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DDQIC branches out in Asia

[Alumni and Queen's leaders gather in Hong Kong (Photo: Liz Gorman)]
Alumni volunteers and supporters in Hong Kong gather with Principal Daniel Woolf and other Queen’s leaders to launch the Hong Kong node of the DDQIC Global Network. (Photo by Liz Gorman)

Alumni from Hong Kong gathered with leaders from Queen’s to celebrate and launch the newest Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) Global Network hub in Hong Kong.

Attendees to the launch event gathered in Hong Kong to connect with each other and support the DDQIC. The node is the sixth international location formed to help Queen’s students make connections abroad and expand their entrepreneurial ventures.

[Alumni and Queen's leaders mix at the Hong Kong node launch (Photo: Advancement)]
Alumni and Queen's leaders mix at the Hong Kong node launch. (Photo by Advancement)

Hong Kong is the second node in Asia, after the Shanghai hub launched in October, 2017. Other nodes around the world include London, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Each node consists of a committee of alumni volunteers with a diverse skillset relevant to innovation, entrepreneurship or local business culture. These volunteers help Queen’s students and alumni in the DDQIC programs through mentorship and connection to their networks.

“The DDQIC has access to philanthropic and grants for seed funding and looks to the global network and their international perspective to assist us in allocating these funds,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the DDQIC and Special Advisor to the Provost (Innovation and Entrepreneurship). “We have a group of successful and influential alumni in Hong Kong, many of whom have already joined the node we’re creating.”

Mr. Bavington traveled to Hong Kong along with Principal Daniel Woolf, Dean Barbara Crow (Arts and Science), Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), and the Queen’s Advancement team. Principal Woolf also visited the Canadian International School to speak to high school students.

[Principal Woolf gives speech at the Canadian International School (Photo: Liz Gorman)]
Principal Woolf gives a presentation to the Canadian International School during the trip to Hong Kong. (Photo by Liz Gorman)

“Hong Kong has always been a powerful financial centre in Asia. Just over the river is Shenzhen, a city of over 30 million people, with an economy based in manufacturing and technology,” says Mr. Bavington. “Any venture that gets created or incubated within one of our programs that involves hardware will be doing business in the region, if they’re going to grow to any scale. That makes Hong Kong the perfect spot for a DDQIC hub, with a massive financial centre cheek-to-cheek with a manufacturing powerhouse.”

“International alumni are looking for opportunities to engage with Queen’s and to help advance its strategic priorities,” say Liz Gorman, Associate Director of Alumni Relations. “The innovation nodes are the perfect forums for them to contribute their expertise and experience in support of Queen’s international and innovation strategies.”

The next Global Network nodes are currently under review, but Mr. Bavington says all signs point to Berlin and Beijing.

“We have already solidified plans to launch a node in Bejing this fall and Berlin is a city that has a young population, with a young workforce and a dynamic buzz to it,” says Mr. Bavington. “The startup scene is great there, and we have alumni there as well. It’s not a done deal yet, but our thinking is that one of the next Global Network nodes will likely be Berlin in 2019.”

To find out more about the DDQIC Global Network, check out their website.