NewCo Shanghai 2019 Brought 150 Attendees on a Startup Ecosystem Safari

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The fourth annual NewCo Shanghai brought 150 attendees into the headquarters of 22 of Shanghai’s most innovative companies to meet with the leaders transforming China’s startup ecosystem.

Launched in 2012 by the founder of Wired Magazine, John Batelle, NewCo has produced city-specific festivals in 30 cities throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia. Every NewCo festival celebrates the unique companies and spirit of innovation in each host city. Since its inception, NewCo festivals have brought over 40,000 attendees into the offices of over 2,000 innovative companies.

Chinaccelerator, the only NewCo host in Asia, brought NewCo Festivals to Shanghai in 2016 and has been organizing NewCo Shanghai ever since. In these four years, attendees have been able to visit the home offices of companies such as ByteDance, 36Kr, Airwallex, Boohee, Strikingly, USHOPAL, Mobike, Bilibili, Linkedin, SenseTime, Yoozoo, Sina Weibo, and more.

“The startup ecosystem in China is usually misunderstood and there are a lot of barriers preventing the outside world from knowing what’s going on inside Chinese startups,” said William Bao Bean, SOSV General Partner and Chinaccelerator & MOX Managing Director. “We launched NewCo in China so that these startups can share their journey with corporates, entrepreneurs, and investors from around the globe.”

NewCo Shanghai 2019 kicked off on October 23 with a VIP Networking Party at Spaces in Huangpu District joined by over 70 people. Guests had a chance to meet with representatives from the host companies before the next day’s visits.


The main event on October 24 began with a breakfast at People Squared by Jing’an Temple. Afterwards, attendees split into five curated tracks, three in English and two in Chinese. Each track visited a range of companies representing the diversity of Shanghai’s startup landscape, from internet unicorns and e-commerce rising stars, to healthcare revolutionaries and hackerspaces. At every visit, attendees had a chance to tour each space, learn from key personnel, and ask questions. 

For the host companies as well, this event was an opportunity to expand their networks. Since the majority of NewCo Shanghai attendees come from corporations and media, these small-scale visits were a great chance to reach potential collaboration partners. 

When asked about the event, Wang Zhenyang, Brand Innovation Leader at host company 36kr Eastern China, said NewCo was “a chance to meet with people from different backgrounds, build partnerships with them, and build a foundation for future cooperation—it’s extremely relevant to what we do.” 

Each host company shared key insights about their companies and provided deep analysis of their industry. For instance, Strikingly CEO David Chen talked in depth about the development of Strikingly’s hit product SXL, and described how Strikingly utilizes big data to improve their tools that enable people to create all-devices optimized websites and WeChat mini-programs.


Gululu CEO Alvin Chiang narrated his experience of the Chinese internet boom, both as an employee of companies such as Yahoo, Netease, and Alibaba, and as an entrepreneur himself. Alvin also shared how Gululu is a company that combines the local expertise and characteristics of a Chinese internet company with the methodologies of Silicon Valley. 

USHOPAL Partner and VP of Brand William Lau spoke about the reasons why foreign brands have difficulty localizing in China, and about how USHOPAL leverages their unique advantages to help international brands enter the China market. 

Richard Wu, the Chief Commercial Officer of Enterprise SaaS Application at Bytedance, shared how the Bytedance team creates their core competitive edge from the perspective of culture and means. Bytedance’s corporate culture emphasizes “Context, not Control” and encourages providing context when communicating to facilitate the flow of information. Also, on the topic of the tools that make corporate culture, Richard spoke about how Feishu Technology and Bytedance form a cohesive management platform, powering the engine of Bytedance’s business development.


At the visit to NIO Shanghai Center, attendees not only learned about innovations in the auto industry, but also they had a chance to test drive NIO cars. 

Explorium’s Community Manager, Wendy Huang, brought attendees on a tour of Explorium’s Experience Centre, Innovation Hub and Collaboration Space, to see some of the latest advancements in new retail and smart supply chain tech.

This is just a taste of the insights shared by the hosts at NewCo Shanghai 2019. All the hosts, including Himalaya, 36Kr, Airwallex, Boohee, 247tickets, Xinchejian, TANG, The CareVoice, 8XP, Zurita, Jingji, and Chinaccelerator, each provided different lessons and a new experience for NewCo attendees.


The event concluded with an After Party back at People Squared, a chance for everyone to exchange lessons from the full day of visits over beers and sausages. All-in-all, a great opportunity for guests to make connections with both the host companies and fellow attendees.

Driven by the NewCo mantra “Get Out to Get In,” NewCo Shanghai encourages corporates, entrepreneurs and investors to get out into the world — and out of their comfort zones — in order to get the inside scoop on innovation. Far from a business conference, NewCo Shanghai allowed guests to meet in small groups with business leaders and experience firsthand what Shanghai’s startup world is like. 

According to Tanya, a NewCo Shanghai attendee, “I thought it was really interesting and fascinating to learn from USHOPAL, and being able to ask one of the founding members questions got really good interaction going.”

Didn’t have a chance to attend this year’s NewCo Shanghai? You can find interviews with five of the host companies on the China Startup Pulse podcast. Subscribe to us wherever you listen to podcasts, or follow the links below:


Many thanks to the host companies who made NewCo Shanghai 2019 possible:

36Kr – an infrastructure service platform that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in China by providing news reports, co-working spaces and financial information services.

Airwallex – a fintech company redefining the way global payments are made; Airwallex uses advanced technology to enable low-cost, high-speed, and transparent international payments.

ByteDance – Feishu Technology is ByteDance‘s SaaS brand and the developer of Feishu, an all-in-one collaboration solution for teams and enterprises. 

Le Wagon – a world leading coding bootcamp for creative people and entrepreneurs, now celebrating over 5,000+ alumni on 5 continents and 30+ cities.

Slush China – originated in Helsinki in 2008, Slush is the largest European Startup & Technology event. Slush facilitates the success of next-generation entrepreneurs. 

Himalaya – a fast-growing podcast platform and audio content network that empowers podcasters, content creators, and listeners. – a one-stop-shop for tickets to the best events, movies, experiences, and trips throughout China and Southeast Asia.

Chinaccelerator – the first startup accelerator in Asia, Chinaccelerator helps startups cross borders, from the world into China, and from China to the world.

KAWO – delivers solutions that help international brands in China be more authentic and consistent on social media.

Xinchejian – the first hackerspace in China, Xinchejian’s mission is to support, create and promote physical computing, open source hardware, and Internet of Things. 

TokyLabs – creators of TokyMaker, an innovative an easy tool that anyone can use to create a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art) project in minutes.

Boohee 薄荷健康 – is a leading internet health technology company in China that assists users with managing their health both scientifically and efficiently.

TANG UX – an experience and innovation consultancy that empowers businesses across the entire process from brand strategy to design implementation.

USHOPAL – a leading New Luxury New Retail Brand Group that is transforming the way global brands grow and scale in China. 

Explorium – an ecosystem where businesses, start-ups, incubators, accelerators, and VCs collaborate to explore technologies reshaping global supply chains and new retail.

The CareVoice – a health Insurtech company transforming healthcare experiences to be more consumer-centric.

Strikingly – a builder tool that allows users, even with little or no development experience, to create all-devices optimized websites and WeChat mini-programs within minutes. 

Gululu – a smart IOT hardware that helps kids develop healthy habits via an innovative learn-through-play ecosystem.

Zurita Madrid – a socially and environmentally conscious fashion brand that releases monthly limited edition collections with efficient design and production.

8XP – a new retail platform that helps retailers open smart retail stores with O2O integration. 

Shanghai Jingji Enterprise Management Co., Ltd. 竞迹 – the first Chinese company to focus on the development and overall planning of the esports industry. 

NIO – designs and develops smart, high-performance, electric vehicles. 


All of our event sponsors and partners helped make NewCo Shanghai smooth and successful:

The main sponsors were STATA 三亚加速, a startup accelerator backed by the Sanya, Hainan municipal government;

Michelin, the global tire manufacturer and leader in sustainable mobility; 

Pillar Legal, a boutique international law firm with offices in San Francisco and Shanghai; 

And Spaces, an international provider of creative working environments with a unique entrepreneurial spirit.

Food and drinks were provided by Feast Creative Foods, Kolonne0, and NovelTea.

Thanks to all media partners and community partners!


About Chinaccelerator: 

Chinaccelerator is a mentorship-driven program assisting internet startups from around the world cross borders – from the world into China, and from China to the world. It is operated by the venture fund SOSV, which has $650 AUM and operates 6 global accelerators.  Chinaccelerator offers three months of rigorous guidance, training, and resources from mentors, partners, and investors. The robust and active alumni network continues to support startups long after they complete the Chinaccelerator program. 

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