Running a Start-Up in China

Running a Start Up In China

Speaker: Chris Dobbing, founder of the Cambridge Mask Company. Chris Dobbing, the founder of the Cambridge Mask Company spoke about his new range of 'Smart' pollution masks and gave a fascinating insight into start ups in China. 

Chris DobbiBased in Beijing, Chris Dobbing founded his company in January 2015. His enterprising start-up is using British military technology to bring a new range of pollution masks designed to target China's expanding middle class. Since January 2015 Christopher has raised 2 round of funding, conducted R&D, set up production in the UK and started selling in Beijing. Contracts with the German Embassy in Beijing as well as several major international schools have been confirmed and additional shipments of effective pollution-control masks in fashionable designs are on their way to China. Below is a summary of some of our key take-aways from Chris' insightful talk. 

 Key take-aways
  • Environment Urbanisation leads to severe and large-scale health problems 8 million people die every year from the effects of invisible particles in air-borne pollution The ‘Airpocalypse’ of January 2013 was the point at which China acknowledged that the ‘fog’ was pollution. The impacts of air pollution on respiratory health are now better understood by members of the public. 
  •  Setting up an SME Headlines suggest a slow-down in China’s economy but middle class consumption remains healthy. 
  • A product or service aimed at that market still has mid-long term potential Be warned! 
  • Setting up a WOFE can take up to a year and is costly in terms of office rental; it is illegal to sell a single item until you have official tax receipts bearing your company name Salaries are high in Beijing; be creative with your contractual terms and encourage employee loyalty 
  •  Product advertising Taobao Databox is a fantastic tool to analyse online consumer behaviour 
  •  Print advertising is very expensive in China 
  •  WeChat: average user opens the app 10x daily and spends an average of one hour per day engaged with it. This makes it a very effective marketing and sales platform.  

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