Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge Semi-Finalists; professor mentor required

We’ve been selected as a semi-finalists in the 2012 Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge competition. I was a semi-finalists in the 2009 Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge (HKSEC) as well, back when I was working on landfill gas to energy. We lost to a non-profit which made cupcakes for homeless people. Seriously.

2009 HKSEC

The woman closest to me is now my landlord lady

Mentor Problems
As part of the competition we must have a mentor who is a university professor. We don’t have a mentor. The HKSEC people have emailed me requesting our mentor’s information immediately, which is a small problem. I presume most people that enter this competition already have professors they know and who would be a mentor.

To find a mentor I went through the websites of all the major universities in Hong Kong including Chinese University Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I went through every professor in the science and engineering departments of each school, I looked at their research, interests, and publications. I emailed every professor (about 30) who I thought might possibly be interested. Is this the right way to do this? I don’t know. I’ve got about a week.

Art and Science

At least, to look on the bright side, I now know the interests and research areas of every single science and engineering professor in Hong Kong now. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has the easiest to understand profiles but most difficult to navigate website. Hong Kong University’s profiles are easy to navigate, but limited in content. Chinese University is missing a chemical engineering department.

I got four responses, mainly stuff like “too busy”, etc. No luck. Finally, the HKSEC people just assigned me a professor from CUHK. I met him to get the form signed, never saw him again.

We lost to a non-profit which helps senior citizens by having college students wear a sort of “fat suit” and try to do things like “pick up the newspaper” to simulate being an old person, then they convince the college students to volunteer to help senior citizens. I get the feeling this should be renamed the “Hong Kong Non-Profit Challenge”.


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