Demo China 2018 - Autumn Summit Finals Day 1

The venue was held in InterContinental Hangzhou, the most lavish golden ball shining in the city. First thing is to pick up the badge and lunch coupon from Cyzone, we got the business pass and speaker had roadshow pass.

In Demo China, there are 3 parts:
- exhibitions
- investor’s panel discussion & keynote speech
- startup’s demo show (we attend this)

I attended the opening event, there are many famous general partners of VC or investment fund or top Chinese company, they are doing panel discussion, even there is a hilarious video between ZhenFund founder Bob Xu and Feng Deng founder of Nothern Light VC, made all audience laugh.

The project B I work with they came around 1 pm for lunch, and they are still updating presentation while eating, I told them they need to send to Cyzone immediately, otherwise there will be no update. While 2 pm is the meeting time, B wants to send the updated version to Cyzone, it was too late. This taught us: don’t try to be too perfect in your presentation, otherwise you look unprofessional to send the pitchbook in the last minute.

We are in the International session, it was very friendly that CYzone prepares simultaneous interpretation for the audience, although only 2 speakers speaking English from 13 startups.

Before the demo show, 4 of 5 juries were doing keynote speaking on the stage, it was CKGSB, Hearst Capital, Alpha Startups, Amino Capital. Other than introducing the company, how they start and invest, what impressed me the most is Larry Li from Amino Capital, he said he only invest immigrant in the USA, because they have pressure, reason, and strength needed to succeed.

When the demo show time approaching, I felt nervous for B, it is their first time to be on such big stage with more than 500 audiences, if the speaker’s speaking skill is good and determined, the chance is higher.

There were many good presentations. If the jury has questions for you and compliments your project, it doesn't mean they are interested in investing to you. The juries’ favorite question:
- what is your technical advantage than your competitors?
- how many users you have?
- what is your business model? How do you make money and earn the profit?
- are you on the trend of people’s need?
- if your core member related to business?
- how do you want to scale your business?

Once the demo show finished, there was a panel discussion of juries, then all the participant will get a certificate of attending the Demo China 2018 autumn. In our session, there are 2 company got the highest score, they need to pitch for 1 minute again to get the final winner. In the end, in our session, the winner is the company doing the talking Toy for children with AI.

While international session finished, I sense the wolf part of Chinese. All audience ran to the front and talk to juries immediately, everyone wants to get juries’ business card. Sometimes, juries didn’t bring enough business card, they just add juries’ WeChat, everyone is scanning to each other’s mobile, it was an amazing scene. Some people even just did the elevator pitch in front of the VC, grab any chance they have.

Where is what I found out if VC isn’t interested in you:
- they won’t give you their business card, even they have
- even you have their business card, there was no telephone on it and website
- when they listen to your story, they will tell you immediately they are not interested
- your industry isn’t VC current focus
- if you look too desperate, pushy and unpolite in the first talk
- even they take your business card, but they leave on the table
- when they prefer you scan their WeChat
- when you only keep telling VC your story, without listening to VC’s feedback
- every time you call them, they said they are very busy

13 speakers and 7 VCs were all taken to a small room with hotel coffee, tea, cookies, and cakes. Comparing to the chaos where the crowd rushes to talk to investors outside, we luckily had the chance to sit in front of investors in the private quiet space and get a closer observation of what investor really think about our project for 1 hour.
We talk to JD cloud, they are interested in B, but when they ask B as a foreign company, who will be your strategic partner in China? The COO of B isn’t well-prepared for the answer. Here is what I learned what startup shall prepare before going to the conference:
- check investors’ background before going to the conference is very important
- check investors previous investment could understand their preferred industry
- check investors invested which stage of the startup?

In the evening, there was a private dinner, for all the investors and speakers. If you put your business card in the lucky draw, there will be a chance to win a book recommended by one of the investors tonight, I was lucky enough to reward a book on the stage from Oriza Holding, he signed his name and wrote the reason why he recommended this book, this was a very natural way to interact with investor, brilliant idea.

We also got a chance to talk to our interested VC A, normally Chinese won’t say the bad word in front of the foreigner. When B’s COO and CMO talking to investor too long, I could sense they were not respectful enough to A, because they might think they are special as the only few foreigners in this event, however, this VC is based in Palo Alto-based. The VC already out of sight, I knew he isn’t interested after B left, I asked A how he really felt about the project, he said he isn’t interested to invest foreigners who think China has lots of money and just wants to get money, then run away.

If you have any question, please feel free to leave your comment, or discuss with me.