The mass entrepreneurship and innovation initiative, proposed by Premier Li Keqiang, has inspired China’s tide of startups, and depicted a broader prospect for the real economy, especially the manufacturing sector.
During a visit to Zhongguancun Inno Way, or Innovation Street, in Beijing on May 7, 2015, Premier Li had coffee with people involved in startup businesses and encouraged entrepreneurship at 3W Cafe, which since then has set up branches in 10 cities, including Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
“The power of a cup of coffee” - media outlets hailed the inspiration brought by the Premier’s visit.
His visit to Inno Way, seen as a gesture to reaffirm the government’s support to entrepreneurship and innovation, not only stimulated expansion of the coffee business, but also stoked the innovation and startup campaign in the real economy, especially the manufacturing sector.
A research center under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology studied startups on Zhongguancun Inno Way, indicating that their incubation models of “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” are driving upgrades in the manufacturing sector.
Data shows that among 1.7 startup programs that are incubated at Zhongguancun Inno Way per day, 1.3 are related to manufacturing. In 2016, 53.96 billion yuan ($7.83 billion) was raised for mass entrepreneurship and innovation projects across the nation, of which 72.5 percent were channeled into manufacturing projects.
In 2016, 79,000 valid intellectual properties were obtained by 49,000 startups and maker teams across China, with 66,000 properties relating to the manufacturing industry. 92.3 percent of ideas or innovative products developed by these startups were adopted by manufacturing companies.
As Premier Li said, “The combination of Internet Plus strategy, the mass entrepreneurship and innovation movement, and Made in China 2025 will trigger a ‘new industrial revolution’.”
During his inspection to Zhongguancun Inno Way, Premier Li also visited Legend Star, a key services provider of angel investment and in-depth incubation services to the entrepreneurs.
The organization was founded in 2008 and currently manages two angel investment funds, mainly in response to the trend of innovation and entrepreneurship.
During his visit, the Premier was told Legend Star had provided free training to over 600 CEOs of newly established high-tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in seven years.
He spoke highly of their achievements and highlighted the significance of training talents who can create long-term value and wealth for enterprises and the country.
Legend Star mainly focuses on investing talents in high-end manufacturing fields, including technology, telecommunication and healthcare, which has attracted attention from numerous incubators and professional fund raisers.
Zhongguancun Inno Way has become a center of cutting-edge manufacturing products. In 2016, several international innovation projects incubated in the Inno Way made great breakthroughs, including 5D Robotics intelligent transport system from the United States and Medical Realities from the United Kingdom that combines artificial intelligence with surgery.
“The power of coffee” has motivated China to deepen its reform in the manufacturing field.
“Chinese manufacturing has gained advantages through reform and innovation, and is striding toward medium and high-end stages through transformation and upgrading,” Premier Li said.