Chinese Female Founder Strikes Gold At Necker Island
A rising star recognized early on by Silicon Dragon scored as one of five finalists in an Extreme Tech Challenge specifically designed for female tech entrepreneurs from China. Dian Guan, a co-founder of patent search startup Patsnap in Shanghai, won a chance to compete in an inaugural China XTC at Branson’s Necker Island in early February. There, she mingled with VC hotshots Jim Breyer and Bill Tai, received feedback on her pitch, and even sailed on Branson’s yacht with other contestants.
Dian was shortlisted for the adventure in an early round of the completion in Beijing last November. In Beijing, her 10-minute pitch impressed a group of top Chinese VC judges including Ruby Lu, JP Gan, Anna Fang and Harry Man. She got the opportunity to go to the finals in the British Virgin Islands.
The initiative for Chinese female tech entrepreneurs sprang from XTC, a large startup competition with Branson as its anchor judge now in its third year. XTC was originated by Tai and his MaiTai Global, a series that revolves around mentoring and resources for entrepreneurs as well as Tai’s beloved kiteboarding sport.
The grand prize winner for the China XTC was Joy Won, CEO of BestSign Technology, a brand marketing specialist from Hangzhou.
See video interview with Patsnap co-founder Dian Guan at Silicon Dragon Hong Kong 2016.
A new co-working office model in this increasingly crowded sector is being launched by New York-based Spark Labs to offer members a desk at its recently opened space near Bryant Park and some 60 other locations internationally. Memberships start at $350 a month for a desk to $20,000 for large private offices, and one of the key benefits is being able to get space for three days monthly at other locations with its network. This could come in handy for globe-trotting entrepreneurs. Spark Labs, the brainchild of European serial entrepreneur Christophe Garnier, has smartly looped in several service providers – WSGR, Silicon Valley Bank and IBM – to offer office hours and legal, financial and software support within its location.
Spark Labs has been funded by Garnier who recently brought in UMW Holdings, a large Malaysian conglomerate, to fund the debut of its flagship headquarters in New York City. Garnier intends to selectively open other locations, leveraging a licensing model with large companies and real estate owners.
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China’s craze for live streaming is a new way to bring color to a dreary lifestyle. Live-streaming his life earns one Chinese taxi driver twice as much as his day job. The Economist.
A social networking video app is prompting reflection about China’s widening socio-economic divide. The Kwai platform shows live in less developed areas, capturing a gap. WSJ
Tink Labs, basking in a $125 million round of finance, brings its Handy mobile device to more hotel customers. Tink Labs’ journey was highlighted at Silicon Dragon in Hong Kong. See video interview with Tink Labs founder Terence Kwok.