Ready for launching! Dutch Startup Bootcamp Shanghai II

Dutch entrepreneurs are known for their tech-savviness, forward-thinking and open business culture. They are always looking for opportunities to introduce their innovative solutions globally. The Dutch Consulate in Shanghai welcomed 8 innovative Dutch start-ups to Shanghai for three-day startup bootcamp at the end of October. The bootcamp marked the start of an intensive 2-week program organized by TUSpark Jiangsu, aimed at identifying opportunities for the participants aiming to expand their business in China. We sincerely hope to see DB2 Vision’s Igno Breukers, Hable’s Tom Kersten, Interbox’ Henk Hilders, Locatechs’ Mark Long, Plasmacure’s Bas Zeper and Rob Verbakel, SOLID’s Mark Verhagen, Sorama’s Ton van Oort, and Taylor’s Michiel Roelofs in China again soon!

We started the program on a high in the iconic Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world. The startups were introduced to the local business environment by Annie Zhang of Spaces, a creative working environment that originated in Amsterdam. As Innovation Officer at the Consulate General Bart van Hezewijk gave his perspective on developments in the innovation and technology sector in China. An important theme to many startups is the legal system and intellectual property protection. This was further explored by Reinout van Malenstein of  HFG Law & IP Practice. The morning session wrapped up with Mr. Yong Lu from Shanghai Data Exchange Corporation, who presented on the opportunities for foreign enterprises to leverage open data provided by the government, a truly unique example of innovation in China.

In the afternoon we visited Dutch companies Dashmote and Brunel at one of the many WeWork locations in Shanghai. Dashmote, a Dutch start-up that turns images into valuable data using AI, joined the first Shanghai bootcamp for Dutch startups in 2018 and opened an office in Shanghai. Recently celebrating their one-year anniversary of the Shanghai office, Jason Jin, China Business Developer and Janne Bakker, HR & Community Manager, shared their practical experiences and interesting journey with this year’s participants. Wouter Rinia of Brunel specializes in recruitment in China and gave useful tips on the do’s and don’ts on various topics such as recruiting and retaining talent, visa and work permits and compensation structures. The day concluded with a networking event at the Consul-General’s residence for all participants, partners in the program, and other relevant players in the Shanghai startup ecosystem.

Startup Bootcamp II

On Tuesday the Kate Guo of Shanghai Technology Innovation Center, updated the Dutch startups on the cities’ policies to assist foreign entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses and help create a truly international entrepreneurial environment. Also in the Shanghai Science Hall, Linyan Feng from Equal Ocean shared the findings of their latest China Industrial Internet report, giving insights on China’s ecommerce ecosystem and the fast developments of Chinese internet marketplaces. In the afternoon and Kungfu Startups hosted a roundtable in Zhangjiang High Tech Park with Chinese startups iLabService, INSKY Labs, Yuhu Technologies.

On the third day, we visited Shanghai based XNode, an innovation service provider for both startups and corporates. Mayor of Eindhoven John Jorritsma also attended this session to learn more about the cooperation between XNode and their Dutch partner HighTechXL from Eindhoven. Senior Acceleration Manager Emily Xu shared some of the impressive achievements of their corporate innovation and scaleup acceleration programs, before 3 companies from the XNode community shared their experiences of setting up or expanding their business in China.

The Consulate’s part of the program concluded with a networking event co-organised with Brabant Development Agency. The startups were joined by a delegation of high-tech and agriculture companies from the Province of Brabant that were part of a trade mission to Jiangsu, as well as Dutch companies already established in Suzhou. The participants of the startup bootcamp Shanghai then boarded the high speed train to Nanjing where they continued their trip through China with TUSpark Jiangsu.

We would like to thank all local partners we worked with to organise the second Startup Bootcamp Shanghai, especially TUSpark Jiangsu who invited the eight Dutch startups to make the trip to China. We are confident the program helped the participants to gain very useful and practical insights in expanding their business to China.

If you are a startup or scaleup and also interested to know more about the opportunities and challenges in China, we recommend you take a look at the Startup Playbook Shanghai. At Holland Innovation Network China, we are here to help you understand China better and connect you to the right people. Are you a Dutch startup or scale-up and interested to know more about the opportunities in China, do not hesitate to reach out.