An Education Platform Fostering Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Tsinghua x-lab is an educational platform fostering creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship since April 25, 2013. Rooted in the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM), Tsinghua x-lab is the joint project of Tsinghua SEM and 15 schools and departments of Tsinghua University, including Environment, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Materials Science and Engineering, Information Science and Technology, Aerospace Engineering, Law, Arts & Design, Public Policy & Management, Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering, Medicine, Journalism and Communication, Natural Sciences, and Education.
Tsinghua x-lab is a non-profit open educational platform, servicing students, faculty and alumni enterpreneurs across Tsinghua University. The platform, with three core dimentions: education, cultivation and eco-construction,is committed to developing a feasible and structured supporting system cenrcovering the whole innovation process from creatingideas, to making propotypes, and to commercialization.
Mission and Value Proposition
The x in “x-lab refers to exploration of the unknown and cross-disciplinary collaboration, and the “lab” denotes learning from experiences and teamwork.
Tsinghua x-lab’s value can be demonstrated in the following aspects: the platform takes advantage of Tsinghua SEM’s rich resources to help cultivate innovative and entrepreneurial talents for the country and strengthening collaboration between start-up teams and commercial organizations. The platform is aimed at enabling Tsinghua University to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its technological innovation endeavors. It is dedicated to cultivating innovative and entrepreneurial talents for the country and advancing the nation’s strategy of development through innovation.
Tsinghua x-lab aims to establish a feasible education system based on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and to cultivate innovators and entrepreneurs. It mainly serves Tsinghua’s incumbent students and overseas courses co-developed byschool faculty and industry experts.
Tsinghua x-lab offers the Tsinghua Innovation and Enterpreneurship Certificate Program under the direction of Tsinghua Graduate School. It offers 35 courses in three modules: identifying the opportunity, finding resolutions, and setting up an enterprise. It also focuses on improving the student’s ability and helping them become a good team player.
Meanwhile, Tsinghua x-lab is dedicated to experiential learning and has cooperated with many Chinese and foreign top enterprises such as Facebook, New Oriental, Nestle, ABB, BMW, BASF, and Meituan to offer courses and hold contests. It has hosted a series of activities such as Innovate (48), a 48-hour entrepreneurship competition; the innovation accelerator camp; and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Open Hackathon. Such activities have helped students enhance their skills and abilities in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Tsinghua x-lab has formed strategic partnerships with 24 top international organizations and universities such as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Technical University of Munich, the National University of Singapore, Imperial College London, the University of Geneva. It has worked with its partners to develop summer camps, start-up exchange programs for international innovative and entrepreneurial teams, and Global Challenge Lab, among many other activities. Such activities have fostered a global vision and innovative abilities in students. In addition, Tsinghua x-lab keeps creating opportunities for students to participate in international forums, summits and contests and encourages them to turn into international leaders from participants.
Training and Consultation
Tsinghua x-lab aims to help an entrepreneurial team to grasp the theory of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship and know the way to put it into practice. By collaborating with enterprises to offer courses and lectures and organize contests and training camps, it hopes to revolutionize the conventional way of teaching knowledge. It wants to help the entrepreneurial team grow up fast and uses experts to help them solve problems in the process of commercialization.
Tsinghua x-lab’s training and consultation services are as follows:
1. Managing projects. Tsinghua x-lab assists Tsinghua’s schools and departments in attracting entrepreneurial projects from across Tsinghua, tracks the development of such projects, and offers solutions to their problems.
2. Enhancing experiential learning. With the help of forums, lectures, workshops, accelerator camps and fundraising roadshows, Tsinghua x-lab hopes to help an entrepreneurial team to turn their concepts into products and enhance their abilities to discover their weaknesses and solve problems. It aims to help the entrepreneurial projects to raise their standards and develop competitive products.
3. Offering various consultation services. By offering one-to-one or one-to-many consultation services and consultation from private advisory boards, Tsinghua x-lab hopes to help the projects get timely industry information and boost their development. In addition, it teams up with Chinese and foreign well-known enterprises and alumni-founded companies to provide the entrepreneurial teams with opportunities to test their skills in real-life scenarios.
Now, Tsinghua x-lab has developed more than ten practice courses and hired more than 40 Resident-Entrepreneurs and Resident-Angel investors. It has brought in eight Professional Residential Organizations, formed cooperative relations with more than 200 Chinese and foreign famous enterprises, and keeps in contact with more than 1,000 foundations. It organizes the Tsinghua Presidential Cup Challenge, which offers teachers, students and alumni a stage to compete with each other and demonstrates Tsinghua’s creative, innovative and entrepreneurial force.
Building a Business Ecosystem
Tsinghua x-lab follows the public welfare principle to build a business ecosystem. It tries to round up high-quality resources from with in and out of Tsinghua University, establish rules for cooperating with regional governments and commercial organizations, and find a new way for enterprises to escape the “death valley” in the process of commodification and industrialization. It aims to help entrepreneurial teams to get subsidies from regional governments, seize business opportunities, recruit potential partners and business consultants, and get in touch with local industry investment funds. By doing these, it hopes to make the teams overcome their weaknesses and put their projects on a fast-growing track.
The business ecosystem building department has established cooperative relationships with various government agencies such the Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce, close ties with National Economic Technical Development Zones across China and economically advanced regions such as Guangzhou, Suzhou and Chongqing. It has set up a constantly updating potential partner pool which can provide entrepreneurial teams with partners and consultants. It has gathered information about nearly 100 Tsinghua Alumni and tries to help entrepreneurial teams grow by offering free consultation services provided by experts and established entrepreneurs.
Brand and Recognition
Tsinghua x-lab has become an information, education and communication platform for fostering creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and is highly regarded by the government and society.
It was recognized as the first university-based “Maker Space” by the Beijing Municipal Government. In 2019, it received an Advanced Collective Award from Tsinghua University.