Departing Words from Students

Student Reflection;

We were having a short day yesterday, we went over the content that we studied during the two weeks. Then we had free time to finish our group’s PowerPoint for the presentation. In the afternoon, we had a funny quiz on what we learned. Then we shared the PowerPoint with other groups so that we could get some feedback and then improve. It has been a wonderful two weeks this summer. I learned a lot from this course, and I also learned how to be a leader of a group.


Student Reflection;

This is the last journal I’m writing about this amazing program, and I plan to include both yesterday’s and today’s experience.

Yesterday, everybody was competing to accomplish the final program. We spent a bunch of time making advertisements. Guess what, in order to make a 360-degree view, we even placed our product on the trash can and rotated the trash can.

Today was the day to say goodbye to my teachers and friends, we took pictures with everybody in order to remember each other’s’ faces. I’m now on the train backing home, missing you guys so much……..


Student Reflection;

Today I felt very sad. To be honest, I don’t want to go back home, because I was really happy during the program. I love learning together with these excellent students and teachers. This was a really valuable experience for me. I like our teachers here very much. They are very different from the ones at my school. I really want to see you all again. Thank you! Thank you for these days. Thank you for everything!


From Tim;

Today is August 16th. There are only two days left here at the camp. This experience will be unforgettable.

Today in class, Josh talked about failure with us. Success only comes after we have overcome failures. Resilience is the key. A successful entrepreneur needs to stick through all difficulties! Our task today was to finish our advertisement. We shot our footages on the lawn. During the rest of day, we refined our numbers in our strategic plan. What a fulfilling day.


From Maggie;

In the morning, we talked about failure and how to face failure. This discussion helped me a lot since I have gone through and I am facing failures. Then we watched a video on a passionate presentation given by Microsoft’s CEO. I realized how important it is to have your own presenting styles. The last day of the program is approaching really soon. For the rest of the day, we worked really hard on our project. We have finished designing our logo and advertisement ideas. It was a day where I experienced a lot and learned the importance of team work. Our presentation will be on this Friday!


From Kevin;

Today we learned about “learn from failure” and we started to shoot our advertisement. Josh was invited to take part in our advertisement and he “performed” well! During the shooting, Denis and I played tricks on our teammate Penny. As a consequence, she was angry and sad. But we apologized to her and she forgave us.  But this little bump in the road would not affect how good our advertisement is going to be!

Advertising as Storytelling

From Anna;

Today, we learned how to tell stories and how to make others believe in our stories. There are six elements that help us tell good stories: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus. We started to create advertisements!

From Dylan;

In class, we talked about how to tell a story well. I learned that it is important for story tellers to leave spaces for listeners to fill in. Listeners want to feel that they are developing the story. It is also helpful to include turning points in a story structure.  Personally, I believe humor is the most crucial part because everyone likes to laugh at funny things. I am excited to start making our own advertisement.

Entrepreneurship Analytics

From Vickey;

In today’s class, we first talked about the burn rate and runway of each company. With estimated runway and burn rate, we can decide how much money we should ask for investment. We thought through all aspects related our company’s operations and costs. Then, we calculated all of our costs, revenue and profit as part of our strategic plan. Through today’s class, I learned how difficult it is to actually become an entrepreneur.

From Dennis;

Time flies – we are a week into the program now. As time wed time went by, the class is becoming harder and the content covered is deeper. In today’s class, we were asked to calculate both the cost and revenue of our company in the first year. We had a hard time doing this – we knew nothing about the market, population and renting. There was not any data. Some of us had to call our parents to get an accurate data!

Presenting a Strategic Plan

From Maggie;

We finished our timeline poster on our company’s goal. We presented our timeline in front of the class. We were then asked to think about our cost structure and revenue structure as part of the strategic plan. We had to ask ourselves the following questions:

1. What are the other similar products you?

2. What makes these products good?

3. How much do people spend on these products?

4. How many of these products are sold?

5. What makes our products better than the existing products?

We ended the class by watching a TED talk about marketing.

Constructing a Company

From Penelope;

Today our professor told all groups to make a standing “Duke Tower” by using papers only.

During the first round, we only had one minute to do that without any planning. We all failed. The second round with 5 minutes, we planned and won – built the tallest paper tower! After this activity, we made a big poster with our company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customer relationships and customer segments. After we were done making the poster, each group presented in front of the class. The professor also used Amazon and Brita as examples to talk a bit more about building a company. I learned a lot and this was my best day since the camp started!

Putting our Knowledge into Practice

From Victoria;

To be an entrepreneur, the ability to define problems during the process of designing and marketing products is crucial. Yesterday in class, we had an interesting experience. We wondered around the campus to see what can be improved! We paid attention to all the corners and every detail. A lot of seemingly useful facilities actually have several drawbacks, such as lack of ventilation, rain shed, etc.. We then, brainstormed the biggest challenges that our companies face with our teams and solutions to these challenges. The brainstorming process was really inspiring. The last step was to put down all the challenges and solutions on a poster! Yesterday was another exciting day. I really enjoyed it!

Product Design and the Power of “Yes”

From Dennis;

I’ve always had a hard time paying attention in class, but today was an exception. We learned about the importance of social identity and how company’s organizational structures work. What excited me the most was that we were dived into two groups and we were asked to design a new product. I was engaged with this activity since I know I am capable in designing and managing. Everything is going well. Hope I will enjoy the rest of the program.


From Ray;

Today we first talked about benefits and challenges for having a team. Then, we got our own roles in our team and signed a conflict resolution commitment. The most important part of today’s class was to form a team and thought about our roles within the team. We ended the class with a “Yes, and…” activity. This activity helped me learn the power of saying “Yes”. We are able to come up with many incredible ideas just by saying “ Yes”.

Reflections from Andie

From Andie;

What is entrepreneurship? We started our first class with this question. Our instructors first led us discuss the important characteristics and traits of successful entrepreneurs.

As the first step to understand entrepreneurship, finding essential characteristics gave me a chance to look into the business world and opened this new world to me. Next, after discussing the 7 pillars, I gained more knowledge in the field. I started to consider what I am lack and what I should pay effort to in order to improve in the next following days.

Also, as a main part of the class, we learned the term “ tribe”. It is not a new word to me but it was not until yesterday I totally understand this word’s meaning in the field of business. What should people do in order to start a company? Now I have a better understanding of it and I look forward to learning more.

Here they come!

Your Duke Entrepreneur instructor, Josh Neubert, and your Duke Entrepreneur TA, Yanan Zi, have just finished their Entrepreneur course at Duke University in the USA and are on their way to China to teach the Entrepreneur Academy in China!

The US course concluded with presentations from students who shared their ideas on new businesses that might be developed for needs throughout the world.

Josh and Yanan are very excited to be bringing this Duke course to China and hope you will enjoy it as much as the students here at Duke have!


On behalf of the entire faculty, we welcome you to the Summer Entrepreneur Academy, class of 2017!

Being an entrepreneur is not for the light of heart. It takes grit and determination to make it through the roller coaster of designing and launching a new product. It takes leaders who know how to evaluate and solve complex problems. It takes commitment!


Our two-week, highly-interactive entrepreneurship program is designed around preparing the next generation of world leaders to work together to solve some of the most pressing problems facing society and to build the next great products. Each year, the space for internationally minded businesses is growing and understanding this global marketplace is critical for today’s entrepreneur. We believe that everyone is a leader, and therefore, every student will lead.  We will introduce practices that will help you learn how to be a global problem solver, and how to turn those skills into a successful entrepreneurial venture. You’ll learn how to identify challenges, understand the global marketplace, and gain the skills and techniques used by some of the leading entrepreneurs around the world. The concepts you’ll learn in this Academy have been refined through years of study, research, and practical use by leading entrepreneurs across the globe. You will learn to improve your presentation skills and work more effectively in small groups, learn to lead from your strengths and most importantly, you will have fun. These skills will be required if you choose to attend university in the United States where students are often graded on their participation in class and group assignments. You will also use these skills as you build your career, and experience new challenges.

Thank you for choosing Duke’s Summer Entrepreneur Academy. We look forward to meeting you in China!

2017 Entrepreneurship Teaching Team