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Zhongguancun becomes a magnet for start-up businesses

(People's Daily Online)    13:36, June 03, 2015
A young man nods off at a coffee shop on Z-Innoway. (Photo/Xinhua)

"Innovation cannot wait." This message has been inspiring a lot of ambitious entrepreneurs to start their own business. And for the Z-Innoway in Zhongguancun area, the high-tech industry center in Beijing which is called China's Silicon Valley, it has taken only a year or two to spread the idea among people with ideas: starting your own business is not a far-off dream; anyone with the spirit of innovation can come to Z-Innoway to give it a try.

Amateur in the business? No worries. You can order a coffee for less than 20 yuan, and sit in the coffee shop all day to work. On Z-Innoway, there are plenty of modes to start up a business and no shortage of strangers who are willing to discuss it with you.

Worried about your lack of practical experience? There are various "incubators" and lots of first-hand information available for business start-ups. Short of funds for your business? You will find many affluent investors waiting in line to give you money for your innovation.

Clearly, a new system that provides full support for start-up business has grown from a cluster of simple coffee shops, providing a free platform for entrepreneurs to put their innovation to good use. On this 200-meter street, government officials, domestic and foreign entrepreneurs, specialists and scholars all gather to "taste" the "coffee" called "starting up your own business."

Only a few years ago, Z-Innoway was still a street focused on booksellers, catering, and tourist services. How was it able to switch to a totally different image in such a short period of time?

Most importantly, as an insider explains, Zhongguancun has been upholding and optimizing the system of supporting start-up businesses and young entrepreneurs with innovation and dreams. The streamlining of administrative procedure and regulation, the support of policies, and the free environment help to free young people who want to start their own business from psychological stress.

Zhongguancun has no need to advocate exclusivity, privilege, and investment attraction - innovative systems cannot be "attracted". Adapting to the local market and co-building the environment with various other entrepreneurs have been the major providers of the success it is now seeing. From another perspective, it was reform, not preferential policies, that helped take Zhongguancun this far.

The success of Z-Innoway is certainly also dependent on the 20 to 30 years of accumulated expertize around Zhongguancun, and other advantages that cannot be replicated such as abundant human resources and the general atmosphere. However, the ability of Zhongguancun to foster great systems for young start-up entrepreneurs is still worth learning from. 

This article is edited and translated from 《中关村的“创业咖啡”为何香(一线视角)》,source: People's Daily, author: Yu Ronghua

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Huang Jin)

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