There are a growing number of incubators, accelerators and programs designed to help propel start-ups to success. There is Innovation Works, YuenfenFlow, Start-up Leadership Program in Beijing; China Accelerator in Dalian, TiSiWi in Hangzhou. All are trying to emulate the success of their U.S counterparts like Y Combinator and TechStars to produce billion dollar companies like Airbnb or Dropbox.
Trilogy Ventures launches ChinaStars
A new kid on the block called ChinaStars is entering the mix. Led by Steven Bell of Trilogy Ventures, ChinaStars is transposing itsmodel of focusing on top students from top Chinese universities into an acceleration program. This is a move away from Trilogy’s typical university campus visits to find students entrepreneurs. The difference between Trilogy’s approach and other investors, is that they go the the super early stage – university students. It’s harder to get more early stage unless they target 10 year old kids!
72 crazy hours of hacking, 90 days of hustling
Firstly ChinaStars holds a crazy energy charged 72 hour hackathon to build a demo of a super cool social mobile app on the exponentially growing Weibo platform. Following the hackathon, the most promising teams will be invited to enter a 90 day acceleration program with 24,000 RMB and mentor support to help them focus on cranking out a killer app. Not only are they meant to build the app, they need to attract users and mindshare. At the end of 90 days, ChinaStars will hold a demo day and invite a group of investors to potentially fund the best teams.
Beijing and Shanghai shoot for the stars (Shanghai hackathon is tomorrow!)
The Beijing hackathon was held on October 21st and Melody He of Trilogy Ventures said they were “blown away by their innovative ideas and ability to execute!” Six teams were selected to enter the 90 Day phase. Shanghai students will get their turn to impress tomorrow at Shanghai Jiaotong University Training Center. To check out the format of the hackathon, read here. To generate excitement, ChinaStars has invited impressive keynote speakers Peter Verstabacka of Rovio, the people behind Angry Birds and Leo Wang, Founder of Mobile 2.0.
Giving students a dream
ChinaStars are giving students a great opportunity to put their ideas into action and more importantly realize their potential. For a long time, Steven Bell has believed the hunger and low risk of stellar students in China is a great recipe for a hit start-up. More importantly giving students confidence and an ability to believe in themselves is priceless.