A few days before Chinese New Year, when ChinaBang Awards was still in the online voting stage, I visited a very popular tech media’s office. I told them I would do a two day conference together with an awards ceremony right after the holiday. My friend was surprised and looked worried. “Have you got enough sponsorship?” He asked. “Um… I have not really started looking for sponsorship”. I was telling her the truth. These days, people can make loads of money from so called non-profit projects, but I’m not sure if it is kind of embarrassing. I am always good at turning a good business model into a non-profit project.  Back in 2006, I first met TechCrunch and attended the first international conference LeWeb. Since then, I have had a ‘simple’ dream: To create a conference, less focused on commercial motivations and more focused on start-ups and encouraging true innovation.

In 2011, the Chinese internet market was hot! We had lots of  money, internet café’s for start-ups sprung up, start-up incubators and tech parks run by individuals and government were established, more angel investors and more passionate entrepreneurs joined the start-up community.  The tech sectors that boomed included social media, location based services, mobile messaging, mobile social networks, social e-commerce, mobile photo services, cloud, mobile games. 2011 was exciting and 2012 should experience the same boom.

However, in the mobile internet industry and especially in China, business models are still not quite clear. There are copycats everywhere and even many local VCs just follow the Silicon Valley investment strategy. Very good start-up incubators and early stage investment funds are still not so easy to find. Experienced angel investors and the driving force of innovation are still missing in the eco-system. In 2011, the eco-system did improve but it is still not very healthy.

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Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.