2018 FCIC China Venture Workshop Review

By Jingjing Yao, Yue Wu, Andrew Ortendahl · 04 Sep, 2018


2018 FCIC China Venture Workshop Beijing Mini Expo

After several months of extensive training and preparation, 16 entrepreneurial teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tsinghua University participated in the two-week FCIC China Venture Workshop 2018 event. The event was jointly established by MIT and Tsinghua University. With substantial support from MIT CFC Lab’s consortium member companies, including Hongkong Land, CR Land, Nan Fung Group, Nashwork, Chengyu, Fosun International Limited, Tusincere, Zall, Topchain and the Leping Foundation, the event successfully drew great attention and emphasis from the academic, governmental, industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Let us review the highlights of the FCIC China Venture Workshop 2018 event.


The FCIC 2018 China venture workshop was officially launched on July 2nd. The 16 outstanding teams first gathered at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Haojun Zheng, the director of the China Association for Science, and Qinxian Jin, the head of the Office of Technology Transfer shared their unique insights on entrepreneurship in China, and pointed out that entrepreneurial activities can create social wealth and value, as well as promote the sustainable and vigorous development of the social economy.


Haojun Zheng sharing his insights on entrepreneurship in China with teams

In order to further understand the status of Chinese cities’ development, the teams learned about diverse, bottom-up urban regeneration and innovation cases at the innovation headquarters of the Leping Foundation, and discussed the concept of Social Enterprise in depth.


Participating workshop in Leping Foundation Innovation Headquater

The teams also visited several urban innovation sites. These included the Micro Yuan’er project, in the old city of Beijing, as well as the Xiong’an New Area in Hebei Province, which represents the latest in Chinese high-tech urban construction and development. The teams developed a multi-dimensional understanding of Chinese cities and explored opportunities for launching their entrepreneurship.


Exploring Hutongs – Chinese traditional space in Beijing


Visiting High-tech construction projects in Xiong’an

The teams not only visited the Xiaomi headquarters, where they learned the successful trajectory of leading technology companies in China, but also had the opportunity of experiencing Zspace near Dongsi, which epitomizes the urban innovation space in Chinese cities.


Visiting Xiaomi HQ

Han-yi Shaw, the Executive Creative Director of Frog Design, shared a practical and workable framework for product and service design in order to optimize the team’s business plans.


Experiencing Zspace – the urban innovation space in China

The introduction of innovative teams and outstanding entrepreneurial talent programs in various regions across China is also of great interest to the FCIC teams. Wei Wang, from the Haidian District government in Beijing, Hongmin Zhang from Tusholdings, Peng Wu from IPSR, and Qingyuan Zhao from Tsinghua Tongfang Holdings shared information about existing preferential policies and available resources with the teams.


Han-yi Shaw provides design tool for the teams

The 16 teams explored how the concept of co-working space is applied and realized in Chinese cities by visiting Nashwork’s headquarters. Meanwhile, alumni from MIT and Tsinghua University also come to support the event and enthusiastically shared their business stories and experience with the teams.


Sharing experience in Nashwork

Bin Yang, the Vice President and Dean of Tsinghua University, affirmed the FCIC’s past year of work, and expressed his high expectations for its future. The Beijing Demo Day and Mini Expo were also a fantastic success, where all the FCIC teams and their innovative products received wide attention. Many government and business partners expressed their eagerness to further cooperate with the teams.


Bin Yang affirming the FCIC’s recent work


Beijing Demo Day Presentation by Biobot


Beijing Demo Day Presentation by Galloon


Comments by experts


Mini Expo by VThree.AI


Mini Expo by Zhongyan Parking


The FCIC Hangzhou Demo Day was held at the G20 Summit venue in Qianjiang New City. Many leaders attended the event, including Zhen Wang, the Deputy General Secretary of Hangzhou Municipal Government, Wei'an Wang, the Deputy Head of Hangzhou Jianggan District, Zhenyi Wu, the Senior Vice President of Tusholdings, Zhonghua Li, Deputy General Manager of Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. In Hangzhou, Fuhua Guo, the former Director of the Policy and Regulation Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Fuyu Yu, the General Secretary of Zhejiang Alumni Association of Tsinghua University, Jiang Zhu, the Assistant President of Tusincere and Bo Lin, the general manager of Tusincere Hangzhou Branch.


The G20 Summit venue in Qianjiang New City


FCIC team Air Faucet System presenting on Hangzhou Demo Day

Experts from the International Design Center of MIT, the China Smart Cities Forum, and Alibaba City Brain share illuminating ideas from the perspectives of planning, strategy, and technology application, as well as propose new ideas for the future development of innovative cities.


Experts from Alibaba City Brain sharing ideas with the audience

TusCity has become the Hangzhou-based partner of the 2018 Future City Innovation Connector, and has signed a cooperation agreement with four FCIC innovative technology projects: Zhongyan Parking, Air Faucet System, Multimer and Gaia-E.


Unveiling ceremony


Signing ceremony

FCIC teams spent a wonderful evening at the West Lake, and experienced the beautiful and unique eastern scenery of Hangzhou.


FCIC at the West Lake

FCIC teams visited the Alibaba Group Headquarters, as well as the More Mall — Alibaba’s first community-scale, offline commercial project. The FCIC teams toured these sites and gained new perspectives on solving urban problems using community business models. The teams also learned about innovative programs such as the Freshhema, and TmallGenie, which left a lasting impression on the team members.


FCIC teams visiting Alibaba Headquarters


FCIC teams visiting Alibaba Headquarters

FCIC team visiting the More Mall


As a city in the heartland of China, Wuhan's thriving inland port along the Yangtze River has made it one of the most important foreign trade ports in modern China. Understanding the culture of the port and its unique history is important for understanding urban development in this region.


FCIC’s teams visiting the museum, guided by a local partner


The FCIC teams visited the Zall Youth Community, a pioneering innovation hub created by the Zall Group, designed for young urban creators. Here, the teams developed a better understanding of the entrepreneurial environment and regional resources, and explored the specific details of implementing their projects in Wuhan. The teams also visited the Wuhan Living Room, a city culture hub, and the Zall Bookstore, a unique, humanistic art space.


Zall Youth Community


FCIC teams visited Zall Bookstore


FCIC teams visited Wuhan Living Room

The Wuhan Demo Day event launched in the Wuhan Living Room. Qilin Huang, the General Secretary of the Federation of Industry and Commerce of Hubei Province, Jun Zhang, the Deputy General Secretary of the Wuhan Municipal People's Government, and Linping Li, the Deputy Director of the United Front Work Department of the Wuhan Municipal Committee all attended the event. During the Demo Day and Mini Expo, FCIC teams presented their urban innovation projects, which focused on concepts ranging from artificial intelligence, to wind power generation, to sewage analysis for urban public health, and more. Several government and industry leaders participated the event and provided insightful perspectives for teams’ projects and products. The Zall Group officially established a plan for cooperation with FCIC in Wuhan, providing work space and intellectual support to all the FCIC cohorts. The Zall Group also signed agreements with FCIC teams, including Roots Studio, which focuses on artistic and cultural entrepreneurship, and VThree, which addresses on the urban building energy intellectual management. Overall, event was a great success.


FCIC team Gaia-E presenting during Wuhan Demo Day


FCIC team Constructure presenting during Wuhan Demo Day


FCIC team Multimer presenting during Wuhan Demo Day


Unveiling ceremony

FCIC team Constructure presenting during Wuhan Demo Day


Unveiling ceremony


Team VThree signing letters of intent for cooperation with the Zall Group


Team Roots Studio signing letters of intent for cooperation with the Zall Group

Zhi Yan, the head of the Zall Group, held further conversations with the FCIC teams, offering advice on  refining their urban innovation projects and how the projects can be implemented in Wuhan. He was very confident and optimistic about Wuhan and other cities’ future urban development and innovation.


Zhi Yan provides personal insights into FCIC projects

After a hard day’s work, the team members visited the well-known market street in Wuhan, enjoyed the local foods, and shared a happy evening with each other.


Dinner time of FCIC in Wuhan


The FCIC teams finally have arrived in Shenzhen, the Chinese city with the most advanced and developed technology industries and strong high-tech atmosphere. During their stay in Shenzhen, they visited the new headquarters of Tencent in Shenzhen Nanshan Science and Technology Park. They also learned about the Internet of Things program and the Welink system launched by Tencent, and further strengthened their understanding of smart buildings and urban management during the trip.


Teams visiting Tecent Headquarters

The FCIC Shenzhen Demo Day was hosted by the Run Accelerator. In attendance at the event were Professor Siqi Zheng, the Faculty Director of the China Future City Lab in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning , Professor Eric Alm, from MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering, Wenyuan Ma, the Executive Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship Education Center of Tsinghua University’s Graduate School at Shenzhen, Zengyu Huang, General Manager of the Department of Industrial Relations Development of the Israel Institute of Technology, and Professor Janelle Thompso,n from MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


The FCIC team AdaViv in Shenzhen

The event also invited Xiaoman, the General Manager of the Department of Industrial Innovation of South China of CR, Liwei Hu, the Vice President of the Power Technology Research Institute of CR Land, Jianguo Ren, the Deputy General Manager of the Power Research Institute of CR Land. FCIC’s consortium members and famous industries were represented at the event as well, including Hongkong Land, Nan Fun Group, Topchain, KWG, Hong Kong Foundation and others. The guests discussed the opportunities and challenges in the new era of industrial innovation and co-creation, along with many industry celebrities and media representatives.


Unveiling ceremony


VThree signing the letter of intent with consortium members

Run Accelerator officially became the 2018 FCIC local cooperator in Shenzhen. One of FCIC’s star teams, VThree, successfully signed a letter of intent for cooperation with Hong Kong Nan Fun Group.


Teams reviewing in Topchain

At the end of the workshop, FCIC held a graduation ceremony at Topchain’s Shenzhen headquarters for all the workshop participants. All the teams reviewed and summarized their work and achievements, and shared their experiences and feelings during the workshop. FCIC also issued certificates of completion for all team members.


FCIC holding a graduation ceremony for all the participants

For FCIC and all its innovation teams, this is not the end of the journey, but rather a start.
Let us look forward to witnessing more ideas created by these FCICers - our pioneering and energetic urban innovators.