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Melton Fellows in Action: ASES Summit

ASES: Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society held its annual meeting in Hangzhou,China from the 5th June to the 11th June, 2017. Here, Melton Fellow Ranjini Rao HS reflects on her experience attending ASES as a Melton grantee.

I am extremely privileged to have received the Melton Foundation grant opportunity to attend this conference and experience the booming entrepreneurial environment in China.It served as a great platform to meet student entrepreneurs and established angel investors to educators from all over the world.Various seminars on topics ranging from Big Data, to AI. Technological talks and seminars were held in a way that the audience from all walks of life could understand. were held and I was very curious to learn about the extremely diverse culture.

Our days usually started off with bustling conversations over breakfast and a hot cuppa, streaming into loads of interactions with the facilitators and the professors on campus. The highlight of the conference definitely has to be the visit to Alibaba Group, whose birthplace is Hangzhou, with a live demo of the hover camera as the cherry on top!

Towards the second day of the summit, we were all divided into different groups based on our interests and VR based educational system caught my eye. For the next few days we spent hours together discussing the various stakeholders, finances, feasibility, the technology itself and how we could market this product. This journey taught me a lot about teamwork, time management, leadership and most importantly simplicity.

Being a vegetarian, solo traveler in China is not easy but the extremely courteous nature of people helped me along the way. The visit to the West Lake and the Culture street with my fellow delegates is definitely an experience I cherish. And while my experience during the summit was rather well planned, the true flavour and culture of China was on my palette only once I set out and decide to explore on my own. The visit to the Hangzhou zoo and the sight of two peaceful pandas was cathartic while the view of the mammoth like Pearl tower in Shanghai from across the Huangpu river was exhilarating!

As a part of the Melton Grant Project, which involved interested students on the BMS Campus, I helped conceptualize a prototype of a coin vending machine aimed at solving the issue of tendering loose change on campus. We also divided ourselves into groups and visited a few shops around our university to teach them how to install applications such as PhonePe and PayTm for hassle free, digital transaction.

Reaching out to people and spreading the word about my wonderful experience during the summit through blogs has definitely enriched every moment of my experience. In conclusion I would like to say that the organizers of the ASES summit and all the people who I met over the course of the journey have significantly enhanced my knowledge of entrepreneurship and intercultural experience and opened my mind to a sea of new possibilities.