entrepreneurship for the third time in China this September.

Stanford Ignite–Beijing will continue its groundbreaking collaboration with Zhongguancun High Tech Park (Z-Park) as part of Z-Park’s ongoing initiative to support the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in China.

A free information session will be offered at Stanford Center at Peking University on Saturday, April 9, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Successfully launched in 2014 with 30 handpicked participants from diverse disciplines ranging from technology and energy to education and medicine, the Stanford Ignite–Beijing program unites exceptional individuals with significant innovation and leadership potential to formulate, evaluate, develop, and commercialize their ideas into viable business plans.

“We are pleased to return to Beijing with our program to teach entrepreneurship and innovation in regions of the world with entrepreneurial energy and excitement,” said Joseph Piotroski, associate professor of accounting and faculty director of Stanford Ignite-Beijing. “We are looking for applicants with non-business degrees who have ideas for benefiting society that they would like to develop into impactful ventures. This program is designed to give graduate students, scientists, and engineers the essential tools to commercialize those ideas.”

The program draws on the same world-class business faculty who teach in Stanford’s MBA Program, which is infused with the culture of immersive, innovative, and hands-on instruction that pervades Stanford University and Silicon Valley.

Aligned with the same mindset, Z-Park, widely recognized as a network of technology and innovation in China, believes its collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business helps drive the program forward and enables more passionate individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and develop socially beneficial products and services. As the first national innovation model in China, Z-Park encompasses over 20,000 high-tech enterprises. Furthermore, Z-Park enriches the program by working with Stanford to bring leading Chinese executives, investors, legal experts, and other practitioners to the program as guest speakers and mentors to provide practical feedback on team projects.

We are looking for applicants with non-business degrees who have ideas for benefiting society that they would like to develop into impactful ventures.
Joseph Piotroski

“Before I participated in Stanford Ignite I had received no formal business training,” said Johnson Gao, chief technology officer of Hanergy Incubator Center, where he is in charge of developing new products in the solar energy space. “The program helped me organize my practical experience over the years into a system which I think is the most valuable thing that I’ve taken from this program.” Among the Igniters in the first Beijing program in 2014, he worked on his idea for an environmentally friendly energy charging and supply system that can be integrated with outdoor devices, facilities, or building parts and provide electricity to people doing outdoor activities. Hanergy has since developed a prototype of the product and is planning an upgraded, second-generation product launch in early 2016. Gao won the Golden Prize of Beijing Creative Pioneer Award.

“As a first-time founder who is running a fast-growing startup, I face many questions in the daily operations of the company that I don’t know the answers to,” said Yi Wang, founder and CEO of Liulishuo, the leading mobile app for spoken English and facilitator of one of the most active language learners’ communities in China. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Wang, who has a PhD in computer science from Princeton University, was a product manager at Google and a product director of AdChina. “During the course of the Ignite program, I had many ‘aha’ moments where things that puzzled me for a long time got answered by the professors’ lectures or in discussions with my teammates,” he said.

The Stanford Ignite–Beijing program is one of nine Stanford Ignite programs now offered around the world, enabling high-potential individuals outside of Silicon Valley to tap into Stanford’s distinctive approach to teaching entrepreneurship and management. In addition to the Stanford campus, locations include Bangalore, India; London; New York; Santiago, Chile; and São Paulo, Brazil. Stanford Ignite participants have started more than 100 successful companies since the program was introduced on the Stanford campus in 2006.

Stanford Ignite is intended for individuals who do not have graduate business training. Applicants must be currently enrolled students in a master’s, PhD, MD, or postdoctoral program studying nonbusiness fields; or must be working professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s (BA or BS) degree from a regionally accredited institution, with advanced degrees preferred.

Conducted in English, the program provides approximately 100 hours of instruction, including class lectures, coaching sessions, advising sessions with the faculty director, and panels. In addition, the program requires about 100 to 150 hours of preparation for class sessions and teamwork on venture projects. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a Stanford Ignite certificate and become a part of the Stanford Ignite global network.

The program will run throughout seven non-consecutive weekends between September 2 and November 13, 2016. Participants will meet on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sunday, excluding holiday weekends. The course will be taught at Stanford Center at Peking University using state-of-the-art classroom technology.

The Round 1 application deadline is May 11, 2016. To be considered for a scholarship, all application materials must be submitted by the Round 1 deadline. Approximately 30 highly qualified applicants will be admitted. A complete application will contain a completed online application, a resume, three short essays, and two recommendations.

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