Starting a business is a marathon with lots of hurdles on the path. Every entrepreneur shares a number of traits, from perseverance to the ability to manage risk, which are crucial to building a successful enterprise.
Senior student Hercules Chan, who majors in Risk Management and Business Intelligence, seems to possess a level of maturity beyond his years. Starting from scratch with no means other than his own drive and curiosity, Hercules and his teammate developed a mobile hypnotherapy application named “VOID”, which won them the Best Student Invention Grand Award in HKICT Awards 2017, as well as crucial capital from the Yeung Wing Yee Entrepreneurs Fund by HKUST.
A willing learner who prefers to blaze his own path rather than following the trend, Hercules started thinking hard on what he wanted to do upon graduation in his 2nd year. “I did not see myself going into the business world as a corporate soldier,” recalled Hercules. “I thought I was good at communication skills and I love to listen.” And so he tried something different, eventually getting himself a professional certification in hypnotherapy.
Hercules soon found that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment to stress related illness, which has become synonymous with cosmopolitan city life. But the price and length of a casual consultation remain prohibitive, as a usual appointment will easily take up at least 2 hours. He then began to develop the idea further and and tried to combine hypnotherapy and technology. His effort led him to computer science and engineering PhD student Harry Chan, and together the two would go on to develop “VOID”, a multi-function self-helping application which let people experience hypnotic service anywhere and anytime, even in just 10 minutes.
The team’s motto is “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, which keeps them going in the early stages of development. Hercules’s passion and perseverance impressed Professor Gary Chan, Director of the HKUST Entrepreneur Center, who saw much potential in the project since its embryonic stage. Via the Center, the group was soon introduced to other potential partners and development got up steam.
Now, Hercules seeks to continue the project and make “VOID” a complete, full function application which provides mental health service to those in need. “The HKUST can-do spirit together with its entrepreneurial and innovative DNA have transformed “VOID” from a university invention into a commercial product that helps relieve stress and detect mental health illnesses,” Hercules emphasizes. It is often said the distance between dreams and reality is action. Hercules’s success is the sounding proof.