Discover the Rising Stars №001｜Interview with New Power Energy Co. Ltd Founder Steven Yeh
Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center has introduced a new column, Discover the Rising Stars, to shed light on the backgrounds of entrepreneurs and company innovations. Through interviews, live streams, and other media approaches, we will deliver valuable news stories from multiple perspectives and dimensions, to offer you the real voices of entrepreneurs and to witness the power of technological innovations.
From being a long-time technical manager to founding his own company, our protagonist started his journey in Taiwan and has now settled in Shenzhen. His company spent many resources on developing the applications of solid electrolytes over the past three years. He said, “It is only normal that valuable technology needs time to mature. One simply needs to be patient.”
In our first issue of Discover the Rising Stars, we interviewed the first prize winner of China’s 5G Industry Innovation Entrepreneurship Contest’s National finale, Steven Yeh. We spoke to him about the power of technology and the charm of entrepreneurship.
1. The importance of in-depth research and technological development
New Power Energy Co. Ltd was established in March 2019, and focuses on the research and development of solid-state batteries, which have become a pillar of support for realizing alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). New Power Energy Co. Ltd now partners with the Battery Research Institute of Henan and Shenzhen Huaqiang at every stage of the production line, with plans to later expand into electronic semi-conductors and other industries.
“Having been in the industry for three years, we found that AFVs have seen no radical technology breakthroughs.” Steven Yeh explained the genesis of New Power Energy Co. Ltd; battery technology and power systems are the two vital challenges that AFVs have to overcome before they can become widely accessible. As solid-state batteries exhibit a high power-to-weight ratio, they are ideal in AEVs.
Supported by a well-established battery production and development system in China, New Power Energy Co. Ltd has achieved breakthroughs in solid-state batteries and received patents after spending its resources on research for three years.
New Power Energy Co. Ltd’s solid-state batteries see no need to alter the structure of traditional lithium-ion batteries in manufacturing. New Power Energy Co. Ltd has created a product that is super thin, flexible, and wearable. Batteries that utilize solid electrolytes can effectively resolve pollution issues and have risks of flame and explosion that traditional batteries particularly suffer from. They can be vital for the AFVs’ further developments. He said, “New Power Energy Co. Ltd’s solid-state batteries’ high power density can help AFVs run much longer. A 20-minute charge allows the vehicle to drive 1000km. Improving the vehicle runtime is a major step forward for the AFV industry.”
2. Technology innovations are forever, but entrepreneurship is timeless.
Steven Yeh, a gentleman with a lean build, has a learned and refined air about him, which is likely attributed to his dedication to science and research. He spoke humbly but also with a great passion.
He was a consultant for the founder of Digitron Ing. and the President of TPV Technology Limited. Primary members of New Power Energy Co. Ltd’s research and development team are elite professionals from Taiwan’s industry-university collaborations. When asked about his reason for founding New Power Energy Co. Ltd, Steven Yeh explained that he saw a future for high-molecular, polymer-based conductive adhesives. In their application, these conductive adhesives can effectively resolve pain points in the battery industry and meet the needs of the alternative energy market. He believed this was a key entry point for reshuffling and upgrading the entire supply chain.
Back then, technology breakthroughs for solid-state batteries were mainly happening in Taiwan. In an effort to relocate their technological production, Steven Yeh and his team looked to Shenzhen. Shenzhen, where many science and technology entrepreneurs have gravitated, is both geographically close to Taiwan and has good governmental and social capital support for a start-up to grow.
Steven Yeh and his team built their research and development lab in Shenzhen. After three years, they received patents in Mainland China for their solid-state batteries and put their product into commercial mass production.
Steven Yeh described his entrepreneurial environment as a supportive one. He said that although Shenzhen is an unknown new place, it felt familiar somehow. Shenzhen’s supportive policy and environment were hugely beneficial for New Power Energy Co. Ltd in the company’s early development stage. Aside from these external factors with entrepreneurship, great products are the keys to success. When pilot products experienced issue after issue, when his resolves were tested again and again, Steven Yeh pushed through because he stood by his beliefs.
Steven Yeh said during the interview, “Scientists and researchers dedicate their time to working on a specific area and industrializing technological innovations to improve their production and life. In doing so, we realize our personal value. This is a life-long passion.”
Technology innovations are forever, but entrepreneurship is timeless. After working on New Power Energy Co. Ltd for years, Steven Yeh still has a keen heart for technology and scientific research. He said, “It is only normal that valuable technology needs time to mature. The same goes for entrepreneurship. One has to persevere to achieve breakthroughs in base technologies. These days, entrepreneurs look less toward ‘model innovation’ but gear toward research and development in base technology and the industrialization of the results.”
3. Making breakthroughs and empowering the AFV industry
Having made great technology advances, New Power Energy Co. Ltd won first prize in China’s 5G Industry Innovation Entrepreneurship Contest’s national finale. The contest was initiated by Qibin District’s local government of Hebi City, co-hosted with Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center, and undertaken by Ctoutiao.
Steven Yeh said, “New Power Energy Co. Ltd’s team is based in Shenzhen at the moment. We attended the national finale of China’s 5G Industry Innovation Entrepreneurship Contest in Hebi city, close to China’s largest battery production base ‘Xinxiang’. New Power Energy Co. Ltd had the opportunity to meet professional investors and industry experts. This contest is a rare fast-track channel for start-ups to get their names out there.”
This contest has helped him become immersed in the environment and the efficiency of innovative entrepreneurship. He no longer feels alone in his journey. In the red ocean of entrepreneurship, he said that the Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center is becoming a support force that is pointing entrepreneurs in the right direction.
Steven Yeh hopes to connect more with the Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center in the future on entrepreneurship guidance and fast-tracking corporations. Hand in hand, they work together to speed up technology upgrades and industry transformation.
This is an original article from Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center. Please reference appropriately if the article is re-posted elsewhere.