Visit to Tianjin, China
Tianjin, located in the north of China is one of the fastest growing cities in China maintaining an annual growth rate of nearly 30% of the GDP of China. It boasts an international harbor and well-known for its historical and cultural heritage. It is home to the oldest university in China and one of the most prestigious universities as well as, 285 Fortune 500 companies’ branch offices.
It is also lays claim to the Tianjin Eco-City, a planned eco-friendly sustainable community, being built 10 minutes from the business parks at the Tianjin Economic-Development Area.
Vice-mayor Xuefeng found a genuine interest in my entrepreneurship experience and in our novel water technologies, which resulted in the invitation to visit the city. Naturally, I visited the local water utility and had discussions surrounding local water issues as China undergoes a massive transition in in water supply and sewage/sanitation systems. It was fascinating.
Yet the highlight of my trip was most definitely the opportunity to lecture to MBA students at Nankai University, a multidisciplinary and research-oriented university. I was positively taken by so many things – the enthusiasm and excitement, the passion, not to mention the high level of English. The students were thoroughly prepared having done their homework on both TaKaDu and me personally.
I was meant to lecture for an hour but found myself still conversing with the students after two hours. They were thoroughly engaged, askingquestions ranging from the expected – how does one raise money for a start-up? to the unexpected – how do I balance my entrepreneurship spirit with family life?
During my years as an entrepreneur, I have learned that there are three factors which contribute to a successful start-up – investment capital, a large market and last but not least, human capital. In Tianjin, I saw all three. It is most definitely a city to be watched; it can definitely be another “start-up nation”.
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