(Reporter Wu Jingjing) Today, the open attitude of China towards the world has attracted more and more foreign innovators to China, ushering in the opportunity of integration with international innovation for entrepreneurs at home. “Innovation and entrepreneurship” and “mass entrepreneurship, innovation” are no more new terms to Jing’an District with a global perspective. In July, 2016, the first Asia-Pacific store of WeWork, the creator of co-working, was opened on Yanping Road, Jing’an District. Only four months later, its China flagship store was opened on Weihai Road, Jing’an District. Jing’an District, with its Maker space bursting with vigor and vim, is making itself the “first option around the world” for more and more international makers.
The internationalized district for innovation and entrepreneurship
National Cyber-Media Industry Development Base, National Human Resources Industry Base, Shanghai Cloud Valley and Shanghai Big Data Industry Base located in Jing’an District as well as regional headquarters of multinational companies and a large number of foreign talents highlight together the distinct feature of Jing’an District - internationalization. In the last activity of the seven-day innovation and entrepreneurship forum, the key activity of National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week 2017 Shanghai, leaders of Jing’an District introduced to guests that Jing’an District is an internationalized district full of vim and vigor for innovation and entrepreneurship. In recent years, focusing on “1+X”, Jing’an District is building the layout of innovation and entrepreneurship system of highlighted advantages and coordinated innovation. And “1” refers to Shibei High-tech Park focusing on cloud computing industry and big data industry; “X” refers to various vigorous and internationalized Maker spaces.
The Maker space “XNode” has converged entrepreneurs from 25 countries and regions since it is founded two years ago, with a ratio of domestic and foreign entrepreneurs being 1:1. Here, you can always find domestic and foreign entrepreneurs exchanging ideas. Currently, international entrepreneurship teams have settled in 8 Maker spaces in Jing’an District, and in some Maker spaces, like People Squared (P2, for short) and “XNode”, the international teams occupy 60%. Many foreign entrepreneurship companies have considered it the gate of entering China and even Asia. What on earth has attracted these international entrepreneurs? Zhou Wei, CEO of “XNode”, believes that being internationalized is the most unique feature of Maker spaces in Jing’an District so that “the internationalized innovation and entrepreneurship atmosphere created by Jing’an District can better facilitate the development of foreign companies.”
Early this year, Jing’an District put forth the objective of “focusing on improving the capacity level of Maker spaces in Jing’an District; building Jing’an District into a vigorous district of international innovation and entrepreneurship in Shanghai”. To improve the quality and quantity of Maker spaces in Jing’an District, Jing’an District has enhanced its support on the building of Maker spaces, with strong support especially for the building of convenient and open Maker spaces of low costs and full functions, encouraged Maker spaces to carry out professional, differentiated and diversified operations, and actively created an overall atmosphere conductive to the development of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as Maker spaces, forming a clustering development layout of Maker spaces with unique feature along West Nanjing Road, Suhe Creek, Middle Ring Road and N-S Elevated Road. At present, Jing’an District has converged a number of high-level Maker spaces with industry representativeness and wide market influence. SOHO3Q, Fountown, P2, We+, the top 10 Maker spaces of China, have all launched operations in Jing’an District. Till the end of 2016, there are altogether 20 Maker space brands in Jing’an District with 31 building spaces covering a total area of 52,000 square meters, among which there are 3 national Maker spaces and 8 municipal Maker spaces, making Jing’an District take the lead in whole Shanghai in terms of Maker space’s quantity. This year, another 8 Maker spaces will be opened with additional 20,000 square meters.
Promote companies’ development through improving services
How to better guide the development of Maker spaces in Jing’an District? Jing’an District takes “service” as the key. Jing’an District has actively optimized service systems and given full play to the comprehensive service advantages of “Jing’an District Administrative Service Center” by integrating items requiring approval of government departments into the Center’s “one-stop” service after arrangements to minimize companies’ trouble of visiting many departments for many times. Meanwhile, it has explored to build online service center by taking advantage of “Internet + Governmental Service” to improve service efficiency for companies.
“In promoting the development of Maker spaces, we highly value ‘the government serves Maker spaces and Maker spaces serve companies’.” Related responsible person of Science and Technology Commission of Jing’an District said. What the government has to do is to enhance the contact and communication with Maker space operators and improve corresponding services for them, and then provide personalized, targeted and professional services, such as incubation and acceleration. “During the process of launching first Asia-Pacific store and flagship store of WeWork, we have helped WeWork to better realize business development via door-to-door service and on-site work.”
At present, Jing’an District has supported Maker spaces to provide innovation and entrepreneurship services, carried out annual performance review for science and technology entrepreneurship nurseries, science and technology business incubators, new organizations of innovative and entrepreneurial services and so on, offered subsidy preferentially for various innovative and entrepreneurial services, such as free internet access, entrepreneurial counseling, entrepreneurial training and so on. At the same time, Science and Technology Commission of Jing’an District has guided a batch of Maker spaces meeting requirements and conditions to carry out branded, professionalized and internationalized development to lead the Maker space development of Shanghai as a demonstration with the operation model, service performance and incubation achievements of Jing’an District. Now, there are 4 Maker spaces in Jing’an District having been included in the list of Shanghai municipal branded, professionalized and internationalized development of Maker spaces. Therein, Bailian Group Internet Maker space and Shibei High-tech Big Data professionalized Maker space received professionalized incubation; Feimalv received branded incubation; “XNode” received internationalized incubation; 7 incubators got service subsidies for science and technology incubators; 5 Maker spaces obtained service subsidies for new organizations of innovative and entrepreneurial services.
In the third quarter, Science and Technology Commission of Jing’an District also carried out research on development and achievement, basic advantages, bottlenecks and weaknesses and root causes of Maker spaces in Jing’an District with joint efforts from Urban Innovation Think-Tank, and planned to generate an annual subject review report at the end of this year to provide a benchmark and reference for promoting the development of Maker spaces in Jing’an District.