Chinaccelerator, an SOSV accelerator presented its ten startups yesterday for judging after a 90-day intensive program. The China-based competition is globally unique in a few aspects, not only does it host startups from a range of foreign backgrounds as well as China, but it also has a 50% female founder participation rate.
And at the wrap up of yesterday’s pitch session, the top three winners were female-founded, each taking home $50,000 US.
Robin8, Shopal and Geili Giving, the three winning companies, focus on some of the hottest startup verticals in tech right now; big data, retail and platform philanthropy respectively. The number of female founders in China is growing, and as the ecosystem becomes more friendly for both foreigners and locals alike, the market is seeing a huge push in diversity across all areas. Participants were from China, South America, Europe, Canada and the US.
“It was an exceptional batch with mature teams,” Chinaccelerator Expert in Residence, Manmeet Singh said. “In three months, we pushed them extremely hard and they thrived on that challenge. Not only did each individual team strengthen their own team spirit, the entire cohort of ten teams became a super support structure for each other. They weren’t competing with each other, they were helping each other succeed.”
The Top Three Startups
Offering a marketplace for key opinion leaders (KOLs) similar to Airbnb and Uber, Robin8 is an artificial intelligence, big data social and content marketing platform. Using machine learning, Robin8 takes the guesswork out of social and content marketing. With its proprietary predictive intelligence engine, Robin8 helps brands and marketers to maximize their reach and return on investment by intelligently analyzing and understanding which journalists, influencers and will be the best fit for their campaign.
Brick and mortar retailing continues to slow as e-retail takes centre stage. Shopal is a mobile app that bridges existing retail store owners and customers, hoping to jumpstart offline companies to connect with consumers. The company boasts 20,000 retailer partners in China, and they work with retailers to gather data and use predictive algorithms to improve the shopping experience. At the customer’s end, the app shows customers retail stores with great products and services.
While 5% of the U.S. people donate to charity, only 0.001% of the China donate to causes. However, during the ice bucket challenge last year, China donated over US$1.3 million in total, showing that they have the capacity to donate to worthwhile causes. Chinese people have trust issues when is comes to philanthropy, for Geili, the aim is to break down trust and motivation barriers. Geili Giving is a mobile social platform connecting trustworthy and crowd-verified charities to Chinese consumers through fun and engaging challenges designed to encourage giving.
Demo Day Startup Highlights
Other startups featured some great local and international talent, showcasing some of the most innovative early-stage ventures around.
In case of an emergency anywhere in the world, iCE Angel immediately notifies your family and shares your location, insurance detail and medical history. Served in mobile app and web, the service ensures that you and your loved ones are always connected. Currently provided free service, the company partnered with Starcastle, ChaseFuture, Healthvision, Zanadu to help in its operation.
Pharmaceutical companies operating in China and Japan lose billions annually because of inadequate industry-specific English proficiency. Specifiko is a web and WeChat-based platform that provides industry-specific English language learning based on 2,000+ healthcare videos and contextual translations in both Chinese and Japanese to make the content more ‘digestable’.
Urban Chinese families spend 30% of their income on their child’s education, often ¥30,000 and up to ¥500,000 per year, compared to 2% in the UK. Five million prepare to study abroad each year, but only ~100K enter the top university. School Match is an online platform that connects Chinese students who wish to attend college abroad with mentors who are current students at those colleges. Through 1-on-1 mentorship, students gain the experience and knowledge to succeed in the application process and adjusting to life abroad.
The money transfer market size between China and Latin AmericaSMB commerce is 26.1 billion, with over 520$ revenue potential. Yet, international money transfers and cross border payments are expensive and slow, especially when you’re sending small amounts. BitNexo is a web platform and software provider that helps cross-border SMB commerce providers pay for goods and services between Asia and Latin America quickly and securely, and with low fees by using block chain technology.
If you look up hotels in Shanghai on Qunar, you get over 10,000 choices. When traveling, people sometimes compromise on their accommodation, staying at business hotels and dine at dining at chain restaurants, because they don’t know where to find unique places. MeetBoutique provides a mobile-based booking platform for boutique hotels with lower prices. They achieved a conversion of 3% from downloads to sales and each user spends over RMB 1200 per purchase.
Squrirrelz is a B2B2C eCommerce platform connecting factories with unwanted materials to designers who create products with these materials. The company currently supports 20 factories, over 40 fashion designers and more than 600 unique, fashionable and environmental products, from purses and earrings to stationary and lamps. The company embraces products like a wallets made of flat tires and bags out of candy wrappers.
Corporate training is one of the things that people feel can be a waste of time since there’s too much information and simply not enough time. However, corporates still spend $130 billion every year on training while only 10% of trainees think it’s useful ongoing. SXT Learning lets employers easily develop training plans and give employees the freedom to learn a wide range of professional skills. It helps reduce the need to repeat training reduces training budgets.