The China Startup Pulse Podcast

Your Looking Glass into China and Asia Startup Ecosystem

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The China Startup Pulse Podcast is an original weekly podcast for anyone interested interested in China’s innovation, business, and tech landscape. We showcase entrepreneurial stories, present key teachings from thought leaders, and analyze the strategy of the big tech giants.

Backed by Chinaccelerator, the first accelerator in Asia, we understand firsthand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in China — the struggle, the elation, the craziness, and the thrill of success. With that in mind, this podcast offers real, practical, and outside-of-the-box insights.

The China Startup Pulse is hosted by Oscar Ramos, Ryan Shuken and William Bao Bean, hackers and hustlers with years of experience in China’s startup scene.

Subscribe to us on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Ximalaya FM or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Your Hosts

Oscar Ramos

Partner at SOSV and Managing Director at Chinaccelerator

William Bao Bean

General Partner at SOSV and Managing Director at Chinaccelerator & MOX

Ryan Shuken

Managing Partner at Lean Venture Partners & Javelin.com

Latest Episodes

Localizing in the Mobile-Only China Market, with David Chen, CEO & Co-founder of Strikingly

When entering new markets, it is crucial to be able to localize the business. There are few startups that have achieved this and one of them is Strikingly – a Series B startup that helps non-coders or designers build beautiful websites that work on both mobile and desktop. In today’s episode, we are happy to have David Chen, CEO and Co-founder of Strikingly to join our podcast China Startup Pulse.

David quitted Goldman Sachs and founded Strikingly in the US, which later became the first company to join Y Combinator. After noticing the opportunities in China, David and his team moved the company to China where he has successfully localized the business and continued to serve the global users. He shared how they have established a strong local presence in China, in terms of product features, marketing channels, and even a Chinese company name. Read full show notes.

B2B Sales Strategies and Tactics with Jonathan Wu, VP of Sales and Co-founder of GrowingIO

Selling your product to businesses is tough. Today, we talk to Jonathan Wu, Co-founder and VP of Sales of a fast-growing B2B SaaS Company GrowingIO, to share with you the most advanced B2B sales strategies based on his experience. GrowingIO is a leading data analytics platform provider in China that helps drive business growth through data insights. Their current clients include Bytedance, China Mobile, Tujia, Didi and more.

He shared very useful strategies and tactics on how to close B2B deals and how to understand clients’ pain points of adoption. As he pointed out, it’s very important to understand your clients, your product and user journey, and also to remember to talk to the decision makers. Later, he used GrowingIO as an example to explain how to classify products for different types of clients, and how GrowingIO has scaled the sales team in the past 5 years. Read full show notes.

How to Prevent PR Crisis in China, with Alex Duncan, co-founder of KAWO

Social media is one of the most influential means of communication in the world. It helps brands to engage with customers quickly and effectively. However, it also brings potential risks.

Social media management platform KAWO recently published a report analyzing social media crises in China during the last 10 years. It shows that there were 42 brands crises in 2019 in China, while only 1 incident happened each year from 2009 to 2013. Geographic sovereignty and politics are apparently the dominant causes for these crises. We invited Alex Duncan, co-founder of KAWO, in today’s podcast to share his insights about the report, how to manage social media in China, and most importantly how to prevent PR crisis. Find KAWO’s report here: kawo.com/bcr Read full show notes.

Applying Design Thinking to Launch an IoT Product with Alvin Chiang, Founder of Gululu

Design thinking. Lean startup methodology. Validation. Market Research. These concepts are familiar to every founder, and they are vital to any company’s success, but so few startups are able to do them well. Today’s guest, Alvin Chiang, is an exception. A veteran of internet giants NetEase, Alibaba, and Renren, Alvin founded Gululu in 2014. Gululu enhances children’s wellness through smart IoT technologies, and their first creation is a smart water bottle designed to help children cultivate healthy habits. In this episode, we discuss the extensive market research that went into the birth of Gululu and the ongoing development of the product. During the course of the conversation, we were thrilled to discover that Gululu is a perfect use case for design thinking. Read full show notes.

What’s Next for Ctrip (Trip.com Group) with Margaret Feng, Head of Innovation

The growth of online travel users and transactions in China has slowed in the past two years. Has the online travel market hit a bottleneck? Where will the next opportunities arise? As one of the industry titans, Trip.com Group (formerly known as Ctrip) is at the forefront of experimenting with new initiatives to maintain its competitive position in the market.

As Head of Innovation at Trip.com Group, Margaret Feng, shares how they are exploring new offline products and planning how to acquire more customers in lower-tier cities. More importantly, she explains how Trip.com Group is embracing the concept of open innovation by investing in and collaborating with startups. Stay tuned to learn how Trip.com Group runs pilot programs with startups and tests new concepts and technologies in the market. Read full show notes.

How to Understand Venture Capital in China with Victor Chao, Partner at SAIF

What factors are RMB investors considering that USD investors are not? What can the difference between Chinese VC firms and American VC firms tell us about the innovation and entrepreneurship lanscape in these countries? As venture capital funding slows down in China, how is this affecting entrepreneurs?

We are lucky to have the perfect person to answer these questions: Victor Chao, Partner of the RMB fund at SAIF, a leading private equity firm in China. Victor has lived and worked all over the world, and so he has a great perspective on how understanding VCs can help us understand the state of innovation in a country. Read full show notes.

How to Succeed in China B2B with Olivier d’Arros, Investor and Serial Entrepreneur

Navigating the world of B2B in China is tough business, especially when you are dealing with giant state-owned enterprises. It can be even more difficult when you are foreigner. As a result, most foreign entrepreneurs focus on the B2C space, yet a few have found the key to creating successful B2B companies.

One of these businesspeople is today’s guest, Olivier d’Arros. Olivier started his career in venture capital, and then co-founded 4 technology companies, all in B2B applications. He is now Managing Partner at MAVIE Technologies, an investment banking boutique with a focus on cross-border transactions in healthtech and industry 4.0.Read full show notes.

How China’s Beating the West in Innovation with Richard Turrin, FinTech expert, author of “Innovation Lab Excellence” and former head of IBM’s Cognitive Studio

To many people in the West, China is thought of as a copyer rather than an innovator. However, according to today’s guest Richard Turrin, there are many areas in which China is out-innovating even the most advanced Western countries. Richard says “Innovation is really about people and how they relate to new technologies,” and in China both companies and people develop and adopt new technologies at an astonishing rate—they are “some of the best users of technology on the planet.”

This innovation isn’t only happening on the tech side, but also in the corporate space. Richard is the former head of IBM’s Cognitive Studio and author of the book ‘Innovation Lab Excellence’, with over 20 years experience in innovation in both China and the West. During this conversation, he also shares insights on why innovation labs become ineffective. Big corporates all around the world are spending massive amounts of resources to connect with startups. Yet, there are still doubts about the tangible impact of many innovation labs. Read full show notes.

Investigating Live Streaming with Hao Wu, Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker

Every technology has a human impact. Live streaming is certainly no exception. In China, live streaming platforms have connected millions of viewers with a small number of idols who receive massive amounts of donations—but at what personal cost? Hao Wu, knows more about the societal impact of live streaming than anyone else on the planet. In his award-winning documentary, People’s Republic of Desire, he explores why live streaming has been so successful in China and examines the effect that these platforms have on both viewers and creators. In this episode, Hao Wu and Chinaccelerator Managing Director Oscar Ramos cover all aspects of live streaming: from the business models and the future prospects of the industry, to the social consequences of this technology. Read full show notes.

You can find over 100 more episodes of the China Startup Pulse on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Ximalaya FM or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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