1. DSC00484.JPG

NYCO - Educational Startup


Project Experience: Jun. 2015 - Present, New York City and Shanghai, China

My Role: Design Strategist, Service Designer, Social Entrepreneur, Educator

Contribution: Design Education, Design Strategy, Service Design

Collaboration: Tangora Communications - Brand Strategy firm based in Shanghai, China; Transdisciplinary Design Program at Parsons School of Design; Global Green Leaders Alliance Limited - Educational tourism company based in Shanghai, China

Team: NYCO NY- Nelson Lo, Sophie Lan Hou, Janet Yin, Seulgi Kim

Project Copyright Whatever Innovation Inc. All rights reserved.

Helping college-bound students discover their purpose in life


The New York Creativity Odyssey (NYCO), is an educational start-up working to empower college-bound students who are interested in pursuing careers in art and design - by helping them develop their sense of direction and discover their purpose in life. As Partner and Lead Strategist at NYCO, I work to build a sustainable service model for the company.


Navigating the transition to an art and design college can seem so daunting for most Chinese high-school students, that their families often hire an educational agency to guide them through the process. By some estimates, educational consulting in China is a booming industry – bringing in more than half a billion dollars a year. Yet in the midst of regular portfolio development courses, and english tutorials, most high-school students are still unable to discover their true sense of direction.


How might we empower prospective art and design pre-college students to use their personal skills and knowledge to navigate their career options, make an informed choice and develop a roadmap for the future?

We wanted to go beyond merely providing career based information to students, and instead prepare them to triumph in todays’ world, by helping develop their sense of direction and purpose. Empowering students would begin by guiding them through a journey of self-discovery, and providing them with the necessary tools to make an informed choice.

Our Mission: We work to ensure every individual’s success in this complex 21st century world. 


We created the NYCO to empower college-bound students, by providing them with an opportunity to fuel their creativity, and the necessary tools to unlock their potential, define their goals and achieve their dreams.

Our 14-day intensive programs combine four immersive learning modules of Explore, Learn, Create and Discover, woven into the unique art and design context of New York City. These program are specifically designed for pre-college students from China and Taiwan, training them in the most relevant of 21st century skills - from critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, and effective communication. In addition, students also visit art and design colleges, companies and other hotspots, and receive personalized career counseling and intensive portfolio development training. 


We partnered with Tangora Communications, a brand strategy and marketing firm based in Shanghai, China, to create NYCO. The NYCO program is endorsed by Parsons School of Design, and our 14-day intensive programs are conducted at the Parsons campus in New York City.

We have managed to secure seed investment from an independent investor, and are currently seeking more partners to ensure the success of this project. Having successfully completed four batches of the training program, we are currently conducting info sessions for our Summer Program, scheduled for July - August 2016.