China. It’s got nearly 1.4 billion people within its borders — and over 1/3 of them are online. It’s the largest online population in the world. To say that it’s an important market would be a ludicrous understatement.
Alas, it’s also an incredibly difficult market to break into — especially for those from outside the region. Just ask Groupon.
This evening, a new incubator is opening the doors to a handful of US startups looking to expand into China, and vice versa. Called InnoSpring, they’ve dubbed themselves the Valley’s first US-China tech incubator.
So, what does InnoSpring have to offer? First up, of course, is all the normal incubator stuff: office space (for 40+ startups), capital (more on this in a second), mentors, and myriad services like in-house accountants and paralegals.
More unique, however, is their focus on US/China cross-border development. Once you’re in, they’ll help you navigate the complicated maze of red tape and cultural differences that keep so many companies from stepping foot in China. Of course, they’ll also be helping Chinese startups figure out how things work stateside.
InnoSpring also used their launch event to announce a seed fund. Founded in partnership with Kleiner Perkins, GSR Ventures, China Broadband Capital, Northern Light Venture Capital, and the TEEC Angel Fund, they’ll be picking 15 startups this year to receive $25,000 in seed funding. Of those, a small handful can also receive up to $250,000 directly from TEEC. Along with the capital, each of the startups gets tossed into a 6-month accelerator program.
Got a startup idea that would do particularly well by having its feet planted in both the US and China? You can apply for the program here.