Though MEFTI, I learned the tools necessary to start a business from scratch. The industry challenges we tackled were both stimulating and topical, offering us the opportunity to explore applications of generative AI and alternative data to problems in the FinTech and InsureTech sectors. The disciplined entrepreneurship framework provided our team with tangible steps to refine our initial ideas and identify key gaps within an already well-established industry. The most impactful part of MEFTI for me lies in the corrections that I made. The bonds that I formed with my teammates and the rest of the cohort are invaluable, and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to explore Hong Kong with such exceptional individuals!
Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Computer Science; Data Science and Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The best part of the program was being able to learn about the fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong and Asia in general through the speakers who presented daily about their experiences in verticals such as investments, insurance and crypto. In addition, we had the opportunity to visit the Hong Kong exchange and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, both key institutions in the development of the fintech ecosystem.
MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The disciplined entrepreneurship framework is a consistent way to identify problems and rapidly test ideas. With my aspirations to be a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, I believe the disciplined entrepreneurship framework will help me solve multiple problems that people care about. This year’s challenges were a great catalyst for thinking outside of the box and leveraging new technologies. I felt that Prudential combined with the Metaverse prompt broadened my understanding of what a FinTech app is.
The most challenging part of MEFTI 2022 was figuring out what problems exist and what problem to solve. We overcame this challenge by making assumptions and testing them through primary market research. Through the program, by collaborating with others, I learned more about my leadership style.
Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Overall, MEFTI is a great program to reflect on a business idea and develop relevant pitching skills for anyone who is interested in business and entrepreneurship. Mentors from both Hong Kong and MIT provide good suggestions in how to test hypotheses in a way that avoids confirmation bias. Unfortunately, the collaboration with Hong Kong teammates is still online due to COVID. Working remotely can be hard if there isn’t a clear task assignment and timeline to follow, so it is also a nice practice to have time management skills in order to learn the most from the program.
Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For me, MEFTI was a very unique learning experience. MIT’s motto, mens et manus, translates from Latin to mind and hand – and all the students have put ideas into actions throughout the 10-day bootcamp. I learnt about emerging trends and successful cases across different fintech sectors that truly broadened my horizon. In my team’s challenge, we were inspired by how federated learning technologies could transform the digital banking industry in the future. The learning curve wasn’t easy but my teammates across HK, Europe and US were very supportive and we managed to optimize our productivity across time zones! What surprised me the most from MEFTI was the entrepreneurship spirit around me. Every day, my team would come up with new ideas and challenge ourselves to develop a proof of concept prototype. Also, working with industry partners provided us with many valuable practical and domain perspectives to formulate a viable business plan. Overall, I really enjoyed this year’s MEFTI which has inspired me to embrace and tackle real-world industry challenges.
MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I joined the MEFTI program as a remote participant. The program is thorough and extremely insightful in providing an overview of the financial industry in the Asia region. Coming from an engineering and science background, I learned about the context and potential applications of technologies in the financial industry.
My team was working on an open API roadmap for DBS Bank targeting the Hong Kong market. Although it’s also a challenge to be the only remote team member, it’s also a blessing to learn from these passionate & intelligent Hong Kong students about the local market.
I appreciate all the efforts provided by MEFTI coordinators and fellow students to accommodate this learning journey of the remote students.
Zenia Adiwijaya, MEFTI 2021
System Design & Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The MEFTI program was an exciting and rewarding cross-disciplinary experience. Not only were we given an abundance of resources to understand the theories behind technologies such as blockchain and AI, we also learnt to apply these technologies to tackle real-world industry problems, bringing positive change through innovative thought.
Frankly, entrepreneurship is a lot more challenging than I thought – from identifying customer pain points through primary research, to building a viable business model and addressing data privacy concerns. I’m grateful to our professional mentors who supported us along the way by offering new perspectives and helping us navigate technological and legal challenges.
Working remotely with the team across different time zones was a test of stamina. Yet remote-working is now the new normal. In light of this, MEFTI provided a valuable opportunity to develop transferable skills, such as the ability to coordinate and communicate with the team effectively. My teammates were highly supportive, and we were able to leverage each other’s strengths to deliver a viable solution.
A big thank you to the MEFTI organisers, mentors and industry partners. I’m looking forward to in-person reunions with the MEFTI cohort!
MEFTI has been an unparalleled expereience for me. Although the bootcamp was challenging and engaging, the results are impeccable.
The industry partners enabled me to understand the problems in the FinTech industry, heightening my ability to think critically about the real-life challenges in the market out there. It made my notion clear that: “Creativity when blended with entrepreneurship skills, can turn ideas into reality.”
The best part is the bonding that we develop with our teammates over a short period. With half of my team from MIT and a half from universities in HK, we had to work in 2 different time zones. Achieving the first runner-up of the event paid off all our hard work.
But more importantly, MEFTI is not about the competition. It’s about the competitive edge that one gets as a MEFTI alumnus. It’s about the terminologies, approach, organization, knowledge, and reliance that one gains during the program.
After MEFTI, I now have a better understanding of how to identify customers, conduct interviews, do market research, and design and build products. It is a process that requires significant enthusiasm, time and efforts. Sometimes, we spent a lot of time doing research on a specific problem, but couldn’t find a good solution. Talking with industry partners taught us a lot of things that we probably wouldn’t be able to figure out on our own.
Also, by working in teams with members from different backgrounds, I learnt a lot from my team members and I know what i’m good and not good at doing. Everyone worked hard during the program and we all held oursevles and each other responsible for our project. We learnt a lot, had fun and made friends. The biggest suprise for us wa becoming the wining team!
I want to thank everyone in the MEFTI program that made this happen! it was an incredible 9-day journey!
Through MEFTI, I learned so much about the FinTech space as a whole. I feel like we usually think og FinTech as purely trading/investing so the exposure to other facets of FinTech was incredibly eye-opening. I was honestly very surprised about how approachable the entire program was.
Collaborating with industry partners to scope a problem and innovate a solution, while simultaneously learning disciplined entrepreneurship on a multicultural team, created an intensive but rewarding program.
On the first day of MEFTI, I realized how little I knew about FinTech, entrepreneurship, and the Hong Kong market. Nine days later, we created Lexable, a platform that enables financial institutions to track and implement regulatory amendments. No class, internship, or stateside program could replicate the experience I gained and connections I made through MEFTI.
Six months have passed since MEFTI 2019 and I am still thrilled by this fantastic Fintech journey. I met many new friends here, we visited some local Fintech firms and received systematic training about entrepreneurship in this eye-opening program.
The inspiration originated from this program is “Creativity is given, but entrepreneurship can be taught.” I think everyone can practice this idea and try to start a business by following the process strictly.
Our capstone project was to design an onboarding journey for J.P. Morgan Asset Management, in which we used resources provided by MIT and applied the knowledge we learned in lectures. Even after MEFTI, I continue my career in a Fintech start-up with the support and methodology learnt from the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node.
One of the biggest takeaways from my experience in MEFTI is the vision of being an entrepreneur – “it is not about ideas. It is about making ideas happen”. As a student majoring in law and politics, I was not familiar with the concept of entrepreneurship, not to mention executing my own “wild ideas” in resolving the prominent industry issues .
During the 9-day MEFTI boot camp, my team focused on designing an onboarding platform for J.P Morgan Asset Management to foster “Young Millennials investing”. METFI not only equipped me with the technical skills in building a business idea from scratch through a series of comprehensive seminars, but also widened my perspectives of thinking towards practical issues by having prominent mentors to share their industry experiences.
Most importantly, I have built amazing global friendships with culturally diverse students, both from HK and MIT. The decent environment MEFTI provided has magically allowed us to collaborate seamlessly in putting our ideas into action. I am blessed to be part of MEFTI 2020 – a truly eye-opening experience in entrepreneurship.