In the recent roadshow held by OIF in Shanghai, the partner Chinaccelerator caught much public attention. Its project focuses on the charity instead of O2O, with a team almost made up of foreigners or ABCs.
William Bao Bean, the managing director of Chinaccelerator and the venture partner of SOS, has some rich experience. William was once the VP of Bank of America and an investment analyst of Deutsche Bank, with 17 years of experience in the venture capital profession. He then took a position in SBCI (Softbank China & India Holdings) as a partner, in charge of the early investment in China and Southeast Asia. During William’s serving as the executive director in Singtel, he led the investment project in Yodo1 and Lekan.
In 2014, William became the partner of SOS, and the managing director of Chinaccelerator.
William believes the biggest difference between an accelerator and an incubator is cultural diversity. “In China, an incubator is much more popular than an accelerator, and it’s payed better, much more than an accelerator.” William thinks the reason why accelerators are not popular in China’s startup circle in most cases lies in its non-profit character.
In addition, an accelerator requires the team members to work together with an open and cooperative mind.. “Most startups are quite cautious about their business patterns and secrets, fearing their secrets would be leaked in the open office environment.”
Now take Chinaccelerator as an example: they select two projects every year, and invest. Then the team will be asked to work in Shanghai during the “accelerated” period, and they will be offered the opportunity of showing their work in public. The major difference is that the accelerator is operated through a mentor system, who come from various fields and circles; investment, marketing and Top 500 companies.
Strictly speaking, the accelerator is responsible for short, intense and centralized work. The accelerator is made for the entrepreneurs who are fit for this kind of work culture, and that is why the founders of most startup projects that enter Chinaccelerator are mostly foreigners and ABCs.
Chinaccelerator, boasting “the top accelerator in the East” title, is one of the 5 accelerator companies in China. However, accelerators in China are facing an awkward situation, the same as the problems that foreigners face in their startups in China. The accelerator backed projects focus more on tech innovation areas like public benefit and charity, introducing foreign tech innovation to China. Currently, although the most founders of the projects are foreigners or ABCs, Chinaccelerator hopes more local entrepreneurs will join them in the creation of more companies.