Ben Ivey is a young entrepreneur from the United Kingdom. Ben graduated from Exeter University in 2014 and has visited China twice as a student to gain living and business experience, which he is now using to build a start-up in Shanghai while at the same time applying his expertise as a productivity specialist and motivational speaker. He is already an author and is passionate about using outsourcing to build a successful business.
He has an excellent academic record and could easily have chosen to rise in the corporate world but instead has chosen to enter the unpredictable and exciting world of entrepreneurship in China.
Ben explains how and why he chose to begin his entrepreneurial journey at university and what he hoped to learn from other whilst there. He also takes us on the beginning of his start-up “OnePinkElephant.
His book “How to Dominate Any Exam” is based on his prolific ability as a student and gives the secrets to how he achieved three A*s at A level and a first class degree at Exeter University, one of the UK’s top universities. Ben gives clarity to the strategy and techniques used to pass exams.
Ben’s entrepreneurial activities at university included selling espadrilles, shoes and hats before his success with a university sports bag. He also began studying the Mandarin. However his first entrepreneurial venture produced his greatest failure.
Ben’s first visit to China was an immersion study in a program lasting two and half weeks that included an internship, study course and home stay. The second period lasted 3 months with time spent at Fudan University in Shanghai and working in a company’s import and export department in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. He learned about the peculiarities of business in China and later travel around China led to the realisation that Shanghai was the place to begin his post university entrepreneurial ventures.
When asked can entrepreneurship be taught he stresses that an entrepreneur must take action and that his expertise as a productivity specialist is to get the best out of his team, knowledge learned from experts such as Brian Tracy and other productivity books.
Ben explains why the outrepreneur will succeed and the intrepreneur will fail and the connection with trust. Adding, that entrepreneurs should work to their expertise using outsourcing in the areas that they lack. While at the same time gaining an understanding of the requirements to select and employ the best outsourcer and uses a marketing scenario to demonstrate this.
Discussing his current startup OnePinkElephant Ben explains that the idea was born while working on his bag and wanting to find a better way to learn Chinese Characters by using memory techniques. The development started during “StartupBus Europe”, which is a 72 hour hackathon that started in Manchester, England. A prototype was produced using “MindCraft”. The idea won third prize at the pitching event in Vienna, Austria against hundred of other teams,
OnePinkElephant then moved to China to conduct field and beta testing. Along the way the original team of has changed, however Raphael Weninger described as a “sharpened tool” with his marketing expertise as well as other areas, is the second member that has remained from the start.
Ben admits he lacks technical skills but his expertise allows him to find the best outsourcer and the right people to get the job done. Using lean analytics to get the job done he is able to apply the philosophy of the, “build, measure, learn: feedback loop. Building simple, fast and low cost prototypes to test and obtain data for the next cycle.
The OnePinkElephant is producing is a character learning tool and not a language learning platform and in the future the technology could be used in other areas where the memorisation of information is required. Ben also educates us on the origins of memorisation tools with Simoides of Ceos and the accident at the banquet hall, and that visualisation is how humans learn best and how in the future virtual and augmented reality tools can overcome the current weaknesses of current brut force learning tools.
The next stage of OnePinkElephants development will be one month in San Francisco, the reward for 3rd place in Vienna, and the chance to pitch to investors in the educational, 3d gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality.
Ben explains that the tool OnePinkElephant allows people to learn using the same techniques that memory and mental athletes use to memorise cards and will cut SRS times up to 10 times, which are results seen over past thousands of years and demonstrated in studies carried out in the 1970’s and confirms that modern research is revealing changes within the brain structure are occurring which tools such as the one being produced by Ben and his team at can also help to develop and improve intelligence.
Finally Ben ends with some general advice to entrepreneurs.
How to Dominate Any Exam by Ben Ivey: UK