Tech hub Zhongguancun to host boot camp on robotics, empower startups in March

The move by Zhongguancun, a well-known hothouse of innovations in China, came as the country looks to enhance tech self-sufficiency in a variety of segments, robotics included.

Zhongguancun, a tech innovation hub in Beijing, recently set up an incubator-like boot camp for young startups and entrepreneurs behind them, with the goal of cultivating China’s answer to Boston Dynamics, according to local media reports.

The Beijing Daily newspaper reported on January 21 that the camp targets early- and growth-stage companies specializing in robotics.

It is on the lookout for disruptive, organic innovations with the potential of replacing imported technologies.

The move by Zhongguancun, a well-known hothouse of innovations in China, came as the country looks to enhance tech self-sufficiency in a variety of segments, robotics included.

Beijing has put a huge emphasis on independent innovations over the past years, seeking to substitute foreign imports with homegrown equivalents.

This is partly to reduce costs and partly to avoid tech sanctions like those slapped on its chipmaking sector.

According to media reports, the training camp in Zhongguancun was started by a number of entities, including Zhongguancun Group affiliates, a business association, a local equity investment firm, a research institute and Beihang University’s national science and technology park.

The camp is due to start recruiting and screening candidates in March this year. Eligible applicants get to be coached in person by some 20 famed mentors on robotics and entrepreneurship.

Mentors include, for instance, Wang Tianmiao, an authority figure in China’s robotics community as well as a professor teaching robotics at Beihang.

As part of the empowerment plan, members of the camp will also get to be schooled systemically in business strategy, growth problem-solving, fundraising, among other subjects.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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