A selection of innovative startups from Edinburgh-based tech accelerator, Seed Haus, are travelling to China’s electronics capital Shenzhen in an effort to forge greater ties with manufacturers and suppliers. Shenzhen is one of the fastest growing tech cities in the world, cultivating a reputation as a world-leader in electronics innovation with a vibrant industry ecosystem.
This inaugural trip to Shenzhen will see innovative robotics company, Casta Spes Technology (CST) and Power a Life enhance their relationships with key partners in the city and, according to CST CEO Selby Cary, will provide a greater understanding of the city’s ongoing development.
He said: “This trip will provide us with key insight into the growing technology and manufacturing hub of Shenzhen.”
Shenzhen’s reputation as a world-leading home of technology innovation has been growing steadily, with robotics, advanced manufacturing and artificial intelligence development a firm focus. For decades, Shenzhen was an obscure fishing town of some 30,000 people, however in 1979, it received special status as one of China’s Special Economic Zones and has since grown into a bustling metropolis of over 12 million people.
Building a stronger relationship between Scottish startups and their China-based counterparts could be key to a colourful future relationship. Additionally, with such a staggering rise to prominence, Scotland and its various industries could learn from the vibrant innovation taking place in the Far East.
In 2013, the cities of Edinburgh and Shenzhen signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at providing reciprocal support for incubation spaces in either city. This first step toward a closer working relationship will allow Seed Haus startups to take full advantage of the support provided as a result of this initiative; helping to drive innovation and international cooperation.
Shenzhen can be described as a near-perfect technology manufacturing hub, containing all the components for the various stages of electronics production in one place. As a result, this has turned the city into a reputable staging ground for a variety of large tech companies such as ZTE, Huawei and Tencent.
It is also home to a number of rising startups and entrepreneurs from across the globe; all of which look to develop their products as efficiently as possible.
Cary pointed out that for Scottish startups, this could prove to be an incredibly profitable environment, allowing them to accelerate product development on a larger scale than in the UK. He said: “By purchasing the newest high-quality components from the source, and making actionable supplier contacts, we will accelerate our product development considerably.”
Calum Forsyth, CEO of Seed Haus hailed the initiative as an opportunity for startups to expand their horizons and look to developing global relationships. He said: “We firmly believe that our portfolio companies need to be thinking globally. It’s fantastic to see the startups taking the initiative and making the trip out to Shenzhen.
“The established relationship already in place as part of the Edinburgh-Shenzhen linkage are invaluable here and the startups will be sure to take advantage of this setup.”