CIE » Newsroom » Alumni profile: Daniel Xu

NEWSROOM

Alumni profile: Daniel Xu

 

social media

CEO | Spark 64 Ltd

Studying engineering at undergraduate level, then later completing a PhD in engineering gave Daniel strong analytical and technical foundational skills to support his transition to entrepreneurship. In 2013, he and fellow PhD student Ming Cheuk (CTO) created their product UVLens, an app that uses UV sensors to teach people about sun safety, and plan the safest time to be outside.

Daniel sees an entrepreneur as someone who searches for problems and opportunities as their main focus.

 “Most people focus on problem solving, but I think problem searching is as equally important, if not more. It’s doing things like asking, why is it that? Why do we do this? Why can’t we do that?”

Daniel is modest when asked if he has any entrepreneurial superpowers saying, “I wouldn’t really say I have any superpowers. I think being optimistic and persistent have been very helpful in my entrepreneurial journey.”

This persistence is paying off, as he is one of the latest University of Auckland graduates to be accepted into the Stanford Ignite entrepreneur programme in the United States.

In a partnership with Banana Boat sunscreen, more than 100 of UVLens’ UV sensors have been installed in kindergarten playgrounds around New Zealand, enabling teachers to know when it’s safe to take children outside and when they need to use sunscreen.

In addition, he has launched a new project called a “WTF is that” bot –  a computer vision bot on Facebook Messenger that tells you what’s in your photos, which has had fantastic exposure on Wired and other tech blog sites. Daniel’s latest product is Gift Insights, an AI gift recommendation service.

His advice for students considering starting their entrepreneurial journey is simple: “Make a decision and just do it. What have you really got to lose?”

Daniel graduated from the University of Auckland with a PhD in Bioengineering and a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering.

 

social media

CEO | Spark 64 Ltd

Studying engineering at undergraduate level, then later completing a PhD in engineering gave Daniel strong analytical and technical foundational skills to support his transition to entrepreneurship. In 2013, he and fellow PhD student Ming Cheuk (CTO) created their product UVLens, an app that uses UV sensors to teach people about sun safety, and plan the safest time to be outside.

Daniel sees an entrepreneur as someone who searches for problems and opportunities as their main focus.

 “Most people focus on problem solving, but I think problem searching is as equally important, if not more. It’s doing things like asking, why is it that? Why do we do this? Why can’t we do that?”

Daniel is modest when asked if he has any entrepreneurial superpowers saying, “I wouldn’t really say I have any superpowers. I think being optimistic and persistent have been very helpful in my entrepreneurial journey.”

This persistence is paying off, as he is one of the latest University of Auckland graduates to be accepted into the Stanford Ignite entrepreneur programme in the United States.

In a partnership with Banana Boat sunscreen, more than 100 of UVLens’ UV sensors have been installed in kindergarten playgrounds around New Zealand, enabling teachers to know when it’s safe to take children outside and when they need to use sunscreen.

In addition, he has launched a new project called a “WTF is that” bot –  a computer vision bot on Facebook Messenger that tells you what’s in your photos, which has had fantastic exposure on Wired and other tech blog sites. Daniel’s latest product is Gift Insights, an AI gift recommendation service.

His advice for students considering starting their entrepreneurial journey is simple: “Make a decision and just do it. What have you really got to lose?”

Daniel graduated from the University of Auckland with a PhD in Bioengineering and a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering.

 


EMAIL
CIE@AUCKLAND.AC.NZ

PHONE
09 923 4526

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

POSTAL ADDRESS
THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND BUSINESS SCHOOL
PRIVATE BAG 92019, AUCKLAND