Editor’s note: This was contributed by Rachel Daydou. She has lived in China for 7 years and has been evolving in the Shanghai startup scene for 3, as co-founder of Lihaoma, managing member of Startup Grind Shanghai and leader of Shanghai University’s entrepreneurship program. She specializes in training programs for founders to make their startup profitable.

With money getting thrown at innovative initiatives, the government willing to reimburse venture capitalists for their loss and the eco system maturing as a whole, Shanghai is starting to look like the entrepreneur’s heaven.


Wantentrepeneurs, incubators and co-working spaces are growing like mushrooms. Being an entrepreneur is the dopest thing you can wish for in this booming city. But it takes much more than that to develop a mature startup ecosystem and build sustainable companies.

We have compiled a list of resources beyond co-working spaces and venture capitalist funds. But first, ask yourself those four questions in order to find out WHICH support is most suitable for you.

  1. What’s the founding team nationality, core competence, and commitment?
  2. What’s your company stage?
  3. What are your immediate needs?
  4. What do you want to achieve in the next six months?

Now that you have answered these questions, here is a curated list of support for foreign entrepreneurs in Shanghai.

  1. WechatIMG91
    TRAINING – Step up your game in the long term without giving away equity

Training program: Concept Lab, Le Wagon, Startup Leadership Program

University courses: UTSEUS, NYU, EMLyon, HULT

Workshops: NextStep Workshops, MotivateShanghai, CoderBunker

MOOCs: Digital Innovation by Telecom Paris Tech, Digital Marketing in China by Xnode, Koudetat by the Family

  1. COMMUNITIES – Great to share tips, tools and find business opportunities

Nationality based: French Founders, French Tech, National Chambers of Commerce

Interest based: La Ruche, Female Entrepreneur Worldwide, Feiy, Made In Shanghai

Mentoring: Mentors’ Walk, HerCentury, Divii, EO network

Fablabs & Hackerspace: XinCheJian, Fablabo, XinFab

  1. SERVICES – From office to hiring we need services catered to startups

Office: naked Hub, theXnode, WeWork, Sandbox, UrWork, Soho 3Q, Impact Hub Shanghai, People Squared, Spaceyun, Cowork, Sandbox, BaseCo, 创邑SPACE (Creater), Agora Space, Full list

Spaces: Impact Hub Shanghai, PWC experience center

Hiring: QLC, Le Wagon, CoderBunker

  1. INVESTMENT + VISIBILITY – Raise and learn how to sell

Accelerators: EO accelerator, Chinaccelerator, 23SeedInnospace, Shanghai Valley, BitsAndBites, Plug and Play

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Purple Spread, hubbe.rs

  1. EVENTS – Meet your co-founder, first employee or advisor

Networking events: Networking Matters, Startup Grind, Green Initiatives, Meetup, entreprenr

Hackathons: Startup Weekend, TechCrunch Hackathon, Fail Faster, Full list

  1. INSPIRATION – Get going and keep going when it gets tough (i.e. all the time)

Events: Startup Grind, Ladies Who Tech

Videos: Ted Talks

Entrepreneur Blogs & Magazines: Technode

Books: The Lean Startup

  1. INVESTMENT – If you’re building the next unicorn

Private Funds incubators: Caohejing Innoclub, theXnode, QiaoLab, istartvc

Foreign friendly Investment funds: Sequoia Capital, Mailman Group, ShanghaiVest, ZhenFund

Angels: AngelVest

Contributors: Adja Sy, Sylvain Joandel, Debo Omololu, Stephane Monsallier, Ryan J. King, Erik Walenza-Slabe, Stephane Vernede.

NB: this guide is tailored to foreign founders of Chinese and foreign companies alike. We have curated the support most actionable for you, particularly on the investment side because we know it’s tough for foreign founders to raise from purely Chinese funds.

Avatar photo

Guest Editor

TechNode Guest Editors represent the best our community has to offer: insight and perspective on how technology is affecting business and culture in China

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.