New financiers in Silicon Valley eye China

Updated: 2012-08-17 16:44

By Chang Jun in San Francisco (China Daily)

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New financiers in Silicon Valley eye China

Entrepreneurs at InnoSpring's business-incubator offices in San Jose, the biggest city in Silicon Valley, meet for weekly pitch sessions to share ideas about developing their nascent businesses. [Photo/China Daily] 

InnoSpring has invited acclaimed entrepreneurs to speak to its tenants. Guest speakers have included Deng Feng, founder and partner of Northern Light, and Zhou Wei, an investment partner with Kleiner Perkins.

"Speakers at the weekly workshop are knowledgeable about the US market and startup operations. Our neighbors across the cubicle give us very good suggestions," said Jeff Becker, head of marketing for TrustGo, a maker of antivirus applications for mobile devices. The company set up its research and development operations in China and wants to expand into the US.

For Empower Micro Systems, a startup whose marketing focus for now is on China itself, InnoSpring has helped serve as a conduit to 22 local venture capitalists who heard the company pitch its technology for converting electricity between AC and DC.

"Our partners and their connections in China are our biggest advantages," Zhang said. "They are priceless."

In June, another Chinese company showed its dedication to the US startup incubation industry.

Wang Hanguang, chairman of Hanhai Zhiye Investment Group in Beijing, flew to Silicon Valley to sign a contract to buy an 80,000-square-foot office building in San Jose. The contract was signed Feb 17 at an event in Los Angeles attended by Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping and US counterpart Joe Biden. The deal grew out of the official China-US Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum.

Wang's incubator company, which has $50 million assets and is backed by China's Zhongguancun Science Park, already operates, in Beijing, a business park and five scientific-technology incubation buildings totaling 3.2 million square feet. It also boasts 10 years' experience.

For any startup, "you either grow fast, or die faster," said Zhang. To help push companies along, InnoSpring has introduced a six-month accelerator program for which as many as 10 companies will be selected by March 2013, with each to receive $100,000 in funding.

The entrepreneur also cautioned like-minded people not to follow trends but focus on what they do well: "Be yourself, otherwise you'll lose your character."

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Chen Jia contributed to this article.

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