Minding the Borderlands

Mark Koester (@markwkoester) on the art of travel and technology

UP Global in China: 2010 to 2014

With 2015 well underway, I wanted to document some of the UP Global activities in China from 2010 to 2014.

For point of reference, UP Global currently has five main programs:

  • Startup Weekend (our “54 hours to startup launch” program)
  • StarupDigest (a curated news and events newsletter in local communities)
  • Startup Next (a mentorship-driven program to help pre-seed stage startups get into top accelerators or raise a said round)
  • Educational Entrepreneurs (aka Startup Weekend Education)
  • Startup Week (an un-conference celebrating a city’s unique startup community)

Startup Weekends in China

Like many places in the world, Startup Weekend was our first entry into China. In November 2010, Startup Weekend had its first China event in Beijing. Since then, there have been over 30 Startup Weekend events in China with over 3000 participants and hundreds of volunteers, organizers, judges, and mentors.

2014 was a somewhat breakout year with the growth into Chengdu (two startup weekends) and Qingdao, and 2015 is already well underway with a first-time event in Xi’an and a scheduled event in Hangzhou.

StartupDigest in China

Startup Digest currently has active editions in in Greater China, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei. Plans are in the works to launch a Western China edition soon.

China also a special “China Tech” edition, which provides a short reading list of top news for China technologies and startups.

Startup Next in China

In 2013, we ran an early version of Startup Next in Beijing. In Spring 2015 we will be running the 2.0 version of Next in Shanghai. With China’s ripe startup scene, we think Next will have lots of other possible target cities.

Educational Entrepreneurs in China

Educational Entrepreneurs (aka Startup Weekend Education) held its first in Greater China in Feb 2015 and plans are in the works for an EDU edition in Beijing in the late spring.

With a significant focus and investment in the ed tech space in Greater China, we expect to have a great impact with this themed focus in China in 2015.

Interested? Questions? Contact me

If you wish to learn more about our China Initiative, please check out our Chinese site at china.startupweekend.org. No VPN? Try startupweekend.gitcafe.com.

If you have any direct questions or are interested in attending or organizing, contact me directly at mark.koester@startupweekend.org or on WeChat at markwkoester.

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