Every year, the European Innovation Academy gathers over 1,000 participants from more than 80 different countries to take part in its summer programs. In Qatar, Italy, Portugal and Hong Kong, EIA Participants are challenged to create a startup in 15 days. But this is only possible with the help of our fantastic team of volunteers.

Joining EIA as a volunteer is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world; network with top-notch universities, institutions and professionals; and have a lot of fun! For today’s blog, we talked with some of the volunteers from this year’s programs. Check out these interviews and get to know our amazing volunteers.

Maybe you’ll feel inspired to volunteer for one of next year’s programs!

EIA Volunteers Hong Kong 2019

Janice Cu | Macau

Janice Cu is a former Equality System Manager with 25 years of work experience at companies like Reebok and Time. For 16 years, Janice worked in Guangdong, China, managing various factories as her employers spread through Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China.  

Janice Cu

Over the last couple of years, Janice has homeschooled her son, which gave her the freedom to volunteer at EIA Hong Kong. When asked about the experience, she said, “It’s a very interesting program where you can collaborate and meet many different people. You can learn about tech, social media, and a completely innovative, creative, and comprehensive way to set up a business idea.”

The environment is another highlight for Janice: “It’s a very family-oriented event. As a volunteer, you’re very independent but you also feel like you’re part of the team.”

EIA in three words:  Passionate, Intense, and Efficient.

Garbo Loo | New York

Garbo was a chef and hospitality professional until the end of 2018. Concerned with data and cybersecurity, she decided to use internet resources to learn coding as she started down a new digital career path. 

Garbo Loo

Originally from Hong Kong, Garbo heard about the summer program of 2018 from a former mentor. It was taking place in her hometown, so she decided to join EIA as a volunteer. “It might sound cliche, but it’s such an inspiring event. You see passionate young people working hard to solve real-world problems. It’s not like they want to create any old startup; they are working hours and hours to find solutions to the world’s biggest issues.

EIA in 3 words: Inspiring, Invigorating, and Immersive.

Kary Ng | Hong Kong

This 20-year-old economic student at City University volunteered for the chance to take part in EIA’s startup-focused curriculum. Ng says, “It’s a great opportunity to connect with different people and to help them actualize their ideas. It’s a really fun journey.”

When asked if she would recommend the volunteer experience to others, she said without hesitation, “I’d definitely recommend that people join it. Not only in Hong Kong but anywhere around the world. It’s an amazing opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, to understand cultural differences and distinct ways of thinking. It’s impressive.”

EIA in 3 words: Exciting, Social, and Innovative.

Vincent Li | Hong Kong

Despite his young age, 19-year-old Vincent Li knows exactly what he wants:  To create a startup of his own. Volunteering with Innovation Academy in Hong Kong has been an opportunity for this electrical engineering student to acquire more experience for his future entrepreneurial life.

Li had this to say about his volunteer experience: “I’ve had the chance to see some keynotes and learn important information in detail. It’s incredible to have this chance and watch startup ideas develop from scratch, all the way to the moment they’re pitched to investors.”

EIA in 3 words: Innovative, Beneficial, and a Great Opportunity to Learn.

Tomás E. Hornos | Madrid 

After joining EIA as a participant in 2018, Thomas E. Hornos decided to be a part of Innovation Academy in a different capacity. This business and administration student is working as an infrastructure and tech volunteer. He sees the program as an opportunity to expand his network at a higher level.

Thomas E. Hornos

“Either as a participant or as a volunteer, you’ll leave the program with a lot of resources, ideas, and new paths to follow.”

EIA in 3 words: Diverse, Forward-Thinking, and Fun.

Do you want to be a Star Volunteer at EIA? Apply here!