Just now on stage at the ChinaBang conference in Beijing, Lilly Huang, Head of Entrepreneur Services Group from Silicon Valley Bank announced the launch of X-Founder Club in partnership with TechNode. The mission of the club is to become a premier community for China’s best start-up founders and entrepreneurs.

The club has been established, based on the belief that founders don’t just need money but support from a high quality community of other founders to exchange ideas and experience. The partnership between Silicon Valley Bank and TechNode is a great fit because Silicon Valley Bank has over 20 years experience directly from the Silicon Valley, in helping guide start-ups to success and TechNode has garnered a position of influence in China’s local tech start-up community. TechNode is committed to fostering China’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and encouraging true innovation.

Courtesy of Chris Tow

To create the first club members, the winners of the ChinaBang Awards and TechNode’s startup competition will form the original members of the X-Founder club. Other members can apply or be specially referred.

As early stage entrepreneurs are always on a journey of learning, X-Founder Club will bring in successful entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts from China or Silicon Valley and other social activities organized by the club.

To share the knowledge and experience of the Club, monthly panel discuss events and networking will be held. So far for 2012, eight events have been planned across 4 cities, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou.  Some topics that will be discussed are leadership and management problems, hiring and accounting and how to build a team. The first event will be held in Shanghai on March 10th and the first Beijing event will be on April 14th.

In an off-stage interview Huang Lili said that she believes the greatest measure of success for the program will be the social value added to the entrepreneur eco-system. This includes the number of members, mentors, funding gained. Lili also re-iterated the value of community and being able to ask experienced and successful entrepreneurs questions and learn from their mistakes. One example given by an entrepreneur was to consider debt financing instead of always using equity financing, which may yield less benefit in the long term. Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank also talked about Silicon Valley Bank’s Analytics services which can help start-ups calculate their valuation in a methodical way. This will be a positive development in China where valuation is currently more of an ‘art than science’.

This is a great initiative taken on by Silicon Valley Bank and TechNode to really light the fire of China’s start-up industry. We hope that X-Founder Club generates real value to everyone involved and helps to build companies that last.

To be considered for X-Founder Club membership, you can apply here.

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.

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