It was a terrific evening in Beijing, thanks to hosts Eric and Olivia of China Entrepreneurs, and an enthusiastic and passionate team lead by Tony An. Wayne Shaiyong of Bertelesmann Investments Asia, and a Core Advisor to SLP also attended, as did interestingly, several women investment bankers with technical degrees. There were entrepreneurs and hackers from leading multinationals. Didn't see anyone in lifesciences or cleantech, but I know they're out there.
This is an interesting time to bring SLP to China since nothing like this exists, and the program will connect Chinese entrepreneurs to the rest of the world. I am keen to see what sort of collaborations and new startups these relationships create, especially along the Bangalore-Beijing and Silicon Valley-Beijing corridors. The Beijing consumer internet scene is very vibrant, but from my conversations, they seem to be following US innovation, rather than the other way around.
The Beijing program will run in Chinese, though there is a requirement that everyone in the program understand English. Its the only way to keep the network global and vibrant. Since SLP runs on google assets, and most of these assets are blocked in China (though there is a way some of them can get around it), the program is impacted by Google leaving China. We're having to recreate everything in a parallel universe that is acceptable to China. That's twice the work and half the fun, but its worth the trouble.
Its going to be a lot of fun seeing the Program develop in Beijing.