Today we held our first TechNode Ideas MeshUp Workshop in Beijing and our first English event. The goal of the day was to bring together a bunch of people who have cool and interesting ideas for a mobile app to make life easier in China. ‘Making life easier’ was up to the participants to interpret and the results were varied.

First of all, Peng T. Ong from GSR Ventures spoke about China’s huge opportunity to create high impact companies, purely from the size of China and its growth trajectory. He metaphorically likened just being in China and doing a start-up, to have a ‘lottery ticket’ to success. Although he warned the biggest cause for failure for foreign entrepreneurs in China, is arrogance and thinking they can simply import their business to China. He encouraged foreigners to have a big amount of humility to understand the Chinese market and its culture. He also strongly believes foreigners should have a local Chinese partner to realistically do business here, since they automatically understand the cultural nuances that trip up many foreigners.  He also reiterated the importance of attacking a big market, especially if looking for funding or a big exit. Although simple in concept, many fail to take the time to perform due diligence of the market size first.

Next up, Eric Wang, CEO and Co-Founder of Wodache, China’s largest car-sharing application spoke about his journey from banker in New York to a startup in Beijing. He spoke of his passion to make a difference and solve China’s pollution problem by having less cars on the road through car-sharing. He then demoed his application which just got released on the Apple App Store. You can download it here. He told participants to think carefully about product features and keeping it simple, because the more features, the more complex and more technically difficult it is to manage on the back-end.

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Jason Lim

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.