Frenetic entrepreneurship sweeps China's Silicon Valley

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 18, 2017
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Dyed red by the sunrise of an early autumn day, Beijing is wide awake as tides of commuters head for their workplaces.

Amid the countless blare of automobile horns and scurrying pedestrian silhouettes, a bookstore-themed cafe, several meters away from a boulevard running through Zhongguancun, known as Beijing's Silicon Valley, opens at 9:00 am as usual.

Yao Hongbo, President of Beijing Haizhikechuang Technology Services Co Ltd, the company in charge of Inno Way [Photo courtesy of Inno Way]

The cafe, with chic, simple and cozy decor, lies at the western end of the 200 meter-long Zhongguancun Inno Way (Innovation Avenue) established three years ago as part of China's latest innovation-centered restructuring strategy.

Owned by the Intellectual Property Publishing House, it generally serves as a club for brainstorming sessions on intellectual property affairs that are essential for start-ups to protect their nascent ideas and inventions.

According to Guo Jingyi, a cafe assistant, the club has housed many public events, including, philanthropic symposiums, book launches and press conferences held by social elites. Besides, it periodically webcasts live-streaming seminars held by the State Intellectual Property Office.

"People of far-reaching influence exchange visits to each other's salons. On such occasions, you have opportunities to meet many entrepreneurs," Guo said.

Starting from 2014, Inno Way was revamped from a decades-old plaza that used to accommodate numerous bookstores which closed amid the growing impact of paperless reading and online shopping.

However, with Zhongguancun's unique status as a grand hub for cultural and technological explorations, Inno Way soon attracted numerous incubators, such as, Dark Horse Club, Legend Star, Intel, Software and Orange, in addition to its galvanizing multifunctional coffee shops, such as, 3W, Garage Coffee and Sculpting In Time Coffee College.

In 2015, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited the street. While inspecting the development of the innovative zone, he ordered a coffee brewed by 3W, an incubator providing office space, training and job hunting services for start-ups. The type of coffee Li ordered was soon sold out the day after he left.

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