Programmes Undergraduate Programmes Student and alumni stories

Innovation makes a better society

Valent Cheng, student stories
BBA Global Business Systems Management student
Valent Cheung Chiu-ying

When I was a child, I learned about web language and networking tools from a book. After that, I hacked and modified a website of my classmate’s that led to a one-day suspension by my primary school. The school offered to let me build a website for one of the departments. That experience fostered my exploration of interests in digital design and turned my skill into a good use.

Seven years later, my digital design skill was appreciated by a music company, and I worked for them for years. I continued to discover possibilities in the realm of digital design and business development until showcasing the latest digital innovation with my teammates in Europe four months ago. I teamed up with four members to compete with 20 other teams in the Accenture Digital Innovation Challenge in October 2016. Our team, Eco-Vangelists, was awarded the Case Day Winner title and selected as one of seven finalists to compete at Slush in December 2016.

I was in charge of visualizing the ideas into practical solutions. Even when no one required us to make it as realistic as a commercial solution, I always try to make personal breakthroughs and set standards for others during my involvement in any events or organizations. The sky is not a limit.

Innovators are usually glorified as independent genius, but innovation takes teamwork to make it happen. Each member contributes their best and distinct skills in the competition. We believe new-age innovation comes from the merger of new technologies and existing societal patterns. Airbnb combines a sharing platform with accommodation search, MoneySQ merges sharing platform with money lending, and Eco-Vangelists' solution mixes a sharing platform with returned goods.

After the competition, I thought it was time to use my skills to contribute back to the community. In December 2016, I teamed up with three other students to co-found ElderTreks, a mobile app platform which offers true and unique Hong Kong local tours guided by the elderly. Participants can explore genuine community culture in different dimensions. First tours are set to debut in Fall 2017.

Amid Hong Kong’s aging population, ElderTreks wishes to promote the concept of active retirement, offering the elderly a part time job to reduce their financial stress as well as to advocate social inclusion. Tour participants will be guided by trained elderly who are extremely familiar with the district, from major attractions to secret spots, meaning they could get an authentic and in-depth taste of the neighborhood. Meanwhile, the seniors will be able to meet many diverse people and to embark on a fresh learning journey by acquiring new skills like tour guiding.

I am a marketer at ElderTreks, and my role is to manage strategic positioning and branding of ElderTreks. I would also utilises information systems knowledge that I have gained from the university and self-taught Swift programming, to add value to the team in user experience, systems design and app development. 

(Written by Valent, July 2017)