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Student startups set to surge as 'digital natives' drive innovation

By Zou Shuo| China Daily| Updated: May 25, 2023 L M S


Chen Tianrun (center) meets with colleagues to discuss the 3D printer they have produced. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Promoting good habits

Wang said that his team is focused on creating a "digital human" app that can encourage the formation of good habits and help alleviate the loneliness many young people feel nowadays.

Once users have completed their preprogrammed daily workout, their digital image on the app becomes energetic. Conversely, if they have stayed up late, the image will have dark circles under its eyes, he added.

The aim is to create a virtual world where users receive instant feedback by completing everyday tasks and routines. A survey of several thousand university students conducted by Wang's team showed that about 80 percent of respondents have great enthusiasm for the virtual world and the app.

Wang said he had not thought about starting a business until he watched an innovation competition at his university last year. After more than a year of work, his team has developed an app with 2D virtual humans, and is now working on a 3D version, he said.

To provide funding for the app, he has spent almost all the money he made by tutoring other students in college, and he hopes that it will be officially launched late next month or in July.

"I know it is difficult to be successful as a first-time entrepreneur, but I will have no regrets whether the app is a success or not," he said.

Since he started his startup journey, he has been extremely busy balancing study and entrepreneurship. He rarely takes a break, even during vacations.

"However, it has been a worthwhile experience. As someone who majors in computer science, I have learned marketing skills, how to talk to investors and manage a team, and I've also become more eloquent," he said.

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