FedEx Supports Students at the Asia Innovation Challenge, a Business Idea Contest for Solutions to Social Issues in Asia
High School Students from Japan and Singapore Collaborate on Business Ideas; Winning Team Proposes a Business Aimed at Drug Dispensing Vending Machines to Contribute to Infectious Disease Prevention from Drinking Water in Cambodia
TOKYO, March 29, 2016 – FedEx Express (FedEx) a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), announced the winning team at the final stage of the Asia Innovation Challenge (AIC), jointly organized with Junior Achievement Japan, on March 27. During the competition, high school students devised and presented business models for tackling social issues in Asia. The winning team of the Asia Innovation Challenge comprised of two students from Japan (Erika Sato and Amane Sugimoto) and two students from Singapore (Cheng Wei Jian and Calvin Yusnoveri), proposed a business model for selling relatively inexpensive, non-prescription drugs through vending machines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases from unsanitary drinking water, a particular problem in rural areas, to contribute to health maintenance in Cambodia.
Eight team members from FedEx Japan took part in the program as mentors and advisors, providing tips on collecting information and creating presentation materials. FedEx team members also advised participants on basic business skills such as business etiquette and effective communication.
In its second year, the business idea contest saw 72 high school students from Japan and Singapore participate. Two students from each country paired up in groups of four worked with each other via email and social networking sites. Each group was responsible for selecting a target country, researching the social issues affecting that country, choosing an issue, considering what kind of business could help tackle the issue, and drawing up a concrete plan.
“FedEx supports programs aimed at nurturing Japan’s next generation and helping them become active members of the future global environment.” said Masamichi Ujiie, regional vice president, North Pacific, FedEx Express. “By working together with the participants from Singapore towards a single goal, I believe the students experienced different perspectives and ways of thinking, and how to respond to differences in language and culture. I hope this experience will aid them with their future studies and in deciding their careers.”
A students from the winning team commented “At first, understanding the differences between our social systems and cultures took time; however, we overcame those differences by talking a lot and respecting each other’s opinions. We enjoyed spending time with other team members in the final presentation.”
FedEx and Junior Achievement Japan have been working together to support a variety of educational programs for students since 2006. The Asia Innovation Challenge aims to make students aware of the important qualities required of today’s globally active workforce and increase their desire to learn more about such matters in the future.
Asia Innovation Challenge Overview
Choose one country from among the ASEAN member nations of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, identify a social issue of that country, and draw up a business model proposing a product or service that can contribute to solving or improving that issue.
Nov 2015: Teams formed, including FedEx employees as mentors/advisors
Nov – Dec 2015: Teams decide on the country and issue to be tackled
Jan. 2016: Teams produce business model and presentation materials
(justification for country and issue, explanation of product/service, target customers, cost management, sales strategy, etc.)
Mon., Feb 15: Final materials submitted
Seven shortlisted teams announced following evaluation.
Sun., Mar 27: Final presentation via online broadcast between Japan and Singapore FedEx offices
Announce the winning team