Team Open Sesame: Our Ericsson Innovation Awards Journey

“One must have once looked upon the moon, with a curious, brave and open heart, until then one is fully prepared to face the life, the struggling and one-time life.”

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We are talking about tiny but precious fragments.

Our story began with the interests about “truth.” It was a good topic that had such a magic that it could gather people for the same purpose. The moment we decided to do something great, we felt there was a fire burning inside of us.

“Let’s call ourselves Open Sesame!”

Before forming this team, our relationship was very simple – just nodding acquaintances. By chance, we have been combined to think and work(I’d like say struggle) together in the past six months. We did not expect the first problem was to name our team. Actually, the meaning of the name is very simple. In the preliminary stage, our main research object is “tech giant” Alibaba group. When inspiration came, Ling said Open Sesame was the most magical spell of Alibaba. Then, our name was settled.

“Is it really hard to make a video?”

Since we learned that we were the third place in Northeast Asia,we had a really nervous week.

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Fortunately, we finally entered the semi-finals. The experience of the semi-finals was the most difficult part since we entered the competition. Since the preliminary stage, Zipeng has always been our media and tech support. When we received the mail telling us that we needed to produce a video, the first thing he said was,” Is it really difficult to make video?” Although we did spend a lot of time later, I have to say that his self-confidence gave me and Ling a lot of confidence. Of course, I won’t tell you that during the week before submitting the semi-finals package, Zipeng could only slept for four hours every day for this video.

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“I’d like to call it the moment.”

When I received the final mail, I was watching a play, on my vacation. Due to the different time zones, time we received the mail was 9 pm that day. At that moment, I was almost stunned!
Then, I left the theatre immediately and called my teammates in the corridor. We really can’t believe it all!

After the surprise, we had been redoubling our efforts to perfect the work. In the past twenty days, we had more debates, more thinking, more meetings with different guys, more innovation and changes. Of course, we were also working much harder to learn more knowledge to support our views. However, what we had discussed in social media lately was what we must do in Stockholm. Speaking of this, we also had a Schengen visa to apply. It was really complicated to apply. The difficulty we encountered in this process was bigger than the competition itself!

“For Stockholm?No, for justice!”

I want share a joke we often mentioned these days.
“What is our purpose when we first participate in this competition?”

“For a free trip to Stockholm?”
“No, for justice society!”

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Actually, during the competition, we were always confused how to stick to the ambition of realizing justice and meanwhile make a profitable business. We had the habit of thinking problems in a way of giving without thinking receiving, which was a typical “student’s mind”. We were always dreamed big to make the online shopping totally open and reliable, ignoring the fact that the basic sustainability origins from benefits. A dreamer needed to show himself to the people that his idea was not only wonderful but also applicable. We met many doubts that overwhelmed us.

Our mentors sought an opportunity to meet an online retailer for us. We presented our idea of making a reliable online shopping environment, while we were rendered speechless when comes to the “benefit part”. How can we even begin the business when we can hardly attract the retailers to locate in our platform?

The sense of shame could always arouse ideas. We figured out how to make a live business cycle and how to introduce the first stream of people. During these time, we had argues, we had compromises. We laughed about each other’s naïve thoughts, and shared lots of silence moment.

“We need a programmer! If we have none, then we learn it by ourselves!”

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No one would expect that students majored in Environmental Science would entered the final competition about using technologies to change the future. We did meet with difficulties when turning our ideas into real products. But don’t underestimate us! Our team leader Jingwei started to learn herself to make the product on the basic knowledge of program skills learned several years ago. Each time a single progress meant a lot for us.

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Finally, we want to show our sincere appreciation.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the mentor team. Thank you for all your support in the past three months. Thank you for holding every mentor meeting earnestly and punctually. Thank you for your active contact with the representatives of the electricity supplier and organizing our meeting at this stage. Of course, there are also comments and suggestions from you about our project, which are of great help to us. Without your help, we cannot come to this final stage!

At the same time, we would like to thank the colleagues at Ericsson’s Shanghai R & D center, especially Helen, Henry and Shawn. You have given us great convenience and confidence in life, technology support and other aspects. Thank you.

Watch Open Sesame in the Grand Final Livestream on May 17!

Watch ‘Open Sesame compete with student teams from India, Senegal and The United States in the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2018 Grand Final. We’re streaming live from the Nobel Museum in Stockholm on May 17, 2018 at 6 pm GMT. Click here to watch.

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