William Bao Bean

Managing director William Bao Bean of the leading Chinaccelerator, on tour in Australia, warns Aussie startups to stay away from China and much of Asia, he tells the Australian Financial Review. They should look for their opportunities much closer to home, he added.

The Australian Financial Review:

“I think Australian start-ups should take a look at expanding closer to home. The vast majority do not belong in South East Asia or China,” he said.

“Something you build for Australia is almost certainly not going to work in the rest of Asia. If you want to expand there, the first step is to take your product and throw it in the garbage. Then take your special sauce and build a new product.”

Mr Bao Bean, who has also worked with Softbank China and India and SingTel Innov8, also recommended Aussie entrepreneurs interested in Asia “get out of the building” and spend time exploring and understanding the market before attempting to launch a business there.

Despite his hesitancy around the potential of Australian businesses in Asia, Chinaccelerator has backed two local companies in the last three years – travel services business Chozun and careers platform QLC.io.

To meet more local start-ups, Mr Bao Bean has arranged an event at Sydney start-up hub Haymarket HQ on Wednesday.

With both companies he has backed, Mr Bao Bean said rather than being specific to the Asian market, he saw potential in them as global platforms.

“It comes down to solving a problem. For Chozun, it’s not a Chinese problem, it’s for international travellers. With QIC, they’re solving a problem for millennials and connecting them to jobs in start-ups and those jobs are all with English-speaking companies,” he said.

More in the Australian Financial Review.

William Bao Bean is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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