Jay Hurn Shin

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It’s been my dream to establish my own tea brand that specialised in heritage Korean green tea, and so I was looking forward to the Entrepreneurial Journey since I made the decision to apply to study the Full-Time MBA at Imperial. The Entrepreneurial Journey is students’ opportunity to work in teams to build a real business plan, using the skills and knowledge they’ve built on the programme so far.

Before the project, I learnt fundamental theories of entrepreneurship on the Design Thinking and Innovative Problem Solving and Design Management modules, as well as Imperial Innovation Challenge where we were tasked with creating an innovative solution to the problems faced by smart cities. The Entrepreneurial Journey took that learning to the next level.

My team was formed with passionate minds from three different countries: Korea, China and the UK. The plan for the tea brand is to start in Korea with mid-term expansion plans to China and the UK, so I hope successful factors from each country have been absorbed into the tea brand at the developmental stage!

The Entrepreneurial Journey continued for four months with monthly meetings and a dedicated project coach who checked our progress. Specifically, our coach guided us at the initial development stage to get us to the right starting point so we could concentrate on and explore the fundamental concept of our tea business.

For instance, the “Why Statement” and “Brand Vision” are the basis of a new brand but it’s not easy to think thoroughly about them when dealing with the many practical issues that emerge during the business operation stage. This initial part took up half of our project time, but we are grateful for having the intensive time of thinking. Since we developed the solid foundation, the decision making for the following steps was even clearer than before.

The Entrepreneurial Journey was a great opportunity to learn from our cohort. As the business plan required every aspect of business, from finance to marketing, we had to get professional advice and pragmatic tips for the sectors our team members didn’t specialise in. For us, that was branding and marketing and we had meetings with the marketing experts on our cohort. It was quite an amazing experience because we had not noticed how professional each of us was while we were learning new things together in the same classroom.

Taking together all of the advice from marketing experts, the coach’s feedback, and the feedback of the panel during the final presentation, our four month project is reaching the final stages of business plan development.

This might be the last stage for the Entrepreneurial Journey on the programme but it’s the beginning of the real entrepreneurial journey as I take the business forward after the MBA. The business plan will be updated frequently and it could be totally changed. However, Entrepreneurial Journey will be the solid foundation for the coming challenges until I get to my destination, the creation of a world-renowned green tea brand.

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