Day 1 - ChinaTech Day Starts from San Francisco
After a 10-hour flight, a serious jetlag, a warm welcoming party, and being finally all together, the ChinaTech Day delegation started the journey at San Francisco.
The Chinese CTOs and innovation seekers will meet their peers in different San Francisco's (SF) ecosystems: the perfect way to tighten the already strong tech relationships between both countries
· Parisoma by Fabernovel
· Autodesk Gallery
· Sightseeing - The City Hall
· HAX (and two hardware startups)
· Enjoy crab at PIER 39 Fisherman's Wharf. Can’t miss SF’s sea food
Parisoma, Fabernovel’s coworking space, where “ideas are cultivated”, is a kind of incubator on demand. It aims to build a community for entrepreneurs offering coworking spaces by day, and events by night.
"The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed." Faber novel innovation’s mojo. Inspiring...
The company revenue comes from consultation, especially digital consultation. They leverage the fact that they are close to the startup eco-system. “Parisoma was not built to create money, but to create value”, and serve corporate clients.
Parisoma was established in 2008 in SF, and the second coworking space in the city centre. The location now is surrounded by more incubators and lead tech players like linkedin, google ventures... Forerunners.
In 2007, a shift of entrepreneurship from SV to SF started. Big companies and entrepreneurs also started to have offices in SF; cheaper and good resources to connect with for startups.
"Design shapes the world", they say. “From the buildings we live and work in to the machines that propel us forward to the products that enrich our lives, we live in a designed world. And the best way to touch and feel this world is at Autodesk Gallery, a top destination named by Wired". A must to see. They all loved it.
Ending this day on a hardware touch was perfect. After the inspiration comes concrete stuff.
What is HAX? A startup accelerator focusing on hardwares, 10 startups per batch, located in San Francisco and Shenzhen. Makes sense for the Chinese delegation. HAX is that structure that bridges perfectly between the US and China, in the hardware area. They also met there 2 startups who justed graduated from the last batch.
And obviously the Q&A session raised the IP protection issue. Well there is no issue actually, for those who still fear copy in China, strong protection ecosystem is already there. Hundreds of American startups are producing in Shenzhen. And they are doing quite well.
Good night. See you tomorrow.
Day 2 - Facebook, PNP and Stanford!
Isn't it an exciting day?
A beautiful day in Silicon Valley today, a perfect day to rent a shared bike (probably less sexy than Mobike), and discover the city under this warm light. But we still need to go through a very full exciting day again. Bike tour in the afternoon, if possible.
· Plug and Play
· Stanford University
· DCM Annual Party
Do I need to present them ?
Those guys are almost everywhere, doing amazing stuff, building a strong innovation ecosystem. Founded in 2006, they have a huge startups community, some famous alumnis (Dropbox) and are investing massively in all tech related topics.
It is easy to understand why they are top20 startup accelerator (Forbes) when you meet them.
The world's fastest, most entertaining marketplace, with live online auctions (90s max) every day in a wide variety of categories. It is like you take the most exciting part of ebay and create a whole new product and new UX (they are backing them BTW).
We are lucky and glad to have their Chinese subsidary at XNode JingAn (yeah self advertisment never hurts).
CEO Ashivin shared his startup journey (from Stanford computer science graduated student, to engineer for a startup, then creating his own startup, and now TopHatter).
Jen Sharper (VP of Partnerships), Megan (Chinese Supply Head) and Chris (CTO) shared insights on their business model, supply china and unique engineering model.
The Knowledge Temple, one the most impressive ideas nest. We tried to rest a little, in an inspiring environment.
They are still working hard to step in China. What if members of our delegation can make it happens ?
The session was very tech focused, kind of engineers night talk, very casual.
DCM Annual Party
We were curious to see how VC’s do party with each others, specially in this part of the world. Conclusion: it's a cool party in the Asian Art Museum.
Good night. See you tomorrow.
Day 3 - Connecting with the Tech Stars
Day 3. A very special day for all the delegation, and specially for us. We will meet the first kids on the block, the forerunners, the inventors of the acceleration model as we know it today : Y Combinator.
And 2 or 3 tiny startups from the Valley : Airbnb and Google. J. Yeah I know what you are thinking right now ! We are crazily lucky, some might say very efficient in organizing Learning Expeditions …
You can imagine that we feel like the Batman lover meeting finally Christopher Nolan, or a young politician having a dinner with Kevin Spacey….
· Y combinator
· ZGC Silicon Valley Innovation Center
· ChinaTech Night
We met Anu Hariharan, partner, former BCG and Andreessen Horowitz. She introduced :
· YC incubator
· New tech trend YC sees from startup, AI, big data, VR/AR...
· New updates of YC : YC funds and YC research.
· YC potential development: online study for early startups buddies; YC to China.
The space was inspiring with a powerful atmosphere, hard to describe why.
Impressive cool office design, open space, super architecture, like the place you want to live in forever. A clear message on the wall : « Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind ». In term of company culture building, Airbnb is probably one of the best players.
The delegation split into groups and talked with Airbnb engineers. Topics were quite wide:
· How is Airbnb engineering culture ?
· Do you face issues on over data dependence ?
· What kind of position would attract you back to China ? (for ABCs, obviously)
We met googlers from machine learning and AI departments. Alphabet has a strong focus on Artificial Intelligence and it raises several questions from an engineering and technological stand point. ChinaTech Day delegation is mainly composed by CTOs. The exchange was really insightful.
ZGC Silicon Valley Innovation Center
ZGC is an innovation center in Silicon Valley. They are owned by Hanhai Holdings, a beijing based investment management group. In recent times they focused on creating a science and technology service platform to accelerate technology centric innovations. In May this yeah (2016) ZGC opened in San Francisco, operating as a platform for exchanging scientific, technological and cultural insights.
Networking, mingling, exchanging insights and connecting with SF’s tech community.
Also a nice time to strengthen relationship and have fun all together, because at the end of the day, what matters the most is friendship, and those nice souvenirs that we keep all along the road.
Good night. See you tomorrow.
Day 4 - Between tech and content, Cheetah Mobile and Pinterest
Day 4. We are slowing down a little after 3 crazy and intense days.
On the menu today, only 2 visits: the most successful story of a Chinese tech going abroad, and a lot of visual contents.
· Cheetah Mobile
· Golden Gate Bridge
Cheetah Mobile is the world's leading mobile tools provider. It is dedicated to providing a faster, safer and easier mobile experience for its global users. Headquaters in Beijing.
We met their global app mobile people, tech leaders and hr.
ChinaTech Day delegation has discussed with them a wide range of topics, especially on managing Silicon Valley engineers and Chinese company going globally.
• How cheetah goes international?
• Why do they change from a tool app to content provider?
• Why Cheetah Mobile choose to set in Silicon Valley and how do they find Silicon Valley talents?
• How does Cheetah Mobile manage cross-border talents and keep talents in a Chinese company?
« Pinterest is a social bookmarking site where users collect and share photos of their favorite events, interests and hobbies. One of the fastest growing social networks online, Pinterest is the third largest such network behind only Facebook and Twitter ». Can’t do better than the wikipedia definition.
We will remember those two main sentences, beyond the beautiful space they operate from and their warm welcoming:
• "Put pinners first and deliver value."
• "Building a catalog of ideas."
In Pinterest, it is all about Content. Quality content.
Golden Gate Bridge
We finished the day under the rain, dancing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, trying levitation...
And then, a great American steak to come...
Day 5 - Meeting XNode Friends at San Francisco
Visiting XNODE Friends
Australian Landing Pad @San Francisco
Swissnex @San Francisco
Cathay Innovation @San Francisco
Austrade Landing Pad
How can we visit San Francisco without a hello to the Australian Landing Pad people? As the 1st landing pad in San Francisco, Margaret Donoghue from Austrade (Australian Trade Commission) has shared with XNode their exprience in the last two batches of Australian startups. We also met Gabe, the landing pad manager, as well as one of the graduate Simon Murphy. Simon is working on Reflive, a smartwatch app which allows for supporters, club administrators or the media to record match details with the smartphone app. The San Francisco landing pad enabled him to test the US west-coast market and potentially Reflive is planning to come to Shanghai for the growing Chinese market.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) has officially opened the Australian Landing Pad at XNode's Accelerator and coworking space in Shanghai. The Shanghai Landing Pad is one of five global hubs helping Australian startups innovate, accelerate, and go global.
Swissnex is keen on Fintech area, which is also the key focus of XNode. This year in Shanghai, we have cooperated on Fintech events. Moreover, we partnered in the SSW-XNode startup pitching competition. The winner C-LAP has won a ticket to pitch at the SSW final (Seedstars World, a global startup competition with final in Switzerland next year).
Bay area in San Francisco has been popular among startups all over the world. Swissnex aso set their first overseas base in San Francisco for such innovation spirits. We have met the startup program responsibles, Steven Reading and Dominic Sutter. They shared with us that the startup community has been shifting to San Francisco city in the recent years. You can find headquarters of uber, airbnb, and twitter etc. are located in the city rather than Silicon Valley. The eco-system is more vibrant in the city with startups, incubators, accelerators, VC and corporates. Many deals happen over drinks after work.
Our mission is to connect the dots between Switzerland and North America in science, education, art, and innovation.
swissnex San Francisco prepares academic, business, and creative clients for the world of tomorrow by bringing people and ideas together. A platform for exchange around topics in science, education, art, and innovation, we highlight the best of Swiss and North American ingenuity and create opportunities for networking among our diverse group of professional contacts in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and beyond.
Two weeks ago, we just met Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation. Such a delight to see him again at San Franciso. Since we are planning the ChinaTech Day in European next spring, we expect to catch up with Denis in Paris soon.
Geekbang and XNode have co-orgnized ChinaTech Day expedition this year, May in Japan including Slush, and December in Silicon Valley including Sino-US Tech Forum. We will bring the top Chinese CTOs and innovation heads to visit Europe next Spring. Denis expressed that Cathay Innovation would be glad to participate in such great expedition. Europe and China have already a lot of exchanges, especially in tech and innovation. European companies have been closely follow the tech innovation in China and hope to have more communication and cooperation with Chinese corporates.
250 M€ Size
2016 Closing dateof the last vintage
5 M€ to 25 M€ Equity Investment in startups
Plus, we managed some sightseeing to enjoy the beauty as well as local foods in the city of San Francisco.