Geeks On A Train: Report From The Field

This spring, ten Chinaccelerator Batch 11 companies, with co-founders from ten countries, went on a tour from Beijing to Hangzhou. The so-called GOAT – Geeks on a Train – is a one-week tour that brings our startups to learn from China’s most cutting-edge Internet companies.Here are 6 highlights of the trip.阳春三月,百花吐艳,正是出游的好日子。中国加速第十一期来自10个国家地区的创业者怀揣着对在中国创业的梦想与憧憬,前往北京与杭州,誓要一窥成功之路,历时一周,时称 “极客火车行”。

以下是旅途中六个值得纪念的时刻。

1. Successful entrepreneurs rise early 成功的创业者习惯早起 
On the early morning of March 25th, Batch 11 hopped on the high-speed train at Hongqiao Railway Station. For many of them, it was the first time being in the Middle Kingdom.
And Beijing welcomed us with a magnificent blue sky.
2. 150 attendees offline, 1 million audiences online 150个到场者,100万个线上观众
8×8 is the legendary public event of Chinaccelerator, where 8 of our awesome mentors each share their startup stories for 8 minutes. Over 150 people attended the Beijing event offline and over 1 million watched the live stream (special thanks to our livestreaming partner AceBridge).Miss the one in Beijing? See you on 4/8 at Shanghai 8×8! Scroll down for event details.
2. Mentors: An Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon 导师——创业者的秘密武器
A goal of GOAT is for our startups to visit and learn from our mentors around China (we have 250+ across the world). Here are just a couple we met this time:
Adam Morley, Cheetah Mobile’s first international hirePhilip Beck, former CEO of China Media ExchangeRichard Robinson, serial entrepreneur who exited 3 companies that went public, and was a founding executive of renren.comto name a few.We also met Will Zhang from OTEC – Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference, powered by the Chaoyang (Beijing) government. Will gave an insider’s guide on how foreign startups in China can leverage Chinese policies and government support for entrepreneurship 🙂 .

3. Work hard, party hard 努力工作,尽情玩乐
You know the appropriate way to end the packed day of learning: Peking duck and Chinese Baiju.
4. Startups and big corporations are becoming best friends大企业和小startup的合作Every large corporation/organization was once upon a time a startup, and we have a lot to learn from their paths. Here are a few we visited:
Amazon Web Services (AWS)AngelCrunch 天使汇Intel & Intel CapitalLagou.com 拉勾网 Ogilvy & Mather

Webpower

Thanks for hosting us!
6. Kindergartners Make Better Entrepreneurs than MBAs幼稚园小朋友可以教创业者的事Marshmallow Challenge @ School of Management, Zhejiang UniversityBatch 11 teamed up with MBA students to take the challenge. All must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.
This game is played among different groups around the world. When comparing the results, MBAs actually perform the worst on average in building marshmallow towers. Engineers perform moderately well, and kindergartners perform the best! The reason is quite simple: MBAs want to plan their way to an optimal outcome and then execute on the plan. Instead of wasting time trying to establish who is in charge or make a plan, kindergartners simply experiment over and over until they find a model that works.And that’s what we do at Chinaccelerator: fast iteration.
5. Dare to dream敢于拥有梦想GOAT was wrapped up by a trip to Hangzhou’s Dream Town, a town transformed from 12 granaries into an incubation center of makers, sprawling across three square kilometers.

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