China entrepreneurship is heating up and events like StartUp Weekend Beijing prove it. The weekend is for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build a team and build a demo product in an energy charged 54 hours then re-pitch it to investors. It’s a very exciting and intense weekend, similar to iWeekend earlier this year.
Held at boutique hotel The Opposite House in Sanlitun, the event will run like this:
- Friday June 24: Beginning with “open mic” pitches, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team.
- Saturday June 25: Teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies, and building a minimal viable product.
- Sunday June 26: Teams demo their prototypes for a live audience and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges – one winning team is selected before the night is over.
The event is limited to participation to 40 entrepreneurs and 6 business ideas and costs 500rmb to participate.
Last year, Alex Su, previously an engineer at Huawei working in Qatar at the time, flew to Beijing to participate in Startup Weekend Beijing last November. Su deferred admission to Cambridge University’s MBA program after the event to launch his new venture and soon thereafter he and his co-founder received funding from Innovation Works, Kai-Fu Lee’s incubator and venture capital fund.
James Mi, a speaker at Startup Weekend Beijing 2010 and managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners, a $2 billion venture capital group noted, “Lightspeed Venture Partners was a supporter of the first Startup Weekend in Beijing and the event was a valuable way to connect with rising-star entrepreneurs with fresh ideas for this rapidly changing market in China.”
“Because speed and guanxi matter much more for startups in China, events like Startup Weekend Beijing can help facilitate key business decisions such as investing and hiring,” says Andy Mok, founder of Red Pagoda Resources, a recruiting firm specializing in finding talent for VC-backed companies in China and organizer of SWBJ.
For those of you in Shanghai, there will be a StartUp Weekend Shanghai from July 22-24th.
See you there!