On March 21st we hosted Silicon Dragon London 2018 in our Cocoon Networks Eventspace.
Silicon Dragon London 2018 was hosted as part of the Silicon Dragon forums held regularly in New York, Silicon Valley, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangalore.
Silicon Dragon (@silicondragon) itself is an online publication featuring news in technology, venture capital and startup trends in emerging markets and hosts forums in innovation hubs. It was formed in 2010 by Forbes journalist, author and media entrepreneur Rebecca Fannin (@rfannin). Silicon Dragon spans a global network of 15,000 startups, emerging companies, venture capitalists, angel investors and startup stakeholders. The group is based in Silicon Valley with offshoots in New York City and Hong Kong.
Rebecca Fannin opened the event with a welcome speech, followed by a fireside chat with Candice Lo, currently partner at Blossom Capital and previously on the team responsible for bringing Uber to China.
Three years ago, now-VC Candice Lo helped Uber to get set up in China. As part of the launch team she introduced the company to 65 cities in China. In her talk, Candice shared the excitement and challenges of transferring a highly profitable business to China with the audience, as ‘the app and technology needed to be built from scratch’. At the time they partnered with giant Baidu and Alipay. Lo sees bike-sharing businesses such as Ofo and Mobike as the latest developments drawing huge amounts of funding.
In terms of markets such as China and its appeal to UK entrepreneurs, Lo highly encouraged London founders to take the leap. She laudated their ambition and loyality to the home turf.
'The ambition of London founders to be the best is impressive. The have this unique idea to be homegrown, to stay here and build, then grow beyond the borders. China is a unique marketplace, and growth from zero to vertical is possible. As a VC I look at the question of how to transcend borders and take a venture from zero to a multi-million dollar business.'
The most promising sectors in China according to Lo are cryptospace, AI, life sciences, consumer products, fintech.
'Any business with the amibiton of going to China, I commend and support. And if a European businesses wishes to be part of an incredibly fast-growing, high-adoption market, then I think it's wonderful. The ecosystem in China is super supportive. Just go! Spend time with entrepreneurs and investors to clarify your goals and go for it!'
This fireside chat was followed by a panel on "Blockchain Innovators and Investors" with panellists Oliver Mehr, ICO Analyst at SVK Crypto, Alex Batlin, Founder & CEO at Trustology, Alex Walsh, Co-founder / CIO at Distributed Alpha Capital and Karan (Kay) Khemani, CEO at Neuchatel Ltd. SPECTRE.
Afterwards, 7 London-based Tech Founders pitched their business ideas. The entrepreneurs were Yang Liu Founder of JoeyWears, Barry McCarthy, Founder of AssureHedge, Josh Liu, Founder at Honor Cycles, Douglas Andrews, CEO at DoubleWing Pharma, Jason Kim, Founder at Sprazzi, George Frangou, CEO at Massive Analytic and Yosi Romani, Founder/CTO at Brizi.
The evening moved on to a panel titled "Venture Dealmakers", moderated by Rebecca and joined by Kevin Dillon of Atlantic Bridge, Hussein Kanji of Hoxton Ventures, Douglas Hansen-Luke of Future Planet Capital, Andy Kaye of OurCrowd, Kevin Lin of Tus UK, Mark Thompson of Sidley and Patrick Gao, our Deputy Head of Investment here at Cocoon Networks.
The experts gave an overview of the general current investment scene, as well as the foci and essential aspects of taking on a venture. Patrick Gao particularly highlighted China-UK trade, explaining how important a strong business model and local connections in China were to take one's venture off the ground, something Cocoon Networks can help with and foster.
The evening concluded in a lively networking session.
To stay tuned about the latest events, join our mailing list or engage with us on social media via @cocoon_networks!