Local startup competition OTEC APAC, a branch of the Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) held in Beijing, has partnered with Chinese accelerator program Chinaccelerator in a bid to further help startups in the Asia Pacific region enter China.
Founded in 2010, Chinaccelerator is focused on helping startups grow internationally, whether this be from China or into China. The accelerator is operated by venture fund SOSV, which runs eight programs globally and invests in over 150 companies per year.
Oscar Ramos, partner and program director of Chinaccelerator, said the program is excited to have direct links into the Australian and Southeast Asian tech markets.
“We expect the next wave of growth to come from this region. This partnership supports our ambition to support the most promising companies in the region to expand into the world’s largest economy, China,” he said.
Sebastian Quinn-Watson, cofounder of OTEC APAC, added that the partnership will be a boost for Australian and Southeast Asian startups, and the domestic economy of each respective country.
“We see these channels as a way to directly increase trade, grow productivity, create new industries, and ultimately create a more stable cohesive region,” he said.
An initiative of the Beijing Government launched with support from local partners Infin8 Ventures and Investible, OTEC APAC is a series of pitching events held across the region, including in Sydney, Malaysia, and Singapore, with the top startups at each awarded a place to pitch in the OTEC Finals in Beijing.
Australian startups were invited to participate in OTEC for the first time last year.
The conference is one of the world’s largest for VCs, with while startups pitching go into the running to win set-up grants of US$16,000 as part of the governmental financing policy, the Phoenix Plan; around US$166,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, and the chance to access up to US$850,000 in the form of an Entrepreneurship Loan.
The partnership is not the first for Chinaccelerator with an Australian organisation, with the accelerator having partnered with the Telstra-backed muru-D program in 2015.
The partnership sees muru-D startups and alumni given access to Chinaccelerator’s resources and facilities, including its mentors and investor networks, with this reciprocated by muru-D. Startups interested in applying to Chinaccelerator will also see their applications fast tracked.
The collaboration reflects the growing focus on China for Australian businesses.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Austrade, last year signed a deal with ecommerce giant Alibaba in a bid to strengthen trade opportunities across Australia and China.
The strategic collaboration agreement will see dedicated services provided for Australian companies looking to sell in China, with Austrade and Alibaba in particular looking to encourage SMEs to become first-time exporters. The agreement will also see the creation of a dedicated promotional channel for Australian companies on video platform youku.com.
Image source: OTEC APAC.