“Tao-Fan Academy” a Student Startup, Won the “Innovation Potential Award” in the BeChangeMaker Competition
Date：August 4, 2021
“Tao-Fan Academy” is a startup team founded by two students, Chih-Fan Kuo (Medicine, CMU), and Tao Yang (Computer Science, Brigham Young University). The academy recruited students from Taiwanese aboriginal families in rural areas, as well as American students of the same age for online language and cultural exchanges. Their program, “The Online Cultural Exchange Camp for Students of the Same Age in Taiwan and the US,” was highly recognized in the BeChangeMaker Competition (Ministry of Labor) where they were honored with the Innovation Potential Award.
Taiwan’s rural education suffers from not only a lack of resources, but also the lack of companionship and cultural stimulation. The program of Tao-Fan Academy aims to design a series of online courses to provide Taiwanese aboriginal students a platform to share their culture and language, and to make friends with students in the US. Moreover, in the program of coding, the students can learn the skills of cross-cultural communication and cooperation, and enhance their international horizon and the ability to adapt to different cultures. In 2021, a total of 30 students participated in the camp.
The naming of Tao-Fan Academy was originated from the names of the two founders. “We hope that after participating in our courses, the rural Taiwanese aboriginal students can learn about their uniqueness and furthermore establish a cross-cultural network that can cooperate with each other and share resources,” said Chih-Fan Kuo.
“Our clients in the US are the American students who want to learn Chinese. Through the online exchange with Taiwanese students, they can learn to help each other as equals and to expand their global vision. In addition, we provide some basic programming language courses to cultivate the students’ skill in information and communication technology,” said Tao Yang.
Tao-Fan Academy is a startup enterprise team mentored by the CMU I-Lab. Professor Min-Hao Yuan, the director of CMU I-Lab, said that Tao-Fan Academy has built a bridge of language and cultural communication that connects different regions and people. “This is very impressive and I am very honored to be involved in the founding of Tao-Fan Academy.”