Business Incubation Program: Pioneer Open Mic
Innovation and entrepreneurship have been at the core, penetrating every corner across the Columbia communities. Columbian entrepreneurship is not just about building companies or selling products or creating the next Facebook — it's about problem-solving.
The Beijing Center, in collaboration with the Zhongguancun Collaborative Innovation Center, initiates and spearheads the "Pioneer Open Mic" program to continuously expose Columbia students and alumni to business innovation and entrepreneurship. Inspired by the concept "Comedy Open Mic," it is designed to get the young entrepreneurs' creative startup ideas spotlighted and going. We are committed to building an open platform and exclusive network for young entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas, venture practices, academic and research projects, and catalyzing their business growth and success by providing them with potential workspaces, professional and customized mentoring, and training, and connecting them with potential investments. Our ultimate goal is to grow the local community into a potent force that creates a significant impact on people, businesses, and society.
First Roadshow: AI + Education
The first roadshow took place on April 17, 2021 with a particular focus on the AI-powered education business to transform and empower students, older adults, and employees.
As a serial entrepreneur, Hanxiang Wang talked about his entrepreneurial stories in the education industry, and his "Instruct AI" project, integrating knowledge mapping, data science, and deep learning to improve the efficiency and quality of instructors.
Second Roadshow: New Consumer Goods Industry
The second event on June 26, 2021 invited consumer goods entrepreneurs to showcase their new products and creative business ideas. Read here.
Fang graduated with a masters degree from Columbia University, and was an investor and Vice President of Xinzhongli Capital. Coco 100 is a food and beverages company centered around coconut-created products. His company is dedicated to serving millennial consumers with a healthier lifestyle, starting with beverages made out of coconuts and expanding into various other product lines.
Ma graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Statistics, obtained an undergraduate degree from Tsinghua University and a PhD degree from Tsinghua in algorithm research. L’Origine is a probiotic beverage company. Its two product lines “Hims” and “Hers” are probiotic solid powder beverages, aimed at providing drinkers with a healthy and convenient lifestyle.
Hou is a serial entrepreneur hailing from Columbia Business School. She was a management consultant at Monitor Group, a Commercialization Manager at Teambition (Alibaba), and pursued her undergraduate studies at Shanghai Jiaotong University in Materials Science. Hou’s company Jiaxi is an alcoholic bottled beverage company that seeks to bring to public new ways to enjoy Baijiu. Her inspiration came when she came across a particularly memorable Baijiu cocktail while studying at Columbia. She decided to create a company to bring that unique blend of East and West to China, and has combined electronic music, LGBT and subculture community building in the marketing of her product.
What You Will Acquire
Mentor Program with Industry Leaders
The program is designed to sustainably foster meaningful relationships between alumni and students. The connections made in this program help prepare students and junior alumni for a successful future and leave a lasting impact on our regional community.
Alumni mentors are selected to mentor applicants, especially those who are participants of the Open Mic initiatives for entrepreneurship and innovation, by exchanging start-up and innovative project ideas, sharing their experiences and knowledge of career paths, as well as providing guidance, network, and recourses on business development.
- Based on the evaluation and growth phase of your project or company, your startup team will be matched with multiple mentors who can advise you on startup operations and strategies, laws and policies, and management problems.
- Mentors will be coaching alongside with you for at least one hour per week and more than 10 hours in total.
- You will have exclusive members-only opportunities to network with mentors and successful entrepreneurs through our closed-door meetings and events.
Xiaoyu (Sue) Xu
Yanhua (Cindy) Liu
Zichun (Leon) Zhao
Our roadshow stage provides startups with the opportunity to showcase their business innovations, reach a larger audience, exchange business ideas, and attract partners and investors.
Mentors are invited from senior business leaders and venture capitalists to provide one-on-one or small group coaching. They help young entrepreneurs with specific questions by sharing their knowledge and contacts gained from their years of experience.
The Center provides incubation services, in partnership with local partners, to Columbia students and alumni, including free co-working spaces, registration, legal and financing advice, policy interpretation, market orientation, and more.
- Co-Working Space — discounted and cost-effective office spaces for qualified startup companies and entrepreneurs;
- Financing Support — connections and cooperation with funds and investors to provide affluent financing opportunities;
- Policy Interpretation — resources regarding government policies & programs and business channels;
- Market Orientation — industrial connections that promote and grow your business across almost every industry from retail, and technology to education.
- Legal Counsel — an overview of the key legal issues in establishing a business in China, Do's and don'ts of financing your business, tips to avoid legal pitfalls in business, as well as suggestions and thoughts regarding specific legal issues
We host virtual panel discussions that address business in China and opportunities for startups in the industry. Experts share their stories of business success and failure and provide insights to help students and alumni start, grow, or transform their businesses.
Connection, Support, and Partnership
- Support and partnership opportunities from Columbia communities across the Greater China region.
- Connect with Zhongguancun tutors of startup incubators, investment companies, and industry tutor teams as below:
- NYU Alumni Club in Beijing
- UOM China Alumni Association
- University of Minnesota Alumni Association-Beijing Chapter
- UCLA Alumni Beijing Network
- Next Capital
- Seashell Capital
- Jinghe Capital
- Frees Fund
- Danhe+ Capital
- Phoenix tree Capital
- Sequoia Capital
- Leap Capital
- Amphora Capital
- Lanxi Capital
- Warburg Pincus
- Hony Capital
- Miracle Plus
- Zhen Fund
- Hongtai Aplus
- Oriza Holdings
- Innoangel Fund
- JAC Capital
- ZGC Services
- ZGC Innoway
- Zhongguancun Life Science Park
- Administrative Commission of Zhongguanqun Dongcheng District
- ZGC Co-Innovation Fund
How to Join Us
All Columbia students and alumni are eligible to apply.
- Please send your resume and business plan as well as other inquires to [email protected].
For Public Audience
- Please scan the QR code below to connect with Beijing Center's WeChat assistant and be part of our vibrant online community.