Guest speaker Nigel Blair, Founder & Executive Director of Envest Group and serial entrepreneur, shared his experience in entering the China market as part of our Venture Capital forums which attracted around 50 attendees from migration, funds management and other internationally connected professionals.
A great story and well worth viewing the presentation slides here.
Building any business starts with developing the business case. It is important to do your research, which for Nigel took four years, with regular visits to China including delegations. There is lots of noise and challenges, so Nigel recommends starting with a solid foundation and targeting readily achievable opportunities. It is also critical to select local business partners carefully.
The next step is raising capital; consider government programs, angel and venture capital, and networking and building connections to find the right partners and investors.
GreenCo Water – combines Australian design and innovation to provide smart storage solutions around the world.
Commencing in 2012, GreenCo water developed an Australian 1,000 litre Pak Flat with overseas manufacturers. The liquid storage device is being used in many countries, including through OxFam, Disaster Aid International and DFAT.
Today it is marketed domestically though retail chains such as Bunnings and Home Hardware. This has provided a liquidity event for early investors, and opportunities for new cornerstone investors.
NiHao Global – provides high-quality interpretation, translation, research and human resources services – “Your Personal Assistant in China”
Launched in March 2013, NiHao Global is now represented in 19 major Chinese c employing for the 300 bilingual contractors to provide tailored communication services. Clients include Australian government, businesses and chambers of commerce.
Expansion of the Beijing office and an online portal to systematise how translation is done, including WeChat connectivity, will see continued growth throughout the region.
E agri – has developed a state-of-the-art, vertical hydroponic seed-to-package growing system.
This technology will produce high quality produce all year round at a higher kg per square metre and lower unit cost than systems currently available on the market. There is a need for clean, green food with the explosion of global population.
Research facilities are co-located at Chisholm Institute in Melbourne, a patent has been filed for E Agri, and initial capital placement completed, with further investment opportunities available.
Opportunities in China
Key drivers for the continued growth in China with a rapidly changing landscape, include internal migration, with just 50% of the population living in urbanized areas verses 80% globally.
China consists of many economies, with GDP growth varying growth in each province.
The growing middle class is driving a sharp increase in consumption and adoption of new technology as the economy moves from manufacturing to services driven.
There are still plenty of opportunities for smart businesses to tap into this massive market, however it is important to do your homework and learn from those who have experienced success.
For further detail check out the presentation slides here.