IMBA Students Connecting Israeli Startups to Chinese Investors
3 Recanati IMBA students initiate first virtual pitch event with Zhongguancun (Z-Park) Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (ZVCA), China's biggest technology hub, concentrating 1/3 of venture capital investment in the whole country.
"Most Chinese companies and investors tend not to be 'risk lovers'," said Israeli Ambassador to China Matan Vilnai, "The Israeli and Chinese economies are synergetic, completing, not competing," Matan continued. "We see more and more Chinese brands penetrating the global markets and competing with European and American brands. For this competition, innovation and technology are the main keys. These keys can be found in Israel, and more and more Chinese companies understand it…This is one of the main reasons that I see great importance in such events."
Sponsored by China’s Zhongguancun (Z-Park) Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (ZVCA), Israel's Export & International Cooperation Institute, and Tel Aviv University's Business School, The 2015 ZVCA Virtual Pitch Contest at Google Campus TLV in Tel Aviv was the initiative of 3 Recanati MBA students: Jobs Jun Zhou (Sofaer International MBA, Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leaders Scholar and Israel Asia Leaders Fellow), Edwards You Lyu (Sofaer International MBA, Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leaders Scholar and Israel Asia Leaders Fellow), Lee Greene (Sofaer International MBA).
Screen shot - presenters (below), ZVCA investors in Beijing (above)
86 startups applied to participate in the virtual affair. The student team, with help from various Recanati professors and industry professionals, narrowed the applicant list down to 10 runners-up and 10 finalists, the latter getting to virtually pitch their ventures via live stream to a room full of Chinese investors sitting in Beijing on January 15, 2015.
2015 ZVCA Virtual Pitch Startup Finalists
Out of this initiative, Jobs, Edwards and Lee also founded Qiao Group (website under construction), an organization dedicated to bridging the business community among China, the United States and Israel, focusing on start-up funding, capital management and overseas marketing consulting.
"When we were selecting the startups, a few key parameters guided our process," said Jobs Zhou. "For example, we preferred ventures that already had some connection with China, were financially in rounds A or B, and who offered solutions to Chinese needs specifically. We knew which investors were going to be in that room, and we worked hard to select an array of companies that would match their investment portfolios as we understood them."
n-Join Presenting virtually to a room full of Chinese investors sitting in Beijing
“The event was an outstanding opportunity for us to present the best of Israeli innovation to an impressive audience in Beijing” said Lee Greene. “We were thrilled with the response from our start-ups participating in the event as well as the positive feedback we have received from the investors in China”.
“In the future, we will continue our focus of bridging Israeli startups and their Chinese counterparts. These activities will include joint R&D projects as well as industrialization support in the Chinese market with the backing of intergovernmental cooperation frameworks under the recent agreements signed between Israeli and Chinese local governments,” said Edwards You Lyu, who used to work in the foreign affairs office of Nanjing municipal government in communication and cooperation between Israel and Nanjing .
ZVCA - China’s Zhongguancun (Z-Park) Private Equity & Venture Capital Association - a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting Private Equity and Venture Capital industry in China, is located in Beijing and represents China’s biggest technology hub, concentrating 1/3 of venture capital investment in the whole country. It is commonly referred to as the Silicon Valley of China. Currently, ZVCA has nearly 1000 members from all over China, including Angels, VC Funds, PE Funds, Entrepreneurs, High-Worth-Individuals and finance professionals, with about 100bn RMB ($15bn) assets under management.