China embraces entrepreneurship across 123 cities

This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week China aimed to break three records across the country. The first record was to achieve the closest distance to angels with the “Talks with Angels” session, involving more than 50 investors. The second goal was to organize the highest number of large-scale activities, and GEW China achieved this by organizing 75 large-scale activities, more than 30 of which involved roadshows. The third aim was to create the most concrete and valuable content and thus the organizing committee focused on a problem-solving week for entrepreneurs. The week also gave Chinese people the chance to network and see more than 30 roadshows showcasing a wide range of opportunities from the Internet to gaming, hi-tech to healthcare, and even new media entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneur Charging Station, the Entrepreneurship Forum for Graduates and the Eaglets Awards were some of the highlights of the week.

China kicked-off GEW with Shen Xiaoming, a member of Shanghai Party Standing Committee, director of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Administrative Committee and Party Secretary of Pudong New Area, presided over the opening ceremony and gave the commencement announcement. The ceremony had the involvement of nearly 60 institutions and approximately 113 enterprises. Shen Xiaoming pointed out during this speech that the future success of Chinese entrepreneurs depends on institutional innovation; an equal, efficient and transparent business environment in accordance with international standards and the successful investments in entrepreneurs.

The winners of the Eaglet Prize – an influential award aimed at creating an ecological environment for startups and encouraging the growth of excellent entrepreneurial enterprises – were announced at the opening ceremony. This year, the evaluation committee assessed the startups applying for the prize based on their speed of growth, technological breakthrough and innovation model. They selected 11 winners. At the ceremony, the 2015 list of “TOP30 angel investors” was also announced. Pang Xiaowei, CEO of tisiwi.com, delivered a speech representing angel investors at the ceremony.

At the Entrepreneur Charging Station, a signature event of the week, 90 entrepreneurial institutions offered entrepreneurs services regarding site selection, financing, recruitment, media promotion and policy consultation. The financing area of the station, “Talks with Angels,” focused on different stages of support. The first experience of financing was where entrepreneurs talked face to face with investors providing for them. Then there was the diagnostic consulting service, to obtain a “PASS” card; then Face the Investor, where entrepreneurs with a “PASS” card talked with investors to obtain a “BOSS” card; and Meet with the Partner, where entrepreneurs with a “BOSS” card could meet a potential partner. If an entrepreneur was favored by many investors and received many “BOSS” cards, it enabled the entrepreneur to flip through the cards of investors and pick one.

The Entrepreneurship Forum for Graduates “‘Chuang’ Out Your Future – Be Pioneering Entrepreneurs!” was themed after the currently popular roadshow model of live commenting by audience on stage. The aim was to ignite the passion and entrepreneurial spirit among future innovators, and promote communication among experienced and future entrepreneurs.

At the New Media Trend Entrepreneurship Incubation Forum, the first forum designed to analyze the development trends of new media, distinguished guests from the sector shared their ideas and emerging new media projects.

A great variety of activities during GEW were “entrepreneurship classes,” which worked to educate entrepreneurs about winning the heart of investors, circumventing legal risks related to entrepreneurship, and learning how to apply the right marketing strategies. The classes also focused on hot to become a good manager, embrace science, technology and media, as well as take advantage of the entrepreneurial environment and new trends from financing, marketing, management, legal and media. Entrepreneurship courses throughout the week included STEP Growth Camp, taught by three industry heavyweights Jin Cuodao, Zha Li and Yang Ning, and a course on how small and micro-businesses can save on the workforce with EAP.

The 2015 global innovative product launch event featured innovative products from eight enterprises through keynote speeches and on-spot roadshows. This year’s event partnered with chaodianjie.uz.taobao, where some of the products were simultaneously sold online.

As of last year, GEW China expanded beyond the week, as programs will continue throughout the year, with the Global Entrepreneurship Week Campus Center (GCC), which brings together entrepreneurial societies, associations and clubs with college students across China. So far, GCC has admitted nearly 200 entrepreneurial societies, conducted 444 activities in 223 colleges and universities, with the participation of more than 280,0000 college students in 28 cities across China – at campuses including Tsinghua University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Fudan University and Zhejiang University.