'Cracking Tech Fortune Cookies'
Updated: 2014-07-10 22:18
By LIAN ZI in San Francisco (China Daily USA)
Jia Li, co-founder and chief product officer of Baixing.com, shares his experience of starting up a company with Chinese young entrepreneurs at a seminar hosted by InnoSpring in Santa Clara on Wednesday. Lian Zi / China Daily
The seminar's topic was fortune cookies, but not the kind containing a slip of paper with a prediction or aphorism written on them and served in Chinese restaurants.
InnoSpring, the first US-China technology startup accelerator in Silicon Valley, hosted a session in Santa Clara, California, for young Chinese entrepreneurs on Cracking the Tech Fortune Cookies.
Jia Li, co-founder and chief product officer of Baixing.com, one of the largest centralized networks of online communities for free classified advertisements, shared his experience of starting up a company.
"We planned to build a Craigslist in China eight years ago," said Li, "but we made lots of mistakes at the beginning. So now I want to share all these mistakes with young talent who have a passion for starting up their own companies and fulfilling their dream."
Now, many young Chinese who are talented decide to start their own business rather than hunt for a job in large companies, and they see Silicon Valley as their destination, he said.
"I moved to Silicon Valley because it is the high-tech center of the world that is full of young talent with creative ideas," said Li.
Wang Xiao, InnoSpring's CEO said, "During last two years, we attracted more than 4,000 project applications. From among them, 120 projects were accepted and incubated by Innospring and 60 ongoing projects are funded."
Founded in 2012, Santa Clara-based InnoSpring has established its own seed fund that is supported by Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark), Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC), Shui On Group (Shui On) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
InnoSpring works with global-minded startups that seek huge markets on both sides of the Pacific.
"We are interested in passionate individuals and teams. Passion is the most important criteria for us to screen talent," said Wang.
"I was eager to start my own business when I was only 16," said Weihan Lee, whose project "Tinder Done Night" is incubated by Innospring. "I fire up this project with my passion. I stay up all night and sometimes sleep in my office at InnoSpring. I really enjoy creating new things and discussing it with other entrepreneurs who have different backgrounds."
Lee is a 22 year-old student at Santa Clara University and will graduate next summer.
"I plan to work on this project and expand my business after graduation," he said. "Although my technical skill is solid enough to develop new Apps, I lack the expertise to deal with marketing and business, so I need an incubator like InnoSpring to support me."
"Our selected companies are currently valued at around $180 million, with 110 million combined users and $11 million in revenue." Wang said.
"Since InnoSpring was created, four other four US-China incubators have followed suit in Silicon Valley, including zPark Venture in downtown Palo Alto and TIPark Silicon Valley in Milpitas.