The 8th Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) will kick off with the Global Innovation Week on Sep.14 in Beijing to provide an integrated forum for non-mainland-Chinese innovation, entrepreneurship, incubation and acceleration, in partnership with industry leaders and pioneering enterprises.
Shortlisted contestants will compete for entrepreneurial rewards of one million yuan, extensive media coverage, and investment opportunities from top international investment institutions, related project support, and follow-up services provided by Chaoyang District.
Liu Hai, a former partner with GSR Ventures and current partner of IMO ventures, said that today represents the most active period in history for starting businesses in China due to an unprecedented level of venture capital investment.
“The global capital market has been prosperous from March to the present,” Liu said. “The Federal Reserve System has released US$3.5 trillion in liquidity, resulting in daily highs for US stocks and Nasdaq, driving technology stocks to soar in the secondary market,” Liu said.
He added that in the first half of the year, there were many domestic companies listed in Hong Kong stocks, U.S. stocks, and the Science and Technology Innovation Board. The enthusiasm for IPO subscriptions in China was also extremely high, which in turn drove investment enthusiasm in the primary market.
To further stimulate market vitality and actively utilize the government’s guiding role in allocating resources, the impending OTEC will be open to non-mainland-Chinese entrepreneurs and overseas returnees with plans to settle and establish business in China, according to the event’s website.
The event has been successfully held for seven years with the involvement of 23,000 entrepreneurs, 5,000 projects, and more than 100 venture capital institutions from over 20 countries and regions.
More than 480 projects have found investment through the platform and 242 projects have landed in China’s capital Beijing and other cities, raising a total of 2.71 billion.
One of the award-winning contestants in 2019 was Wandelbots, a German startup whose software enables users to program for any robot through intelligent input devices and case-based teaching, and which received a strategic investment from Siemens and Microsoft in 2020, said Vivian Lin, one of the event organizers. The company amassed approximately 200 million yuan (about $30 million) of round B financing in June this year.
This year’s OTEC upgraded one of its three major events, the International Meetup, to the Global Innovation Week (GIW), involving a decentralized structure and combination of online and site events due to the coronavirus-ravaged economy and border shut down. The one-week program consists of three themed sub-programs including GIW Runway, GIW Master Class, and GIW Spark.
During the Global Innovation Week held by the Beijing Chaoyang Talents Association, the event organizer will collaborate with international organizations, chambers of commerce, and alumni associations in the region to mobilize venture capital institutions and innovation centers of large foreign companies in Beijing to create a gathering and platform for entrepreneurs from outside of mainland China.
GIW Runway will take place over four days from Sep. 14 to Sep. 17, and is divided into four projects: APAC Runway; BRI (Mid-east and Africa) Runway; Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan regions Runway; and finally the Europe & America Runway, which were undertaken by the British Chamber of Commerce, the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, and TusStar. Other partners include Startup Grind, Founders Lair, MexCham, China Accelerator, HAX, 1886 Capital, and La French Tech.
The four-day event offers two tracks, entrepreneur runway and innovator runway, for selected candidates to showcase their business projects.
The Entrepreneurs Runway is open to any pre-series A or series A startups registered or established for no longer than three years in Beijing, with at least one of the founders holding a non-mainland-Chinese passport.
The Innovator Runway opens to any foreign or Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan professionals who have innovative ideas in one’s field with no limitations on occupation nor industry. Painters, singers, dancers, chefs, company employees with innovative products, or skills are all welcomed.
GIW Spark, scheduled on Sep.20, will include keynote speeches, pitch competitions, investor meet-ups, an award ceremony, and an innovation expo, according to the website. The 28 shortlisted entrepreneurs and innovators will have the opportunity to conduct one-on-one meet-ups with investors, and eight entrepreneur projects will advance to the final round of the pitch.
Lin told Pandaily that the application deadline will be at the end of Aug. 31, and that they look forward to seeing the participation of innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs.