In­noS­pace plans new lab to in­cu­bate star­tups

China Daily - - BUSINESS - By JING SHUIYU jing­shuiyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In­noS­pace, a Shang­hai­head­quar­tered in­cu­ba­tor, is gear­ing up to build a new lab­o­ra­tory for star­tups in the New Re­tail sec­tor. It is rais­ing an in­vest­ment fund in a bid to bet­ter serve en­trepreneurs.

Founded in 2011, In­noS­pace is a one-stop so­lu­tion plat­form for star­tups, con­sist­ing of phys­i­cal spa­ces and dig­i­tal net­work of ser­vices.

En­trepreneurs can have their in­no­va­tive ideas in­cu­bated there, se­cure a work­place at a re­duced price and have ac­cess to lab­o­ra­to­ries for in­no­va­tion. High-qual­ity projects also have the chance to get funded by In­noS­pace.

“The com­bi­na­tion of all these key el­e­ments aims to sat­isfy the de­mands of the en­trepreneurs in all ar­eas rang­ing from their work, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and life,” said Richard Tan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of In­noS­pace. “En­trepreneurs can get al­most what­ever they need in this com­mu­nity.”

Ac­cord­ing to Tan, In­noS­pace has served more than 400 com­pa­nies since its es­tab­lish­ment. It is now a mem­ber of the “Na­tional In­no­va­tion Al­liance” rec­og­nized by the Min­istry of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy.

Late July, In­noS­pace launched a New Re­tail lab­o­ra­tory called Re­tailTech Lab in Shang­hai. It en­joys rich re­sources both from its par­ent Shui On Group, a real es­tate com­pany, and Li & Fung Ltd, a lead­ing global supply chain so­lu­tions part­ner for con­sumer brands and re­tail­ers.

New Re­tail merges on­line and off­line chan­nels by lever­ag­ing in­ter­net tech­nolo­gies in or­der to boost sales.

Al­lan Zhang, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Shui On Land, said: “Mak­ing full use of our re­spec­tive ad­van­tages, the lab will cre­ate fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies in New Re­tail and new lo­gis­tics in­dus­try.

“What the en­trepreneurs need nowa­days are not just space and cap­i­tal but also ver­ti­cal mar­ket ex­per­tise. They want to have a chance to ver­ify whether their busi­ness models hold wa­ter or not. This is our un­der­stand­ing of star­tups’ sec­ond-tier de­mand.”

Chang Ka Mun, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Li & Fung De­vel­op­ment (China) Ltd and Fung Busi­ness In­tel­li­gence, said its par­ent com­pany Fung Group has gained rich ca­pa­bil­i­ties over the course of its cen­tu­ry­long his­tory in trad­ing, lo­gis­tics, dis­tri­bu­tion and re­tail, which can give solid sup­port to star­tups that are ex­plor­ing re­lated fields.

“Ex­plo­rium, the group’s value-gen­er­at­ing ecosys­tem for com­mer­cial en­ter­prises, for ex­am­ple, can of­fer ap­pli­ca­tion sce­nar­ios for star­tups in the New Re­tail lab and help them test and val­i­date new ideas,” Chang said.

An­other strate­gic pri­or­ity of In­noS­pace is to raise 150 mil­lion yuan ($22 mil­lion) to 200 mil­lion yuan for its new in­vest­ment fund by the end of the year. It will be used to sup­port star­tups with high po­ten­tial mainly in three tar­geted sec­tors: in­tel­li­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing, au­to­mo­bile, New Re­tail and supply chain.

What is fu­el­ing the ex­pan­sion of In­noS­pace is China’s stead­fast com­mit­ment to fos­ter­ing in­no­va­tive ideas and en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit.

In 2014, the gov­ern­ment pro­posed mass en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion, which has been viewed as a new en­gine for China’s eco­nomic growth.

As star­tups mush­roomed over the past years, the num­ber of in­cu­ba­tors and ac­cel­er­a­tors grew rapidly in China.

By the end of 2015, China had 2,530 in­cu­ba­tors tar­get­ing tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, one of the largest among all coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Zero2IPO Group, a fi­nan­cial ser­vice provider.

Guo Fang, a re­searcher at Hi-Tech Startup Ser­vice Cen­ter in Gansu prov­ince, said the op­er­at­ing model of in­cu­ba­tors is grad­u­ally evolv­ing to meet the evolv­ing de­mand of star­tups.

“Tra­di­tional in­cu­ba­tors of­fer of­fice space, gen­eral busi­ness as­sis­tance and man­age­ment train­ing cour­ses. While nowa­days they have more and more func­tions in­clud­ing ven­ture cap­i­tal, strate­gic guid­ance and net­work re­sources,” Guo wrote in a re­search note.

“As the mar­ket has a glut of in­cu­ba­tors, some small-scale ones are ex­pected to get phased out in the fu­ture. Those who have in­dus­try ex­per­tise and the abil­i­ties to foster star­tups gain­ing mar­ket val­i­da­tion will spring up,” Guo wrote.

in­vestor in July.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Founders of star­tups in­cu­bated by the Shang­hai-based In­noS­pace make a pitch for fund­ing to a po­ten­tial

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