How Chinaccelerator’s latest batch is making traditional businesses sexy

If you didn’t know it yet, tech is the new sexy. There has been a surge in the development and take up of a wide range of new technologies. Many long-established industries are now using them to their advantage to make their offerings more convenient and efficient. The newest batch at the Shanghai-based Chinaccelerator has […]

How Chinaccelerator’s latest batch is making traditional businesses sexy originally appeared on TechNode

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AI is the future of everything at i-Lab demo day

The defeat of top Go player Ke Jie to Google’s AlphaGo is pushing discussions about AI technology to new heights this week. After a series of human vs computer matches, more and more people can see that AI will fundamentally change our lives.

Beyond the hype media attention, however, most of the AI technologies remain in the R&D stage are still finding possible ways to be applied in real-life scenarios. The situation is changing gradually with the maturity of the technology itself as well as the market surrounding it. Maybe AI is not something that end customers can use directly, but it is finding its way into nearly every vertical.

i-Lab is an accelerator program supported by Microsoft China, Shanghai Xuhui District government and state-backed electronics company INESA. At the i-Labs demo day held last week, the twelve startups addressed a wide range of problems from education, transportation, robots, and smart city. But if you take a closer look, there’s a common theme in nearly every startup — AI and big data.

Here’s a wrap-up of the 12 startups who demoed at the event.

Shape Joy (形趣)

Shape Joy is an online fitness coach solution that provides personalized training programs. Powered by computer vision technologies and AI technology, Shape Joy’s 3D motion tracking model can capture users’ gestures and give corresponding advice on how to make improvements based on a gamified model.

Michi (米尺)

Michi is startup offering cloud-based field service solutions for manufacturers to turn industrial appliances and more into intelligent devices.

Wizarcan (微肯)

Wizarcan is building an indoor positioning and navigation system based on iBeacon technology. Its clients come from various industries from shopping malls, exhibition centers, museums, metros and more.

Chiwei (驰帷)

Chiwei is working on an online education system that would enable school faculties to better manage their students and staff with big data and AI technology.

AutoGreen (格灵出行)

AutoGreen is bringing its electric vehicle rental service to Shanghai. Together with electric cars, AutoGreen is also setting up parking lots with charging poles.

KangPeng (康朋)

KangPeng is a healthcare startup engaged in the development of an early-warning device for cardiovascular diseases.

MeCourse (ME课)

MeCourse is an online education platform that connects teachers with students living nearby.

ZenSense (征鑫)

Enabled by big data and AI technologies, ZenSense is a pet control management platform that helps clients eliminate harmful creatures that usually carry disease and pose a constant threat to commercial facilities.

E-Building (摩墅狮)

E-Building is a smart solution provider which aspires to make your homes smarter.

Tajian Technology (塔尖科技)

Tajian Technology is engaged in high-end community integration and operation. The company’s revenue comes mainly from promoting luxury products, high-end health care services, and asset management products.

Hrstek (合时)

Hrstek is the developer and manufacturer of robots for special occasions like anti-terrorism, rescue, and environmental detection.

IOTCOMM (智联信通)

IOTCOMM is a smart lighting monitoring system developer. Its smart lighting monitoring control system can realize remote single light control, energy saving, and smart management.

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This startup wants to bring classifieds to all of China’s expats

Given the China’s market size, it’s obvious why we see so many foreign startups and expats in China. However, it still might sound a little silly if a business targets non-Chinese in China given the the relatively small population. But if you’re also a non-Chinese living in China, focusing on expat market can actually serve as a smart tactic, because you understand expat’s needs, and it can gradually appeal to the English-speaking Chinese community.

China Classifieds, an expat-founded startup based in Shanghai, won the second prize at the 5th Startup Leadership Program (SLP) demo day held on Saturday, followed by the first winner, Bizbuzz, a global calling network with directory services.

“Between number 1 and number 2 was only a one vote difference, very close. They had a clear problem to solve, and a clear solution for it. They both got traction and clear idea where they want to go,” said Ryan J King, a professor at Fudan University as he announced the winners.


Marian Danko, founder and CEO of China Classifieds

According to China’s most recent National Census of 2010, there were at least 600,000 expats living in the country. The expat market keeps on growing despite the sluggish speed of growth. The government seems to be doing its best to make it easier for expats to live and work in China.

“I am sure the expat market will keep on growing and China Classifieds will be the place to serve and help English-speaking communities in China, including expats, returnees, professionals, students, interns, and travelers,” Marian Danko, founder and CEO of China Classifieds, told me.

Marian is from Ukraine, and he lived 2 years in Shijiazhuang, where he truly experienced what it means to be an expat in China.

“There was no expat bubble; I know how hard it is to make your life more transparent and less stressful. My personal experience is one of the strengths, that make it difficult to copy,” Marian said. “China Classifieds is much more than just listings. We are reaching out to build partnerships with expat-oriented businesses and distant expat communities across China, which takes time and trust.”

Serving English-speaking communities across China, China Classifieds focuses on real estate, secondhand market, and the job market in particular. Users can quickly post their listing on company’s WeChat account, which also syncs and uploads to the website. While many major Chinese cities have similar offerings, they are usually still geographically limited. China Classifieids, on the other hand, is available across major cities in China.

“Current solutions on the market are either not focused on listings or not designed for posting listings, require VPN, do not have a mobile version of the website, use old technology, or are limited to certain locations,” Marian says.

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 5.45.58 PM

Screenshots of China Classifieds

All services are currently free as the company focuses on growing their user base. They are working on a freemium service, where users can post one listing for free, but must pay for more. The company is also thinking of providing a package service for expat-oriented businesses in China. They will support both WeChat and Alipay for payment.

Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a training program and lifetime network for entrepreneurs, startup founders, and innovators. It is not an incubator or accelerator, and takes no stake, nor gives investment.

“For me, the value of SLP was practical knowledge and a wide network. In my SLP journey, I learned a lot about how to run a startup from founders of successful businesses, and I met wonderful and inspiring people on my way. Usually, Chinaccelerator picks startups from SLP program,” Marian said.

The classifieds startup had bootstrapped until now, and is looking for more business partnerships and funding.

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