Matchmaking and networking
Another important get-together was held with the representatives of AiHeHuo, an organization comprising some 25,000 Chinese technology professionals who are planning to start their own companies and are looking for co-founders. Yuchen Zhang, former senior developer at Philips and currently the managing director of AiHeHuo, listed the benefits of the Chinese market for startup companies and described the matchmaking platform of his organization – probably the largest in China – which is meant to bring together local and foreign entrepreneurs.
Zhang was followed by a mentor who consults to startup companies and by several graduates of the platform, who already established their startup company in China or are in the process of doing so. This meeting resulted with an intuitive insight among the boot camp participants: the Chinese young entrepreneurs form an attractive talent pool. Since some of them are "between jobs", they could fill the need for high-caliber local managers that foreign tech companies are looking for.
The managerial and operational aspects: challenges and solutions
On top of the meetings and the tours, the curriculum of the boot camp focused on management with lectures and workshops on how to design a business plan for China, managing Chinese salespersons and other professionals, legal aspects of setting-up a company in China, financial management, marketing and distribution practices, e-commerce and more.
Starting business and sales operations in the Chinese market involves dealing with local partners, Knowledge transfer, work methods, controlling the business from afar and recruiting a local team. These are intricate challenges, to use an understatement. The workshops are meant to draw attention to the range of considerations that need to be taken into account when planning the entry to the Chinese market, so that on top of their technological and commercial challenges, the companies' managers will be able to prepare for the managerial and operational challenges in China out of awareness to the implications these aspects may have on their future ability to run a company in the Chinese market.