What does Seattle have in common with Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, and Boston? It is one of the 7 US cities to host the InnoSTARS competition this year. Across US, near 1,000 US companies have applied to the 2018 InnoSTARS competition for a coveted chance to go to China this fall on an all-expense paid trip to compete for cash prizes and meet market expansion partners and investors.
What makes the InnoSTARS Seattle (July 27th) unique? It is by far the one competition with the broadest support base from both US and China. The organizer, US China Innovation Alliance, is a Houston-based technology advancement nonprofit. Its co-organizer, the Convention on Exchange of Overseas Talents & Guangzhou Convention Overseas Chinese Scholars in Science and Technology (hereinafter referred to as “OCS”) is China’s largest and most influential exchange platform dedicated for overseas high-level talents. The local host, VestLink is a leading player in the US China Cross-border investment space in Seattle. There are also many key partners such as Washington State China Relations Council, the nation’s oldest state-level organization promoting stronger commercial, educational and cultural engagement with the People’s Republic of China, and Mandarin Environment, a Chicago-based environmental technology consultancy with deep knowledge on the Chinese market and needs.
InnoSTARS Seattle is also two competitions wrapped up in one package as the 2018 OCS “Talents Make Future” Overseas Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition had joined forces with 2018 InnoSTARS to invite US companies through this event for its own convention and competition in Guangzhou mid-December.
July 27th, the day InnoSTARS Seattle will be held, also marks a new phase of the 2018 InnoSTARS program, as its focus is now shifted to the China portion of the competition. From the pool of near 1000 US companies, about 300 had the opportunity to pitch in front of expert judges in US. From these companies an estimated 70 of them will be going to China starting in September. The Grand final is to be held in Suzhou on November 11, 2018.
Despite of the current trade tensions between US and China, the strong desire to collaborate between US and Chinese entrepreneurs are self-evident by the record-setting US application numbers and the line-up of Chinese cities that are waiting to welcome these business “ambassadors”.
When asked if they are worried about the impact of the current trade disputes, many US company representatives responded that “China is a huge market. There is no getting around it if you want to grow your business globally.”
Freidoon Rastegar, CEO of Solid State Battery, which will be competing at InnoSTARS Seattle shared, “China is actually an easier place to start for some of us entrepreneurs. As a country, it is moving very fast and you will want to be there!”
US China Innovation Alliance and its partners are confident that this innovation collaboration momentum will continue with the strong support of many stakeholders from the cities and states in both countries. Please join us at the event to celebrate the entrepreneurs who are driving US China innovation collaboration forward.
When: July 27th 2018
Where: VestLink Incubation Center: 5808 Lake Washington Blvd NE 401, Kirkland, WA 98033
Cost: Free and open to the public