Rights: © Copyright 2013. University of Waikato. All rights reserved. Published 24 September 2013 Download

Vincent Chen, founder of Zealong, shares his advice to young people to encourage skills for innovation. He highlights the importance of confidence and learning from others, in particular, the older generation.

Follow-up activities

  • Vincent compares the learning that can be gained from other people’s experience as opposed to books. Have students consider what kinds of knowledge they might learn from people that they may not glean from reading a book on the same topic and why.
  • Play the Zealong video story and/or the video clip People, networks and knowledge: Zealong. What difficulties did Vincent and his father face in developing the skills and knowledge they needed? Have students identify the people and places that Vincent and his father approached for help and advice. Discuss what knowledge and skills they may have gained from these people and why they may not have gained the same information from books. Have students consider what challenges the help and advice from key people helped them overcome.
  • Discuss the likely knowledge and skills Vincent has developed through his experience of producing tea in New Zealand that others may learn from in the future.



Vincent Chen, founder of Zealong tea, shares his advice to the innovators of tomorrow.

Vincent Chen:

I would tell them to not hesitate to going out, to see different world because they can understand more what this world looks like and then have more information. If they’re interested in something, don’t [be] scared to write an email or open your mouth to ask how can I do this, how can [I] do that. If you hesitate to ask, you will never to be success.

When I face a problem, I have to ask people, even the tea research centre in Taiwan. So one day I go there to see them to ask them how can I make my tea smell as good as Taiwanese tea. They tell me things so make me feel confidence.

Of course, lots of things I can’t tell you because it’s a secret, but I would like to give suggestion to them is to bring your confidence to do something you think is right and open your mouth to ask people surrounding you, the type of things you want to do – they maybe give you more ideas.

And always respect to the older generation because they always give you their experience, they are learning from mistake. Someone like me right now, if someone ask me how to grow tea in New Zealand, I would tell them, because that’s my experience – you can’t find it from a book.

Vincent Chen, Feng Lin & Fabien Masionneuve, Zealong Tea
Zealong, Eterna Holdings Ltd
Master Yee