Registration Opens for MIT-CHIEF “Pitch to China” Business Plan Contest

The second annual “Pitch to China” Business Plan Contest was launched on July 1, 2012, and starts to accept business plan submissions. As an important component of MIT-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (MIT-CHIEF), the Contest strives to connect new technologies and business models with investment and experience from both China and the US. This year, 6 teams will enter the final round and compete for more than $20,000 cash prize. One interesting feature of the contest is that there is no restriction on the background of the contestants and also no restriction on the type of the business, which gives great flexibility to the contestants.

Teams who are interested in entering the contest are required to finish registration before July 29, 2012 (EST) and submit a 2-page executive summary before August 12, 2012. All submissions will be evaluated by professional judges from the contest, among who so far include Xiaojun Li (Partner, IDG Capital Partners), AlanSong (Managing Partner, Softbank China Venture Capital), Jack Jia
(Advisor, GSR Ventures), Allen Zhu (Partner, GSR Ventures), and Calvin Chin (co-founder and CEO, Transist Impact Lab), Wei Li (Principal, Fidelity Biosciences), Lihan Sun (Senior analyst, Fidelity Biosciences), Richard Zhu (Associate, Tsing Capital). More judges will be announced soon.

Hang Chen, the co-director of the contest, said contestants will have the opportunity to receive valuable critiques and potential investments from investors, successful entrepreneurs, professors, and lawyers. They will also receive the opportunity to promote their business via mass media coverage of the contest. In addition, selected contestants will have the opportunity to launch their business in industrial parks and hi-tech zones in China. “We are creating a new community,” Xu Zhang, the co-president of MIT-CHIEF, said, “a community that every entrepreneur, investor, and educator, who are interested in Chinese market, can freely communicate, share resources, and find partners. It should be a rewarding journey for every attendee and it deserves the attention from everybody.”

Last year, 98 teams from across US and China submitted business plan to the first MIT-CHIEF contest. The business plans covered a variety of industry sectors, including IT, clean energy, biotechnology, social enterprise, and more. Among them, a team for medical diagnostics biosensor, a team for online carpooling arrangement, a team on 3D image processing, and three other teams advanced to the final round, and the grand prize was granted to the biosensor team. Based on the information we collect, many teams who entered the second round has successfully secured initial investment funding.

In the 2012 contest, 20 teams will advance to the second round and submit a complete business plan by October 5, 2012. Six finalists will be informed on October 21 to pitch on the contest finale on November 18 to compete for the grand prize. People who are interested in joining the contest should check out their official website to learn more details.

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