VC William Bao Bean started as managing director of ChinaAccelerator, one of China´s most active breeding place for startups. ChinaAccelerator offers an international bridge for those mostly overlooked starting, smaller tech firms, he tells TechinAsia.
A lot of people around the world are now taking notice of Chinese web giants like Alibaba and Tencent. But China’s startups are generally overlooked and have little chance of breaking out onto the world stage. China’s most active startup accelerator, dubbed Chinaccelerator, is trying to change that. “It’s a bridge, internationally,” says Chinaccelerator managing director William Bao Bean. “It’s the Silicon Valley experience in Shanghai.”
Shanghai is China’s “most outward-facing city,” he adds, which makes it a good fit for the program. But Chinaccelerator, which started in 2009, was initially based in Dalian, up in China’s northeast, not too far from the North Korean border. It headed south to warmer and more cosmopolitan climes earlier this year; the program’s fifth batch of startups, which graduated in May, was its first out of Shanghai. Now it’s midway through the sixth batch as the participating teams build up to the demo day towards the end of November.
“Demo day is not the finish line,” says Bean. He believes that it’s “tough for startups to connect with brands,” even though for many it would be very beneficial to have such strategic partnerships. So Bean and the Chinaccelerator team place an emphasis on helping startups connect with major companies, even long after the startup teams have flown the coop.
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