A hot­bed for en­trepreneur­ship

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai


Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of cities such as Hangzhou and Bei­jing, Shang­hai has now be­come a vi­brant clus­ter for tal­ents in the in­ter­net in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by busi­ness-ori­ented so­cial net­work­ing site LinkedIn.

The China en­trepreneur­ship map, which is based on data pro­vided by LinkedIn, that was showed at the World INS Con­fer­ence on Sept 10, ranked Shang­hai as the most at­trac­tive city for peo­ple in the in­ter­net sec­tor to start their busi­nesses.

It was re­vealed at the con­fer­ence that among these young in­ter­net en­trepreneurs, 54 per­cent of them in­di­cated that they have big dreams to change the world through their in­no­va­tive thoughts, while 2 per­cent ad­mit that they just en­joy be­ing the boss.

LinkedIn’s find­ings also showed that high tech­nol­ogy is the sec­tor where most en­trepreneurs are will­ing to ven­ture into (28 per­cent), fol­lowed by fi­nance and man­u­fac­tur­ing. In ad­di­tion, young peo­ple who were born af­ter 1990 are more in­clined to run their own com­pa­nies in sec­tors such as in­ter­net, E-com­merce, tech­nol­ogy and O2O.

Al­bert Zhang, 26, is one such per­son. The green­horn in the in­ter­net in­dus­try, who used to be a fash­ion buyer, had lit­tle to no ex­pe­ri­ence or knowl­edge in this highly tech­ni­cal in­dus­try when he de­cided to set up his own tech­nol­ogy com­pany in late 2014 de­vel­op­ing a prod­uct sim­i­lar to Google Glass. His prod­ucts were sold mainly to cor­po­rate clients for as lit­tle as $400.

Zhang said that he is also ex­plor­ing to branch out into the ap­pli­ca­tion or soft­ware mar­ket for aug­mented re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy which is still quite un­der­de­vel­oped in China. He be­lieves that his com­pany, Join Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, can be­come a to­tal so­lu­tions provider of aug­mented re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy when he com­bines these two busi­nesses.

“As I am still quite young, it would be fine if I fail and lose some money. I can pick up again one year later or go back to busi­ness school af­ter that. As long as I am young, I can still pick up the pieces if I fail,” said Zhang.

The in­ter­net in­dus­try aside, the top two cities in China with the most num­ber of peo­ple start­ing their busi­nesses are Bei­jing and Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince. This is fol­lowed by Shang­hai, Hangzhou and Nan­jing. Ac­cord­ing to LinkedIn, three cities from the Yangtze River Delta are listed in the top five, mak­ing the re­gion a hot­bed for en­trepreneur­ship.

“The re­gion con­nect­ing Hangzhou, Shang­hai and Nan­jing is a gath­er­ing place for ad­vanced global re­sources and tal­ents from all over the world, and it en­joys good pol­icy sup­port from the gov­ern­ment, which en­ables us to put our thoughts into prac­tice,” said Chai Jie, who runs Hangzhou Jiepai Cul­tural Cre­ative Co Ltd.

An an­i­mated ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, Chai’s com­pany cur­rently hires about 20 peo­ple and is now aim­ing to cre­ate a re­source plat­form for an­i­mated com­mer­cial ad­ver­tise­ments in the near fu­ture.

De­spite the long­ing for suc­cess, en­trepreneurs will face fail­ure, which can­not be avoided, in­dus­try ex­perts said. Ac­cord­ing to the LinkedIn re­port, the suc­cess rate of star­tups in China is 1 per­cent, with 63 per­cent of as­pir­ing en­trepreneurs even­tu­ally giv­ing up on their start-ups and re­turn­ing to their pre­vi­ous jobs. Only 20 per­cent have made a come­back af­ter fail­ure while 11 per­cent said they would con­sider to do so.

“In this mod­ern era that is full of op­por­tu­ni­ties for star­tups, there is no loser as an en­trepreneur, who is def­i­nitely able to learn from run­ning a busi­ness whether it is suc­cess­ful or not,” said Shen Boyang, vice pres­i­dent of LinkedIn.

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