An ad of the incubation project jointly held by gyer.com, guokr.com, leka, sculpting in time, and quwan.com. (Internet photo)
Yu Dongming, a junior high school student from Jingdezhen in southeast China's Jiangxi province, became fascinated with the science of weather forecasting after he was drenched in a rain shower that had not been predicted by his hometown's weather bureau.
After studying meteorology on his own for several years, Yu became a meteorological enthusiast and dreamed of having his own weather station to provide people with accurate forecasts.
The dream, which would seem unrealistic in light of the great cost it would entail, came a step closer to realization after Yu won a grant under a program launched by a group of private firms to help young people fulfill their dreams, reports the Southern Weekly in Guangzhou.
Yu's project drew the attention of the organizers of a program called Young People's Projects during its preliminary contest. The organizers, including social-networking website Guokr.com and tourism website www.gyer.com, asked Yu to present a more detailed plan in the second round of the competition.
Yu spent ten days improving and adding details to his plan and finally won a grant of 3,000 yuan (US$470) to help pursue his dream.
He is one of the 20 people helped by the program this year. Others include a university student who wants to visit Taiwan as an exchange student to learn Taiwan's method of classifying plants; a musician who wants to conduct a tour around the world for charity; and a student who wants to tour the country teaching the art of paper folding.
Ji Shishan, the founder of Guokr.com, said the program was aimed at helping young people pursue their dreams.
Zhang Zherui, another organizer, said the program can help young people translate their ambitions into practical projects.
A similar program is being sponsored by the website Demo Hour, which was founded by He Feng, a Chinese graduate from Stanford University in California.
He's website is a fundraising platform. Anyone can raise funds on it by initiating a project, declaring the amount to be raised and a deadline for the fundraising. People visiting the website determine on their own whether to sponsor a project, and the website charges a fee of 10% of the funds collected.
He Feng said Demo Hour was aimed at helping people pursue their creativity, but not necessarily promising projects.
Since it was launched a year ago, Demo Hour has helped more than 300 aspirants raise funds to carry out their projects, according to Southern Weekly.
Other programs designed to help young people include an office opened by a consultant company China Youthology in Beijing. In this office, young entrepreneurs can lease a desk for a small fee and start their own businesses.
Another similar program called Xindanwei or "New Work Unit" provides a common workspace in Shanghai, where young craftspeople can rent a desk to create whatever they wish.