PATRICK TU

BBA in General Business Management, Class of 2018

CEO and Co-founder of Dayta.ai

HKUST Experiences:

  • Intern at The BASE, a student-run organization supported by HKUSTEntrepreneurship Center
  • Mentor at HeadStart, advising HKUST students on career development

The BASE is a useful platform for students to get a taste of working at a startup. With the resources and support provided, students can gain more exposure to entrepreneurship.

However, after half a year the startup failed since the market in Hong Kong was not ready for this kind of business at the time. But Patrick persevered and, along with two of his former classmates and the help of some outside investors, set up a new company, Dayta.ai.

“Our business focuses on providing AI solutions for the commercial sector. By connecting our AI system to existing surveillance cameras, we can analyze data such as customer types, consumer behavior and shopper engagement so that our retail clients can alter their marketing strategies and generate additional revenue,” says Patrick. “It is applicable to both retail shops and shopping malls.”

The main challenge at the beginning was gaining the trust of potential clients as Patrick and his partners were all very young. To alleviate this concern, they offered free first-time consultations so that clients could see they were capable of satisfying their needs.

This has resulted in more job enquiries as well as a passion for helping other students start their own businesses. What’s more, in recognition of their passion Patrick and his two Dayta cofounders – all of them aged 25 – made the “Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2021” list in the retail and e-commerce category.

Through the HeadStart@HKUST program, Patrick is now imparting his startup knowledge to his mentees and inspiring them to follow in his footsteps.

BUSINESS SENSE

Zeynep Naz Aydin

BBA in Economics, Class of 2023

Erfan Shekarriz

BSc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Class of 2021

Two budding entrepreneurs banded together during their early years at HKUST to found a fashion and design consultancy, FDS. Their success was in large part due to HKUST’s Young Entrepreneurs in Action Center which provided them with close support — from mentorship to financial support — every step of the way.

Establishing a startup had nothing to do with the fields we were trained in. This is where we can thank programs such as the Student Start-up Grants at the Young Entrepreneurs in Action Center. They support students from all backgrounds.