News & Analysis

Australian startups take part in Chengdu Innovate trip to foster exchange between Australia and China

- August 17, 2016 3 MIN READ
Chengdu Innovate

A number of Australian startups are this week taking part in Chengdu Innovate, a trip to the Chinese city looking to help foster bilateral trade and innovative exchanges between Australia and China.

As the economic centre of western China, Chengdu is fast being recognised as a hotspot for global innovation and an ideal destination for startups and other businesses looking for a landing pad into Asia.

Looking to take advantage of the potential of doing business in Chengdu, the participating companies will be provided access to local innovation networks and will also participate in the 14th China International Software Cooperation Conference.

Chengdu Innovate is jointly managed by UNSW Innovations and China Ambition, a consultancy business which helps Australian firms engage with the Chinese market.

CEO of China Ambition, Melissa Ran, was born in Chengdu and believes the increasing amount of disposable income, desire for high-quality products, and numerous multinational companies establishing themselves within Chengdu will have a profound impact on opportunities for Asian-Pacific businesses.

“Chengdu Innovate is just the first step in introducing Australian entrepreneurs to the Chengdu market. I look forward to much more collaboration to come in the future,” Ran said.

The Chengdu Innovate initiative was organised with the support of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Austrade, and the Australian Consulate in Chengdu.

A recipient of an Australia-China Council grant, the Chengdu Innovate initiative is just one of the latest  event organised by both Australian and Chinese organisations to work towards these mutual goals of collaboration and innovation.

The focus is on bringing Australian startups into the economic heart of China to foster innovation and bilateral cooperation, build global innovation networks as well as give them to access to the existing structures in place to help their businesses break through into markets in Asia.

The companies were chosen at UNSW’s recent Startup China event was held in Australia, specifically to highlight the benefits of doing business in Chengdu. It was hosted by UNSW as part of their ongoing Startup China series, through which they are aiming to introduce the leading Chinese city to the Australian innovation and startup community.

This also comes after a new $100 million innovation precinct for UNSW was announced, an effort of the university and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology to facilitate bilateral innovation and trade between the two countries.

The Australian startup companies attending the event in Chengdu this week include:

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CancerAid a company responsible for the creation of a smartphone app that aims to empower cancer patients and caregivers. This is achieved through giving them access to all the information and data related to their specific cancer, treatment and medical professionals.

Using the app a cancer patient can assign themselves a personal champion who can view certain aspects of your journey, connect with other members of the CancerAid community, communicate with your doctor without being in the same room as well as learn more about your condition.

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Elanation a lifestyle technology company aimed at 8-12 year old children to help tackle the issues like digital addiction and obesity through merging outdoor and online play.

The company aims to address the largely neglected demographic of technological solutions for children aged 8-12. Specifically the relationship between the extent children around the world are replacing outside play with technology and the increasing amounts of childhood mental and health problems like obesity, loneliness, depression and digital addiction. Instead incorporating the outside and digital to create a new way for children to play in the 21st century.

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SonderDesign– the creators of the world’s first dynamic E-ink keyboard that adapts to the user based on the application being used.

The Sonder Keyboard is looking to change the way people type, and has numerous applications across all industries. The benefits of this new technology include increasing productivity, making typing easier  and allowing users to customise their keyboard to better suit their own personal habits and needs. The company has streamlined the way people can work at a computer and has become an example of innovative technological advancements.

Image: Chengdu. Source: South China Morning Post.