First US-China tech incubator launches | chinadaily.com.cn

2012-04-13 11:28:58.0Zhang Qidong in Santa Clara, CaliforniaFirst US-China tech incubator launches1811040061Home2@usa/enpproperty-->

First US-China tech incubator launches

Ken Wilcox, chairman of Silicon Valley Bank, speaks at InnoSpring's opening ceremony on April 11. Chang Jun / China Daily

InnoSpring, Silicon Valley's first US-China technology startup incubator, officially opened its doors on April 11 to Chinese returnees starting their own companies and American entrepreneurs seeking to enter the Chinese market.

InnoSpring, created from a joint partnership of a consortium of Chinese and American financial institutions - Tsinghua University Science Park, Shui On Group, Northern Light Venture and Silicon Valley Bank - is expected to compete with leading local incubators by providing a full range of services to its beneficiaries.

"Newly inducted incubatees joining InnoSpring's ecosystem can leverage our US-China focus as well as receive customized incubator services," said Eugene Zhang, president of InnoSpring. "Today, we crossed our first milestone and eagerly look forward to building InnoSpring for the long haul."

Twelve technology startup companies have already been selected and will settle into InnoSpring's 1,350-square-meter facility. InnoSpring plans to select 15 companies every six months for its "Seed Program". These companies will receive an initial $25,000 investment at the outset of the program.

The Seed Program is akin to a 6-month boot camp for entrepreneurs who aim to complete a prototype, assemble a core team and conduct initial customer feedback.

Select startups will also have the opportunity to receive additional funds of up to $250,000 in capital from TEEC Angel Fund, bringing the maximum initial investment amount to $275,000.

Ken Wilcox, chairman of Silicon Valley Bank, said the establishment of InnoSpring is a sign of true innovation between China and the US.

"Chinese engineers and high tech professionals have made major contribution to technology innovation in Silicon Valley. The creation of InnoSpring tells us again that innovation has no borders, and most progress can be made where there is collaboration between different parties," he said.

Xia Shuguang with the San Francisco Consul of Economic & Commercial Office described the incubation center as a "nest where future golden eggs are being hatched".

"We will help set up the best incubation platform to help technology startup companies to go through the initial stage of business innovation," said Lei Yang, managing director of Northern Light Venture Capital.

"The life cycle of business starts with innovation. Our goal is to eliminate the globalization barrier and make the Silicon Valley's technology innovation a global innovation," Yang said.

The VC managing director also said InnoSpring can accommodate up to 40 startups in its office space. The company also give access to venture capitalists and angel investors, mentor executives and entrepreneurs, give business and funding advice, provide entrepreneurial workshops and assist in assembling core teams recruiting.

"We also offer cross-border development for US and Chinese startups, and access to Chinese public agencies to facilitate China expansion for US startups, which basically cut all the barriers out for both side to achieve their goals better and faster," Yang said.


Doors open at the first US-China technology incubator in Silicon Valley.

U.S.-based Chinese entrepreneur finds working with China difficult | MedCity News

When Kevin Liu, a Minnesota-based Chinese entrepreneur, decided that he wanted to test his disposable medical device, he thought that going to China was a no-brainer.

Experience proved otherwise. Liu had intended to file a 510(k) application by the end of last year with a launch in May. Instead, he had to contend with repeated delays and finally submitted an application in March.

“What happened is that like many companies, to cut costs I thought to test products in China because it’s a fraction of what it costs to test here,” Liu said. “But I had a tough time. We picked a reputable testing center in China, but still we had communication issues back and forth, wording corrections, things that were wrong that we had to fix over and over. That made everything so much slower.”

Benesch law healthcare attorneys

Then Liu ran into the Chinese New Year, the big annual celebration in which the nation of more than 1.3 billion shuts down for the better part of a month.

Finally, in March, Liu through his company United Medical Innovations submitted 510(k) applications for its syringe and manifold kit system. He now expects a launch in the fall.

“I am from China, so I always thought it would be easier because of my cultural background and my language — to communicate with them directly — but experience tells me that it is not as easy,” he said. “There are difference business styles and there is a real trust issue with business men in China. You are thinking of how are you going to protect your intellectual property. There are so many things to think about. That is something I learned from this experience.”

[Photo Credit: Ohmega1982]

A Chinese entrepreneur explains why he finds entering the Chinese market much more difficult than he could have ever anticipated, and he already speaks the language.

Ai Weiwei: "The Internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win" | TheNextWeb

It’s easy to forget that Ai Weiwei is an artist, at times. The man who is so often (and rightly) described as ‘outspoken’ and a ‘dissident’ is one of the most vocal critics of the Chinese regime, particularly on the subject of Internet censorship, to the point that it tends to overshadow his work.

Ai, who famously designed the Beijing ‘Birds Nest’ Olympic stadium, something he now regrets, discusses the Chinese government and its attitude to technology and the Web in a new op-ed published by The Guardian.

In the article, that is also available in Chinese, Ai looks at the affect that the Great Firewall censorship has had on China. An avid user of Twitter — @awiwi – he pens an argument that, in the long term, China’s can’t keep the power of the Internet at bay forever.

The government is certainly doing its best to provide that theory wrong. Its heightened efforts to quash ‘harmful information online’ have seen it implement a identification verification policy for microblogs (albeit loosely so far) and make arrests, close websites and restrict Twitter-like services following excessive political speculation last month.

“[China] blocks major internet platforms – such as Twitter and Facebook – because it is afraid of free discussion,” Ai says. “And it deletes information. The government computer has one button: delete.”

Ai compares China’s Web effort to the construction of a dam:

China may seem quite successful in its controls, but it has only raised the water level. It’s like building a dam: it thinks there is more water so it will build it higher. But every drop of water is still in there. It doesn’t understand how to let the pressure out. It builds up a way to maintain control and push the problem to the next generation.

Ultimately, he believes, this approach will see the Internet and freedom “win” in the communist country:

It still hasn’t come to the moment that [the regime] will collapse. That makes a lot of other states admire its technology and methods. But in the long run, its leaders must understand it’s not possible for them to control the internet unless they shut it off – and they can’t live with the consequences of that. The internet is uncontrollable. And if the internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win. It’s as simple as that.

The over-arching effect of China’s Internet freedom, Ai says, impacts on more than just civil liberties, it also blocks creativity, leaving China “far behind” other nations, he says.

For example, while those in the US discuss the (unlikely) possibility that Apple might bring its operation and manufacturing plants to the US, China’s dream is for the design of the device, and others like it, to come from within the Asian country.

Ai believes that the flagship Apple smartphone is  ”an understanding of human nature” and therefore it cannot be conceived from within China, he argues:

If a person has never had the right to choose their information, freely associate with any kind of ideology, and develop an individual character with some passion and imagination – how can they become creative?

Ai is unique in not being afraid to criticise, and be seen criticising, China. Consequently, his vocal comments have seen him handed a series of stiff punishments from authorities.

At its worst, he was detained for 81 days last year after a series of comments, released after apparently confessing his crimes. Though initially forbidden to return to social media, Ai quickly returned to his regular diet of Twitter and its Chinese equivalent Sina Weibo.

Last year he was hit by a massive $2 million tax bill but his supports used social media to rally round and collect donations to help pay it.

His latest scuffle with authorities saw the state order him to switch off a series of surveillance cameras that the artist had set up across his home. Ai had made the feed freely available online from April 2 to mark a year since his detention.

It remains to be seen how his latest article will be received by authorities in China and whether there will be further punishment dealt out to Ai Weiwei for his criticisms.

The full opinion article is most definitely worth reading, you can find it here.

Very interesting perspective on the current state and future of Internet freedom in China.