China: Foreign StartUps are Welcomed
On the 15th of March, I had the chance to visit a Shanghainese Incubator for StartUps in Shanghai (China) called NeoBay.
Founded in June 2015, NeoBay is a comprehensive and global entrepreneurial environment which delivers a series of services and support for startups:
Corporate finance services
Legal consulting services
Intellectual property services
Financial and investment services
Tutor system (training) for entrepreneurship and investment
NeoBay in numbers:
150+ Entrepreneurship Mentors
10 Partner Incubation Organizations
490+ Entrepreneurship Teams
Following the motto of “created in China”, the establishment of this incubator is the result of the recent change in governmental focus towards China’s economic growth and sustainability. This shift in focus mainly happened due to its pollution issues, but also especially due to its decreasing competitiveness in the world. China recognizes its need to change its mode of development if it wants to continue to grow economically and to continue to be internationally competitive. As wages are continuously rising and skilled labor is harder to find, China seeks to reinvent its way of economic growth by choosing technological innovation.
Not long ago, China used to be know as the world’s factory, though in the new era, China seeks to diversify and go beyond its manufacturing sector, heavily investing in information technology and big data. That’s why China is opening up to foreign investment and startups which nurture innovation and quality education in the country.
Even though China now implemented this open-door-policy, innovation and entrepreneurship are still being promoted and delegated, and therefore highly influenced, by the Chinese government. Therefore, creating a strong relationship with government officials is a must if you intend to do business in China. That’s when NeoBay is especially useful to foreigners, as it already offers a direct link to the government, having the Southern Branch of Shanghai Minhang District Administrative Service Center in-house.NeoBay’s stakeholders are closely working together, delivering a variety of services to startups:
Shanghai Jiatong University (providing sci & tech talents and alumni)
Govt of Minhang District (providing planning, coordination, and environment)
Shanghai Land Minhong Group (providing capital and space services)
If you intend to do business in the Chinese market you have to take into account a few important things, especially the Chinese culture.
A good starting point for businesses to strive in the Chinese market are Beijing and Shanghai, where several multinational enterprises already have their offices. Specifically, Shanghai aims to become a technology and innovation hub in East Asia, attracting talent and new ideas.
Currently, there are two universes uniting in East China – universities and private companies –, in order to create a platform, which delivers distinctive research and ultimately promote entrepreneurship. This form of collaboration is being centralized in incubators like NeoBay, offering public services, infrastructure, education, research, and more.
If you are interested in setting up a business with NeoBay, you have to go through an evaluation performed by a mentor community, which reviews and analyzes your business plan, your business model’s logic, as well as its financial profitability.
Better be prepared; read more about the opportunities and challenges in China.
The selection criteria and process can be found on their website:
https://neobay.cn (English version coming soon)
Entering the Chinese market can be a huge opportunity for almost any business, but as in everything in life, a certain degree of risk is always included.
If you are interested in learning more about China, I’d be happy to chat with you and to share more information.
I wish you all success and good luck!