Based in Shanghai, iStart Ventures is a technology incubator and angel fund co-founded by the local government, SB China Venture Capital (SBCVC) and angel investor Cha Li. Managing an area of about 10,000 square meters, it offers office rental, training programs and other services for young entrepreneurs. It mostly invests in seed stage and series A round with a fund size of RMB200 million and a focus on wireless internet, new media, health service and environmental technology. TechNode interviewed iStart founder Cha Li, about how iStart attracts young entrepreneurs and invests in them.

Where do iStart Ventures’ funds come from?

Until 2010, our funds mainly came from U.S. and Europe. In 2010, the government’s foreign currency policy changed, and it took about a year for foreign capital to invest in startups here. Startups need money instantly, so it became hard for foreign investors to invest in early stage Chinese companies. For that reason, iStart Ventures’ current fund is mostly from the government fund of funds and domestic investment. The typical government fund is total RMB 1 billion or more, with 30% invested in early startups, 30% invested in grown companies and 30% for IPO or private equity. Domestic funds are from large corporations and high net worth families, I should say. Minhang government is one of the LPs.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com