Farhana Rahman
Farhana Rahman
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It’s time for all Israeli Startups to expand… to China

Chinese VC’s are eager to partner and invest in Israeli innovations; forgive me if this is old news to you, but it is new and fascinating to me, as most of the startups I’ve worked with wanted to get their product out to the US market
Locals watch the view of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower in Shanghai, China, September 14, 2013. (Liron Almog/Flash90)
Locals watch the view of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower in Shanghai, China, September 14, 2013. (Liron Almog/Flash90)

As an online marketer for Israeli tech startups (for the better part of the last decade), I thought I knew all there is to know about conquering different demographics in different markets. I’d take a few minutes to learn about products/services, and automatically formulate a game plan to take over the world.

Most of the startups I’ve worked with wanted to get their product out to the U.S market. The Israeli market would tie with Europe in second place. Asian markets usually tied with those in South America- neither of which happened often. Over time, I guess it’s safe to say that I was becoming one of those young people that figured they knew it all. But it was not for nothing- I had a great track record.

Photo Provided By Lee Greene, COO Kaipule

Then I joined Kaipule, and realized just how oh-so-wrong I was. I quickly learned of the demand coming from the HUGE market that never previously entered my mind- CHINA.

Kaipule isn’t actually a startup that’s trying to make a name for itself in China. They’re hands-on-in-China. It’s a free multi-language platform that bridges Israeli startups to the Chinese business ecosystem.

I learned that Chinese VC’s are eager to partner and invest in Israeli innovations. Forgive me if this is old news to you, but it is new and fascinating to me. Here’s why…

Business Changes Going On In China

When most people think of China (with exception to its rich culture and tasty food) they think of all the inexpensive goods that get exported from there. The exports led to China raking in a lot of profits, and becoming one of the most powerful nations from an economic standpoint. BUT, there wasn’t much left in terms of (for lack of a better word,) prestige. The Chinese government is trying to break out of that reputation. They are working towards shifting from being a manufacturing-centric economy, to a service and consumer-led economy.

Leading business people in China are getting support from the Chinese government to spearhead this initiative. There are many programs being set up there, which will help foster innovation. In fact, by 2025, China will set up about 40 new national manufacturing innovation centers, with 15 of them being established by 2020. Each of these centers will be devoted to sectors that Israeli startups happen to dominate in, including information technology, new materials, intelligent manufacturing, and biomedicine. They are also wanting to focus on the Internet sector, mobile, and telecommunications. Additionally, the Chinese are demonstrating interest in the healthcare arena, due to the aging population there.

Why China Wants To Shake Hands With Israel

Chinese VCs and CEOs are very well aware of the fact that Israel is the ultimate jackpot for all innovations they are looking to dive into. They are ready, willing, and able to start signing checks. Fun fact: in the US alone, Chinese VC-backed startups raised $27.5 billion, representing more than two-thirds of Asia’s total deal value in 2015. 

Now is the time for Israeli entrepreneurs to grab a piece of the pie. If you’re looking to expand (I mean come on, who isn’t?) set your sights on China. They have a great deal of wealth, and a huge potential user base you can easily make your own.

Watch this video for more on that.

Although I may be seasoned in conquering the rest of the world in terms of online marketing, I’m still new when it comes to China. But I see the potential, and it’s just so obvious. I look back at other companies I’ve worked with, and wonder why this never occurred to me before. Kaipule will have a booth set up in DLD, where they will further explain the possibilities that are (surprisingly) easy to reach. I’m not getting anything out of this, but if you’re going to DLD, feel free to swing by their booth to learn more about the specifics.

I can’t wait to see how much further the Israeli startup ecosystem thrives with the backing of China. We’ve come so far already- can you imagine how much more things can exponentially grow, upon joining forces with one of the richest and fastest-growing economies in the world? I’m staying tuned for sure.

About the Author
Farhana Rahman has been representing socially driven Israeli startups for over 5 years, and has been in the PR/Marketing industries for nearly 10 years. Farhana always makes time to assist startups in an advisory role with initiatives surrounding product launches, marketing campaigns, and social strategy. Additionally, she finds enjoyment in giving presentations on those topics in company events and roundtables. In the rare instances Farhana is not glued to her mobile devices, you will find her cooking gourmet feasts for her parents, playing mindless games with her brother, or running (Netflix) marathons with her husband.
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