News & Analysis

Win-in-Suzhou competition gives Australian and New Zealand startups a foot into the Chinese market

- April 4, 2016 2 MIN READ

Startups across Australia and New Zealand are being invited to take part in the Win-in-Suzhou Startup Oceania competition, with cash prizes and the chance to meet Chinese investors in Suzhou’s annual Venture Week for International Elites up for grabs.

Hosted by the Suzhou Municiapl Government and organised by Winglong Australia, the Suzhou Leading Group for Talents, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of Suzhou, the competition is particularly interested in applications focused on industries including new energy, advanced materials, nanotechnology, medical and bio technology, modern manufacturing and mechatronics, and financial services and technology.

This year’s competition will be the eighth to be held around the world and the fourth in Oceania since 2011, looking to help foreign startups get a foot in the Chinese market. Suzhou is a particularly interesting city for foreign companies; while Shenzhen might be known as ‘China’s Silicon Valley’, Suzhou too is increasingly making a name for itself in the tech space thanks to dedicated policies and initiatives aimed at attracting global talent.

Located a 25 minute bullet train ride from Shanghai, the region is home to an industrial park, an officially designated Economic and Technological Development Zone created through a collaboration between the Singapore and Chinese governments.

Economic zones are selected Chinese cities that have been allowed to implement more flexibility and more free market-oriented economic policies than the rest of mainland China.

These zones are established to spur on economic growth, making specific regions more conducive for international business, and also serve as areas of experimentation, adopting more open and innovative economic management systems and technologies.

Over the last 30 years, Suzhou has developed a focus on electronics, telecommunications, precision and mechanical engineering, and biological and pharmaceuticals companies.

Investment in the region is also significant: there are more than 200 venture capital firms working in the area, with an estimated $5.5 billion to invest; this figure is expected to multiply by five over the next decade.

Selected projects in the Win-in-Suzhou competition will be invited to visit the industrial park, with the opportunity to settle and develop in the park also open. Those settling in the park are entitled to government support including working space, seed funding, and settlement allowances.

First prize in last year’s competition went to a project that developed robots activated by pneumatic muscle actuators, for the rehabilitation of joints, while second place went to a biological nano-membrane that can degrade antibiotics.

You can learn more about the competition here.

Image source: llworldtour.