FAQ

Application Process

AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

  • Currently enrolled students in degree-bearing undergraduate or graduate programs at MIT or any of the 8 UGC funded universities in Hong Kong may apply.
  • We will evaluate all applicants as individuals.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS?

These dates are for the June 2017 session. All dates are tentative and subject to change.

For MIT Students:

  • Applications open at 8am, Eastern time, on Monday March 6.
  • Infosessions will be held at MIT on Tuesday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 8.
  • Applications close at 8pm, Eastern time, on Friday, March 24.
  • A select number of applicants will be invited to interview with us during the weeks of April 3 and April 10.
  • Students will be notified of their acceptance status by April 12.
  • Accepted students must confirm their attendance by April 14.

For Hong Kong Students:

  • Applications open at 9am, HK Time, on March 27.
  • Infosessions will be held on various HK campuses in late March.
  • Applications close at 8pm, HK Time, on Friday, April 14.
  • A select number of applicants will be invited to interview with us in mid April.
  • Students will be notified of their acceptance status by May 1.

WHAT DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS INVOLVE?

The application process includes two parts:

  • A 2-minute Youtube video where you tell us your name, major, university you are studying in, what you enjoy in your academic studies (especially around making and entrepreneurship), and why you are interested in joining the MEMSI program. YOU WILL NEED TO UPLOAD THIS VIDEO TO YOUTUBE BEFORE YOU START FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION. Please make sure the Youtube video is not listed as Private – you can list it as Unlisted if you would like to exclude it from search engines.
  • The on-line application, which will take about 15 – 30 minutes to fill out (your mileage may vary).

We highly recommend that you save your responses in another file in case you run into technical difficulties completing the form.

If you like, you may download the full list of questions in the application form here.

WILL THERE BE AN INTERVIEW PROCESS?

Yes. Selected applicants will be contacted via email to arrange an interview. The interview will last roughly 15 minutes. It is designed to ensure you have the right mind and skill set to join the program, as well as give you the chance to ask questions and get any further information you need regarding the program. We will endeavor to try and provide face-to-face interviews for all selected candidates both in MIT and Hong Kong, where possible.

WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA FOR SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS?

Students who get the most out of the experience are strong in one of the skills needed for hardware system entrepreneurship (be it entrepreneurship skills, business and finance skills, design skills, or hardware, software and system engineering skills) and are open minded and hungry to learn about areas that are entirely new to them. They are strong team players who work well collaboratively in a setting with huge time pressure. They are driven to solve real problems and have a big impact on the world. They are here to learn and are very open to working on solving new market and customer problems, as opposed to an idea they have already been working on.

HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS WILL BE SELECTED FOR THIS PROGRAM?

Following the interviews, the MEMSI team will select 15 MIT and top 15 Hong Kong students to participate in the program. 

IF I AM ACCEPTED, HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO DECIDE?

MEMSI and its predecessor program, the MIT Kickstart, has always been significantly oversubscribed, with many more qualified candidates than we have room for.  If you are accepted into this program, we ask that you respond within 48 hours of receiving your acceptance letter to let us know if you are committing to joining us or not. This allows us to move quickly to draw candidates from the wait list in the event you are no longer available.  We understand that students need to formalize your plans for the summer as quickly as possible, and we want to make that easy for all potential participants. Thank you for your understanding.

DO I NEED TO BE AN ENGINEER TO PARTICIPATE?

No, not at all. Developing IoT and hardware system products is a process that requires a multitude of skills including business, design, data analytics, and user experience. Therefore, we are not restricting applications to just engineering disciplines and we will be looking for a diverse set of individuals to partake in the program.

DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK CANTONESE/ MANDARIN?

The whole program will be conducted in English. When we visit Shenzhen on Wednesday, we will be accompanied by locals who are fluent in English. Students who can speak Mandarin will find that helpful, but it is not a requirement.

DO I NEED AN IDEA TO APPLY?

It is not necessary to have an idea before applying as we will have various ideation workshops at the start of the program. However, we do want you to think about the top 1-3 market and customer problems that you would like to solve. This will be covered in the on-line application.

DO I NEED A TEAM TO APPLY?

No, you will form teams later in the program.

IS THERE AN APPLICATION FEE?

There will be no fee to apply to the program. However, upon being accepted into the program you will need to submit a deposit to secure your place.

  • For MIT – this will be in the form of you purchasing your airline fare to Hong Kong, which will be reimbursed prior to your trip.
  • For HK – we will require a cash deposit of 1000HKD which will be reimbursed to you upon the completion of the program.

More details will be provided to accepted applicants after the interview stage.

The Program

CAN I WORK ON A PRE-EXISTING IDEA OR PROJECT?

Not exactly. Everyone will need to work on a new project and idea for the program to ensure that it’s fair and useful for everyone involved. You may however wish to do some research on projects you would be interested on working on prior to the program.

HOW WILL WE FORM TEAMS?

We will have team formation activities at the start of the program. Teams will have to be formed to include at least one MIT and one HK student, so you are encouraged to wait until the start of the program to start forming teams. Teams will be a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 6 people.

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON THE KIND OF PRODUCTS I CAN PROTOTYPE?

No restrictions. You can build a prototype for any purpose and in any industry as long as you can show it is solving a real world problem and it can make a real world impact.

WHO OWNS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS TO MY PROJECT AT THE END?

Anything you create and build is yours to keep. MIT and MEMSI have no exclusive rights to anything created during the program.

WILL I NEED TO BRING MY OWN EQUIPMENT AND HARDWARE?

Bring your laptop and mobile device(s). We will be providing a range of hardware such as Arduino boards, sensors, various IoT modules and range of tools and equipment to assemble everything.

ARE THERE GOING TO BE PRIZES AT THE END?

Yes, at the showcase on Saturday we will be awarding the top teams with prizes.

ARE THERE JUDGING CRITERIA?

Yes. We will share the judging criteria in the kickoff session for the program.

Travel,Accommodation & Visas

WILL ACCOMMODATION BE PROVIDED?

Yes, accommodation will be provided to all the participants, including those who are already living in Hong Kong. We are doing this to make sure the teams are able to make the best use of their time throughout the week.

WHEN CAN I CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT?

We will cover your hotel stay as follows. These dates are for the June 2017 session.

  • Earliest covered check in date: June 2
  • Latest covered check out date: June 19

If you like, you may extend your stay on either end of this duration at the same hotel at your own expense, and if the hotel has availability to accommodate your request.

WHAT ARE THE PASSPORT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS?

  • For MIT – You will need a valid passport that is valid for travel for at least 6 months after your outbound flight to Hong Kong. If you are a US citizen and need to apply, please contact the passport division of the State Department. Routine service requires 4–6 weeks. For further information and application instructions, visit the State Department’s passport website. The MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node team will be partnering with MISTI China to support students through the visa process, and will provide information upon acceptance to the program.
  • For HK – You must have a valid passport and have a valid visa to enter China by June 3, 2017.

WHAT IS THE COST OF THIS PROGRAM?

  • Program and lodging costs are fully covered for students accepted to the program. Transportation cost for the Shenzhen trip is covered. For MIT students, this includes the plane fare to and from Hong Kong.
  • Students are expected to cover their own meals, local transportation, and incidental expenses.

HOW DO I MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS?

  • For MIT students: You will make your own flight arrangements and provide us with a proof of purchase / receipt or invoice, and we will reimburse you up to the reimbursement cap. Email us at memsi@mit.edu to discuss the reimbursement cap. We will work with you to make sure that your travel arrangements to and from the accommodations site are in place.

DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

  • For MIT  We will be partnering with MISTI China to work with health insurance providers to make sure you are covered for the duration of your trip. In addition, MIT students are covered by International SOS for emergency assistance while traveling abroad.

If you have any other questions, please contact us here.

© 2017 MIT Innovation Initiative. All rights reserved.