Zhongguancun incubation mode successfully copied in Qinhuangdao

By Yuan Fang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 8, 2018
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Guan Yaoqu, a 34-year-old Guangdong native who has been working in Beijing since college graduation in 2008, moved to Qinhuangdao city in north China's Hebei province in 2015.

Guan Yaoqu, general manager of the Qinhuangdao subsidiary of Beijing-based Manyou Century Technology Incubator Co., Ltd [Photo by Yuan Fang/China.org.cn]

His reason was to establish a wholly-funded subsidiary for his employer, Beijing-based Manyou Century Technology Incubator Co., Ltd, in the Qinhuangdao Economic and Technological Development Zone (QETDZ), a State-level economic and technological zone set up in 1984.

The company was inspired by the report of Guan's inspection trip to the sub-park of the Beijing-headquartered Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park, also known as "China's Silicon Valley," in QETDZ. The sub-park was established in 2014 as part of Beijing and Qinhuangdao's effort to align their resources, spatial arrangement, industries, technologies and human resources under the umbrella of a national plan to coordinate the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region that had been put forward in the same year.

The subsidiary launched an incubator program called "E Valley Entrepreneurship Space" in August 2015. It mainly incubates startups engaged in software development and environmental protection technologies after its initial focus on e-commerce was abandoned upon Guan discovering Qinhuangdao did not have a strong small-commodity manufacturing industry needed to back up e-commerce growth.

Guan's program incubates local companies in the same way as Zhongguancun E Valley, a State-level incubator with certification from the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology. It offers startups a wide range of services relating to human resources, marketing and financing among others.

"We intend to serve local startups with the capability and concepts of our Beijing operations," said Guan, adding that Qinhuangdao's startups can hopefully have a greater chance of success with Beijing's resources and industry information.

"We serve as a temporary partner for those startups and give them what they need in the crucial early stages," said Guan.

When asked to measure his success in Qinhuangdao, Guan admitted that, when starting the program, he was uncertain about its future. However, after almost three years in running the program, he gives himself a score of 80 out of a possible 100.

Now, over 60 startups, which together employ approximately 430 people, inhabit the program's office building, which has a floor area of 30,000 square meters, generating combined business revenue of 60 million yuan in the first half of this year.

According to its agreement with QETDZ, Guan's program needs to produce five startups each with an annual business revenue of 5 million yuan every year, starting from the third year of its operation.

The program has achieved the goal. One of the startups, which it has been incubating only since March and develops QR-activated automatic ice cream cone vendors, attracted 2 million yuan in "angel investment" in June with the aid of the program.

To support the program, QETDZ gave it 2 million yuan as initial funding and collects no rent for the building in which it is located; to support the startups, the program members, QETDZ subsidizes 80 percent of the rent they pay to the program operator, which means a startup only has to pay about 4,000 yuan per 100 square meters.

Guan's program is only one of the success stories in the Qinhuangdao sub-park of Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park. Since its establishment, this first of its kind outside Beijing has attracted 124 projects altogether as Beijing and Qinhuangdao further coordinate their development.

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