Kevin Chow Kai Chung / Li Jiaying

Student Affairs Office Publications and Highlights   Student Stories   Kevin Chow Kai Chung / Li Jiaying  
“Benefiting from the feedback from instructors at MetroChallenge training workshops, we managed to apply those new skills during our meetings with various potential business partners.”

Although Hong Kong is a developed, knowledge-based economy, support for school children with special educational needs (SEN), particularly in extracurricular activities, has remained inadequate. Li Jiaying and Kevin Chow Kai Chung therefore teamed up to launch the start-up Infinity Dive. Modelled on the “learning through group play” concept popular abroad, Infinity Dive aims to hold scuba diving and snorkeling classes designed for SEN students, specifically to help them improve their ability to express emotions. “When I learned scuba dive, I realised that the simple hand gestures used to communicate underwater could be helpful for school children with autism.” Li says. “And they could also apply those skills and techniques in various day-to-day situations.” As a freelance licensed scuba diving coach, Chow’s idea was quickly transformed into a viable start-up plan. The pair then entered HKMU’s MetroChallenge, an entrepreneurship incubation programme, where they received guidance from seasoned professionals, put together a formal business proposal for final presentation and assessment, and won coveted funds for implementation.

When immersed in preparations for MetroChallenge competition, they realised the importance of selecting and organising the essential ideas to be pitched to the panel of judges and consultants. “We delivered well-structured messages, highlighting the main selling points. And, benefiting from the feedback from instructors at MetroChallenge workshops, we managed to apply those new skills during our meetings with various potential business partners.” Li notes.

Thanks to the series of MetroChallenge training workshops, Li and Chow knew what it takes to develop a viable business proposal after the ideation stage. Their step-by-step approach first involved agreeing on the items to be accomplished and setting out a timeline. Chow then worked on specific strategies for things such as expenditure on equipment and manpower.

Along the way, the pair also learned to consider issues from different perspectives. For instance, they saw that developing a business plan for a successful start-up required input from existing organisations involved in helping SEN school children. Li and Chow therefore conducted in-depth research and canvassed ideas from respected professionals including teachers, psychologists and tutors, as well as NGOs for SEN children. “To understand the needs of these stakeholders, we had to understand issues from their perspectives.” Chow says.