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Taiwan 2019 – Design Centric Business Workshop

Trip report – Design centric business workshop – Taiwan 2019

We, a group of students from the ITECH Wilhelmsburg, went on a trip to Taiwan where we made a lot of great experiences and worked on a specific project as a team.

When we arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in the capital Taipei, we were welcomed by our companions for this workshop. Those were both students from the Robert Morris University (RMU) in Chicago, USA and students from the Ming Chi University of Technology (MCUT) in Taipei. The local students showed us their town and country during the trip and besides working on projects we spent a lot of time together in the evenings and weekends. Later on the trip some students from the DePaul University in Chicago joined as well.

The first major activity was a trip to the east coast of Taiwan for 3 days which was intentioned to be a team building trip. That turned out pretty well. I already bonded with a lot of people I didn’t know before going on this trip. Not least was this thanks to our great tour guide, Mike, who just knew how to lift the mood in a group. Something that stuck in the minds of me and my fellow students at ITECH was how beautiful the green and mountainous country of Taiwan was, of which we gained an impressive insight into during our trip to the east coast.

After this stunning experience the workshop started together with our newly found friends. We were divided into international groups of people with different majors. There were people from Chicago who were majoring in marketing, business and design, the people from the ITECH who were apprentices in IT-System Integration and software development and the locals from MCUT who were majoring in business. With these versatile teams the challenge began. Our real client, Brian Ting, was in the business of roasting coffee. He came from a family of coffee roasters and already owned a few stores in Taiwan with their own brand “RoastTing”. He wanted to expand into the USA and to do so he asked each team to develop a concept for expanding his business and to create a prototype that would be presented at the end of the workshop.

The different teams had different ideas, ranging from expanding the company’s presence in the social media, to attractive and appealing packaging, to increasing customer attention through a game on the website. Thanks to the different majors, each team was able to view their concept from many different angles.

Between work phases we attended lectures on different aspects including one where Heiko Meiwes and Diane Hülsmann from ITECH teamed up. All the lectures were pretty interesting, and I learned a lot that I wouldn’t have learned about without attending this workshop, such as marketing and business strategies.

In the afternoons when we were not working on our projects, we mostly out and about. It is a beautiful and interesting yet busy town with a lot of shops, and after 6 pm the night markets open. Night markets are the place to be in Taiwan in the evening. With a lot of interesting and tasty food and a lot of shopping options, the night markets are basically just amplified towns of Taiwan, because that is in my opinion a great part of what makes Taiwan cities so appealing.

There is also a lot of sightseeing to be made in Taipei as it’s the home of the fifth tallest building in the world: the Taipei 101 which is so called because it has 101 stories. Until 2010 it was actually the highest building in the whole world. Looking down from there is just an experience I will never forget.

All in all, we learned a lot, saw a lot and made a lot of friends in Taiwan. To a big part that’s thanks to ITECH which made this possible. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to Taiwan and its people, but hopefully this wasn’t the last time I was able to visit this impressive country.

Text: Tobias Quitzau