Student hosts entrepreneurship event

04 June 2018

The first ever university chapter Startup Grind event in China was organised and hosted by Innovation Management student Patrick Mayne. He succeeded in attracting an audience of 250 people, the largest audience for any debut event at a newly founded chapter.

The lecture hall is quiet, the audience has left the building and the cleaning of the venue is done. All that is left is for Patrick Mayne is to evaluate on his debut as a host of a Startup Grind event.

I think everybody was super happy. It was exciting to see all of the hard work become something tangible that you could see and get inspired by. Some of the students came up to me afterwards to tell me how great it is that someone takes this kind of initiative and also to connect the Chinese and international students on campus. One Chinese student came to me super excited and told me how this had put a seed in her heart and she now wants to develop it,” says Patrick Mayne

“I am not much of an academic, I am a practitioner”

It has been a busy time since Patrick Mayne decided that he wanted to host an event with the goal of inspiring students on campus to consider entrepreneurship and the possibilities it might hold for them.

Finding a speaker, booking a venue, designing and distributing posters, flyers and posts for WeChat (the dominant Chinese social media platform) were just some of the tasks that needed addressing in order for the event to come together, but why all of this work on top of everyday studies?

Patrick Mayne (on the left) and Richard Robinson (on the right)

“This is what I do. I develop entrepreneurship. It is what I did in Denmark and this is what I plan to do. I am not much of an academic, I am a practitioner and I saw coming here as an opportunity to meet many different people and come up with ideas together. Through this event I gain experience and I am able to build my network, so it is definitely worth it,”says Patrick.

Through the process, Patrick teamed up with Katja, a classmate from Innovation Management, and Li Xiaocan, a Chinese robotics and AI student, he met on campus.

Creating a valuable network

Since arriving in China 10 months ago, Patrick has put a lot of energy into creating opportunities for himself by expanding his professional network in Beijing.

I really tried to step up my networking game and attend as many events as possible and market and put myself out there as much as possible. I realised that it started to have an effect and then when I need something, I know who to reach out to,” says Patrick.

He has attended numerous different events, and this is also how he got in contact with the people at Startup Grind and how he met Richard Robinson, the speaker at the event.

I put great relevance in building a network and I think it is the backbone of any business. That is how you get stuff done. To be a good networker you need good credibility in what you do, because people need to know you and they need to know that you are good at what you do,” concludes Patrick.

Next semester, Patrick will be interning at Richard Robinson’s company NHACK, who help Scandinavian startups crack the Chinese market. And of course, the idea is to create more events in the future.

About Startup Grind:

Startup Grind is a worldwide organisation that connects people, founders, investors and mentors by hosting events that have a range of speakers with expertise in entrepreneurship and technology in cities all over the world.