China / Across America

Chinese-inspired incubator opens in Silicon Valley

By Paul Welitzkin in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2016-07-05 11:02

 Chinese-inspired incubator opens in Silicon Valley

A unit of the Zhongguancun Development Group is operating a business incubator center in Santa Clara, California. Provided to China Daily

A unit of the Zhongguancun Development Group is operating a business incubator center in Silicon Valley to unlock the US and Chinese markets for startups in both countries.

"We don't care who owns the startup; we only care about the product or service that they are developing," said Luo Wei, the COO of the overseas subsidiary of the Zhongguancun Development Group (ZDG), which opened the center in Santa Clara, California. "Our goal is to help US companies get into the Chinese market and for Chinese companies to get into the US market."

ZDG, which also established a similar center in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada in 2012, is collaborating with US-based CM Capital on the California center.

The center opened in May and includes office space, an exhibition center, a cafeteria and conference rooms. Luo said the idea is to provide startup companies with fewer than 10 employees the space and services they need to get their operation up and running.

"We give the startups reduced rent and convert the rent into equity in the startup," Luo explained. "We recognize that funding can be hard to find for many of these firms."

Businesses in the center will have access to software and property management and hardware development advice.

Luo said more than 90 percent of the center's space has been leased to a number of young companies, including a law firm, consulting company and a venture capital firm.

A company called Grush - The Gaming Toothbrush is in the center. It employs five people who are developing an interactive game that encourages children to brush their teeth regularly.

"They are developing software, a phone app and hardware that teach children how to properly brush and care for their teeth," said Luo.

Luo said Grush has won a $1 million award from Intel Corp, the semiconductor chip pioneer that is also located in Santa Clara.

Santa Clara is close to several well-known colleges in northern California including Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley campus.

"We would like to partner with the colleges to provide an outlet for their graduates," said Luo.


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