The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to partner with EcoKMC to launch its first Startup Huddle in China to support entrepreneurs in honing pitch skills and discovering solutions to their business challenges. Local founders, innovators, and business leaders in Suzhou will come together on January 15, 2020 to support two entrepreneurs in working through challenges and crowdsourcing solutions.
An experiential learning opportunity, Startup Huddle offers a unique program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. The Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
Suzhou is a quasi-first-tier city in China where innovation is viewed as a significant tool for promoting economic development and industrial upgrading. EcoKMC, the first international incubator in Suzhou, is excited to leverage Startup Huddle in building and strengthening the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in Suzhou.
For the first huddle, the organizers have selected Zhu Zhu, founder of Suzhou Liuzhe Automotive Technology Co., Ltd., a technology company focused on the research and development of automotive products, specifically low-speed new energy vehicles, and Zheng Zhixiang, founder of Shanghai Doumengmeng Health Technology Co., Ltd., a technology service company focused on early childhood development.
“Startup Huddle is a program designed to help one entrepreneur at a time while strengthening our local ecosystem, and we are so excited to launch in Suzhou. We we will be joining a community of other Huddle organizers around the world in more than 50 cities. Furthermore, we will be the first organizer to launch Startup Huddle in mainland China," said Catherine Zhou, CEO of EcoKMC.
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.