Credit Suisse Sponsors Young Founders School To Run Entrepreneurship Bootcamp For Secondary Students Across Asia

Hong Kong, 7 March 2018 | Credit Suisse today announced that it is the headline sponsor of Young Founders School (YFS), a technology-focused educational non-profit organization which aims to change the way entrepreneurial education is taught to secondary school students. YFS is the world’s first global entrepreneurship program for high school students.
YFS was founded in Hong Kong in 2016 by Billy Naveed, Co-head of Hedge Fund Sales and the Equities Digitization Lead at Credit Suisse, who works closely with startups and tech investors across Asia. Billy himself began as a ‘young founder’, having established two startups before age 16.

Commenting on the program, Mr. Naveed said, “The YFS is the world’s first global entrepreneurship program for high school students. It aims to give high school students real world startup experience and CV-boosting skills, as well as unique mentorship opportunities with inspiring entrepreneurs. The organization is growing quickly and we hope to expand to other markets across Southeast Asia, such as Jakarta and Bangkok in the second half of this year. We also plan to launch our online platform to reach high school students anywhere in the world. We are grateful for Credit Suisse’s ongoing support and look forward to welcoming schools, corporates, parents and their children, who are aligned to our vision of grooming tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. ”

In the past 24 months since its inception, YFS has run nine startup Bootcamps and seven Ideation Days in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore involving about 700 students, 55% of whom were female students, and more than 300 mentors from companies such as Alibaba, Google, 9GAG and GoGovan, as well as a number of staff volunteers from the bank. Selected past winners of the YFS Bootcamps will present their startup ideas to the attendees at the upcoming 21st Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

Commenting on the partnership with YFS, Francesco de Ferrari, Credit Suisse’s Head of Private Banking Asia Pacific, and CEO Southeast Asia and Frontier Markets, said, “Credit Suisse is proud to be the headline sponsor of YFS. The aim of YFS resonates and complements very well with our position as The Trusted Entrepreneurs’ Bank of Asia”. Entrepreneurship is deeply embedded in Credit Suisse’s DNA – the bank was established more than 160 years ago through the indomitable entrepreneurial spirit of our founder Alfred Escher. Credit Suisse is committed to standing behind our entrepreneur clients, as well as focusing on the entrepreneurial education of their next generation.

Our world is changing so fast, there are many potential young entrepreneurs out there and the possibilities are endless. We believe that students who attend these specially curated programs will benefit tremendously from the invaluable guidance shared by some of the most successful entrepreneurs and organizations we have brought together through YFS’ and the bank’s network. We hope that through the YFS programs, participants will be able to hone their entrepreneurial skills, gain exposureto the inner workings of the business world, and build a solid foundation for their future endeavors.”

The YFS runs two flagship programs throughout the year:

Ideation Express – A two-hour short course for students who are exploring entrepreneurship for the first time, guiding them through the key skills that are the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset. Attendees are then invited to apply for the main Bootcamp.

Weekend Bootcamp – The signature course which involves eight hours of workshops and ten hours of breakout sessions with successful local entrepreneurs. The participants are taught about all the elements of a pitch deck in an intense action-packed weekend. At the end, they will pitch in their teams in front of parents, teachers and local venture capitalists for funding.

At the Weekend Bootcamps, students will learn from mentors from the tech industry, the latest startup fundamentals such as lean startup, product market fit and competition analysis. All participating students will have the opportunity to develop their startup ideas into fully-formed business pitches, and present to a panel of venture capitalist judges for funding. The winning team will receive funding of US$1,000 towards the development of their startup.

Bootcamps are supported by YFS’s over 300 mentors comprised of tech titans, startup companies and as well as volunteers from Credit Suisse. The judges are often venture capitalists from some of Asia’s largest venture capital funds.

Business ideas from the winning teams at YFS’ previous Bootcamps include an Internet of Things (“IOT“) enabled device for walking aids to prevent falls for the elderly or those with disabilities and inform their loved ones in real time, an app that helps people facing mental health issues by suggesting mood-improving tasks, and an online platform for high school internships.

YFS hosted this year’s first Bootcamp in Hong Kong last month and in Singapore last weekend, each of which was attended by around 30 students. YFS will host the next Bootcamp in Shenzhen in April, followed by Hong Kong in May.

About Young Founders School (YFS)
YFS is the world’s leading program for students who are interested in entrepreneurship, responding to a real need that may not be fully addressed by mainstream education. The school aims to give students real world startup experience and CV-boosting skills, as well as unique mentorship opportunities with inspiring entrepreneurs. YFS was founded by Billy Naveed, Co-Head of Hedge Fund Sales and Equities Digitization Lead at Credit Suisse, who works closely with startups and venture capital companies across Asia.  For further details, please visit: http://www.youngfoundersschool.com/

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