Innovation, or chuang in pinyin, has long been a buzzword in the West and the East. How well equipped are the world"s best and brightest minds with deep knowledge about and business insights into the world"s biggest market and its capital?
You might have gotten a clue to the answer at an event on Friday — the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) Chuang Community Demo Day, where organizers announced the school"s Silicon Valley program with a focus on enrolling local entrepreneur students.
Around 100 attendees, including investors, entrepreneurs and scholars from China and the US, shared industry trends, China-related opportunities and challenges, and startup pitches and products prototypes at the event.
CKGSB representative Jay Liu said the school"s online application in the US has been open since July to those who are eligible — founders or co-founders of US-based, post series-A startups who are either interested in entering the China market, have tech collaborations with China or who are financed by Chinese investments.
Liu said official acceptance and program offers will be confirmed after admission interviews, and the opening ceremony for the Silicon Valley program is scheduled for Oct 19 at headquarters in Beijing, paired with the start of module one courses with a theme of China innovation.
"In total, students need to take four compulsory modules in 10 months," said Liu.
In addition to the Beijing module, there is module two in January 2019 to be held in Shenzhen with a theme of city of smart devices and life sciences; module three in May in the US with a theme of "East and West Unbounded Fusion, cutting-edge technology and academics", and the final module will be held in Shanghai in August 2019 to focus on innovation via China-West integration.
As China becomes increasingly important globally, business executives of multinational companies must understand China"s dynamic background and ever-changing business landscape in order to better position themselves in China and throughout the world, said Mary Wadsworth Darby, chief representative of CKGSB Americas.
Since its inception in 2002 through financial support of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, private, non-profit CKGSB has transcended into a leading independent educational institution that has trained over 3,000 CEOs from various industries and cultivated its alumni network ranging from traditional industry to disruptive technologies.
Three years ago, alumni of the school initiated the CKGSB Chuang Community to facilitate the cultivation of global vision and innovative mindset for emerging business leaders.
By partnering for joint programs with Tencent, Baidu, JD, IBM and other internet and tech gurus, the Chuang Community has nurtured and incubated over 400 startups with eight being listed in 2017 by the Ministry of Commerce as China"s unicorns.
Helen Liang, founding and managing partner of FoundersX Ventures who is on the US advisory board for the Chuang Silicon Valley Program, said China offers abundant opportunity in AI research and application for American startups.
China"s government has declared AI research to be the national strategy, which will reshape its economy in healthcare, manufacturing, finance, education and service industry, Liang said, adding China"s solid manufacturing base and logistics system whet its competence as America"s competitor.
China boasts the fastest-growing AI market with a projected annual growth rate of 50 percent as compared to the global average of 20 percent.
"By 2030, the AI market value in China will reach $1 trillion with tech giants Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and JD leading the race," she said.
However, China lags the US in three fronts in the AI field — talent, capital and automation utilization. Roughly 50 percent of machine-learning experts in the US have 10 years" experience, while in China the number is 20 percent.
Over $30 billion has been injected into AI research in the US, while China invested only $5 billion. The US has applied 176 robots for every 10,000 workers, while in China the number is 49.
"Challenges can also be translated into opportunities," said Liang, adding that US startups should explore sectors including education, finance, healthcare, new e-commerce and new factory in China to expand their business and win big.
Liang encouraged US entrepreneurs to gain a deeper and better understanding of the innovative frontiers of Greater China through CKGSB and its Silicon Valley program.
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