China’s Booming Start-up Scene – Trying to Ride the Wave as an International Entrepreneur

  • Date
    09 May 2019 - 09 May 2019
  • Beijing Time
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Venue
    European Union Chamber of Commerce Beijing Offices Beijing Lufthansa Center, Office C405, No. 50 Liangmaqiao Road, Beijing 北京市朝阳区亮马桥路五十号,燕莎中心写字楼C-405室
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In the past few years, the start-up scene in China has been growing at a break-neck speed. While in 2010, venture investments in China only amounted to $5.6 billion, according to British consulting firm Preqin in 2018 it reached $105 billion, second only to the United States. In terms of unicorns, in 2018 China claimed 86 venture-backed private companies valued at more than $1 billion out of 311 globally – again second only to the US. These figures acquire special relevance when one takes into account that, beyond the current trade tensions, the real war between China and the US will most likely be fought on the fields of technology and innovation.

Within the complex and cut-throat world of entrepreneurship and innovation in China, there is a small community of foreign entrepreneurs that have decided to start their own innovative company in China. Which are the reasons the lead them to make this decision? What are the unique roadblocks they find in their journey towards success? Where do they see unique opportunities within China’s start-up environment?

The EU SME Centre and the European Chamber are pleased to invite you to our Working Group meeting, where all these topics and more will be discussed by foreign entrepreneurs and insiders of the start-up world. Senior Manager at Zhongguancun’s Innoway Mr. Jelte Ansgar Wingender will provide an introduction to the start-up scene in Beijing, after which he will lead a discussion with a panel of founders composed by Politech’s Yvonne Yu, Akkadu’s Alvaro Montoya and Popular Robotics’ Sotirios Stasinopoulos.

If you would like to attend, please register with Ms. Ester Cañada Amela at before Wednesday, 8th May COB.


9:30-10:00 Registration and Networking

10:00-10:10 Opening Remarks

10:10-10:40 Presentation

10:40-11:30 Round table with founders

11:30-12:00 Discussion and Q&A


Jelte Ansgar Wingender

Jelte is Senior Manager at Zhongguancun Innoway, a Chinese state-owned company and landmark for entrepreneurship in China, overseeing the corporate innovation segment and is further involved in government-to-government relations and other international projects. Additional to his role at Innoway, Jelte is leading as director the activities of Startup Grind in China & Beijing – the Beijing chapter is currently the most active chapter in the world. Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs and is powered by Google for Startups.

Jelte sits in the innovation council of some Fortune 500 companies and acts as Mentor for Corporate Acceleration programs. He has over 10 years of Asia experience, living and working in China alone for over 6 years. He has a strong background in strategic advisory for Startups, multinational enterprises, as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Alvaro Montoya

Alvaro (梦龙) is a telecom engineer from Barcelona with an MBA from Tsinghua University. Alvaro is the co-founder of Akkadu, a live translation platform for events located in Tsinghua x-lab the accelerator of Tsinghua University.

Akkadu is a remote simultaneous translation solution that aims to make events accessible to anybody, anytime, anywhere by live translating and streaming events audios and presentations so on-site and remote audience can listen, watch, interact and learn in their own languages

Yvonne Yu

Yvonne is keen to use policy knowledge to help people live a better life. Today, this enthusiasm is reflected in Politech, a profitable policy consulting firm that helps foreign SMEs find the right business environment in China, thereby maximizing their chances of success. Politech is a technology-driven strategic consulting company, mainly serving foreign enterprises and local governments. Through its own database, it helps foreign enterprises to land in China and local governments to attract investment, and it provides industry and technical advice for both sides. Unlike traditional consulting enterprises, Politech’s strategy model consists of maximising the synergies between “science and technology + think tank + consulting”. Firstly, science and technology are used to establish a database, and then international analysts use the database to generate in-depth research reports. Finally, professional consultants serve government and enterprise customers.

Yvonne holds a master’s degree in International and Public Affairs from the University of Hong Kong and a bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Melbourne. She is proficient in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She often writes policy analysis articles for magazines and consulting firms. Her article in Oxford Analytica successfully predicted China’s latest financial market opening policy. She has provided policy advisory services to foreign companies in two consulting firms, specialising in financial and technological policies.

Sotirios Stasinopoulos

Sotirios Stasinopoulos received his Diploma in Electrical and Computers Engineering in 2011 from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and in 2017 his Ph.D. in Automation and Robotics by the Department of Automation of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He has worked as a robotics perception engineer and project manager in UBTech Robotics, mainly leading humanoid AI, CV and SLAM projects.

He is the co-founder/CEO of MENATHLON S.A. in Athens, Greece since 2014 and in 2018 he founded Popular Robotics in Beijing, a robotics company aiming to make robotics and AI accessible to everyone through education and social networking.

About the EU SME Centre

The EU SME Centre helps European SMEs to get ready for China. Financed by the European Union, the Centre provides practical information, confidential advice, training and business tools to better equip SMEs to develop their business and tackle challenges faced in the Chinese market. The Centre is implemented by six partners – the China-Britain Business Council, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce, the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce, the French Chamber of Commerce in China, EUROCHAMBRES and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. To learn more about the EU SME Centre, visit

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