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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Entrepreneurship Strategy & China’s Venture Ecosystem

November 15 & 17, 2017. Shanghai – Many people have what they think is a great business idea, but how many of us really take the first step forward to execute them? The biggest hurdles may be in knowing what opportunities are available, how to raise capital for the business, and how to bring the idea to fruition. Demystifying these crucial steps in the entrepreneur’s journey was the aim of two CEIBS eLab workshops: China’s Venture Ecosystem and Funding a Startup, and Entrepreneurship Strategy which were held on November 15 and 17 respectively at the Shanghai Campus.

The workshop on China’s venture ecosystem featured a talk by Mr. Tim Hardin, Head of Corporate Banking at SPD Silicon Valley Bank, in which he gave students a detailed analysis that compared the Chinese market to that in the U.S. Data shows that China’s consumer class is rising, and that China is trending towards the prosperity levels of the U.S. This trend has been boosted by the internet giants in China, who have fueled the country’s innovation space and are now expanding globally. These trends are also evidence of the enormous untapped creative and innovative space in China that is providing opportunities for young minds, like our MBA students.

But how to get the funding to begin? Don’t fret, Hardin said. The amount of money that venture capitalists are pouring into the market has been rising; it exceeded US$ 50billion for the first time in 2016. This was the same as the amount raised in the US and was also the highest amount that had been raised in the US in 15 years. However, Hardin also pointed out that the Chinese and US markets have different needs that must be addressed. The needs of the consumer take precedence over technology needs in the Chinese market. There are plenty of unrealized opportunities in China for those who dare to dream.

For those willing to step out of their comfort zone, the next step is to develop a strategy for the start-up business. This was the focus of the workshop led by CEIBS Associate Professor of Management Daniel Han Ming Chng. An entrepreneur himself, Prof. Chng has started two ventures in Singapore in the education and training sector. Based on his personal experience, Prof. Chng answered the students’ questions about starting a business.

During the session, Prof. Chng emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to either do different things, or do the same things differently, in order to sustain competitive advantage. This does not just involve the business idea, but the entire value chain of the business from end to end. Prof. Chng illustrated how his young business in Singapore was able to become the largest in the industry by strategically focusing on its target consumers, as opposed to approaching the entire market.

Through these two sessions, in just one week the CEIBS eLab entrepreneurs have moved from zero to one, and they are now even more excited to start strategizing about how to execute their entrepreneurial ideas! 

Valerie Neo
Janine M. Coughlin
Photo Editor: 
Shirley Lu, Barnett Lai