hina’s state-owned Zhongguancun Development Group (ZDG) has set up an incubator in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. ZDG is contributing $10m to get it underway. This is their second incubator in North America – the first was in the Valley last year. The imaginatively named “ZDG Ottawa International Incubation Centre” is a partnership between ZDG and Invest Ottawa. The initial location will be in a modest 1,600 sq. ft. space at Invest Ottawa’s offices.
The incubator will target Ottawa-based technology startups that want to enter the Chinese market by providing funding and support. Invest Ottawa will help by identifying suitable startups for funding. ZDG wants this to lead to China-based R&D, marketing and office expansion.
ZDG Ottawa International Incubation Centre will be managed by a Chinese director from ZDG plus three local hires. Honestly, they ought to think of a better name.
Other cities worldwide that are interested in incubation should take note: Invest Ottawa’s CEO Bruce Lazenby says that ZDG has a plan to invest up to $1.5 billion in tech companies worldwide over the next five years.
“We’re treating this as a very ambitious start-up enterprise in its own right. ZDG has a plan to invest up to $1.5 billion worldwide over the next five years, and we see today’s $10 million announcement as a starting point for Ottawa,” said Invest Ottawa CEO Bruce Lazenby. “This market expansion capital is very welcome, and our expectation is that our China-focused companies will prove themselves quickly and attract even greater investment and opportunity in the years to come.”
Companies getting involved with the China tech market had better think carefully about their intellectual property. In an interesting (and revealing) blog post on the Invest Ottawa website, Mark Brownlee reports that Chinese officials believe it’s up to non-Chinese companies to do their research ahead of time so they know what they’re getting into. Brownlee quoted Qiming Wang, a science and technology counsellor with the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, who said,
“When the Canadian companies make an investment in China, they need to have a well-prepared (plan) of how to protect their intellectual property rights. Sometimes they find problems because they don’t get well-prepared before they go into China.”
ZDG has a registered capital base of $1.9 billion with total assets of $11 billion and was created in Beijing by the Municipal government of Beijing. It has 15 subsidiary companies covering three main areas of business: equity investment in high-tech companies; investment in the infrastructure of high-tech industrial parks such as building incubation centres and developing science parks in Beijing; and financing for high-tech companies. Established in 2010, ZDG has so far made equity investment in more than 80 companies/projects.
Link to original article: http://www.acceleratorgazette.com/content/chinas-zdg-sets-incubator-canadas-capital