Through Kakehashi Project, UH Bauer Students Have Opportunity to Travel Across Globe
In November, 24 students from the C. T. Bauer College of Business traveled to Japan to experience international culture and business firsthand.
The students, all part of the college’s Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, spent seven days in the island nation on a trip sponsored by the Kakehashi Project, Japan’s Friendship Ties Program run by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
WCE Director Dave Cook, who served as the group’s chaperone, said the trip provided students with the opportunity of a lifetime.
“We pride ourselves on putting students in ‘growth zones,’ short of ‘panic zones,’ but clearly out of ‘comfort zones,’” Cook said. “This trip was clearly out of our students’ comfort zones.”
The students learned about the relationship between Japan and the United States, Japan’s agricultural trade and economy, manufacturing and entrepreneurial opportunities. They also experienced Japanese culture, customs and cuisine.
“As entrepreneurs, we are taught to value innovation, but more importantly we are taught to value the ability to make connections and find paths for innovations to get to market,” said entrepreneurship student Melissa Munoz, in a presentation to leadership from the Japan International Cooperation Center at the end of the trip.
Munoz told the JICC leaders: “As students in the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, we are put in teams to develop a piece of intellectual property entrusted to us by our university. Our teams are given the option to take these technologies and find customers and markets to take innovation from the laboratory to the market. With this intellectual property in mind, at every turn, our team could see opportunities for collaboration with the Japanese business people.”
Read Munoz’s full presentation and see photos from the trip here.
By Jessica Navarro
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