Innosuisse China Camp: Shenzhen – The Rise of China’s Silicon Valley

Within 40 years, Shenzhen has grown from a little fishing village to a megacity of around 13 million and along the way has also become the manufacturing heart of the global tech industry.

Event Details


[Webinar] April 23, 2020, 16:00-17:00 (China) / 10:00-11:00 (Switzerland)


Free, RSVP required.

Shenzhen: the Next Frontier for Swiss Startups


Within 40 years, Shenzhen has grown from a little fishing village to a megacity of around 13 million and along the way has also become the manufacturing heart of the global tech industry. If Silicon Valley is the worlds software capital, then Shenzhen is home of hardware with the worlds most well-developed hardware industry supply chains and ample intellectual capital. Shenzhen has deep ambitions to become a world leader in technology innovation with investment of 4% of GDP in R&D. Situated in countrys most open and economically vibrant region, Shenzhen is home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world, as well as an emerging innovation hub for international startups.

Were pleased to present our next Innosuisse China Camp webinar to Swiss startups, scientific and R&D institutions, as we offer intelligence on how to tap into this innovation epicenter and gain access to the latest technologies developed in Shenzhen.



*Switzerland time

10:00 – 10:10

Opening & Introduction

swissnex China and Markus Prandini, PhD/Dr. oec. HSG,                       Visiting Professor at Shenzhen Technology University

10:10 – 10:25

Building Business in China as a Foreigner

Jan Smejkal, Founder of YCG & Co

10:25 – 10:40

Hardware Silicon Valley: leverage the hardware ecosystem to boost up your startup speed

Ji Ke, Partner & Program Director, HAX

10:40 – 11:00


Q&A and Closing Remarks




Prof. Markus Prandini

PhD/ Dr. oec. HSG, Visiting Professor at Shenzhen Technology University

Markus Prandini holds a PhD in Educational and International Management from the University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland (AACSB/EQUIS). He has been working for over 10 years in the field of management development at various universities and international companies. He is also the founder of an IT company specialized in e-Learning.

Markus Prandini is currently the managing director of Scitury Ldt. which facilitates Sino-Swiss technology and know-how transfer. He is also a Visiting Professor at Shenzhen Technology University (SZTU). Until 2018, he served as Professor for International Business at Zurich University of Applied Sciences/School of Management and Law (Switzerland) where had built up and led the BSc Program International Management as well as the Competence Centers International and Asia Business. His lecturing, research and consulting activities focus on the internationalization process of SMEs (Small and Mid Sized Companies) to and from Emerging Markets with a focus on the Asia Pacific region, innovation and entrepreneurship of Chinese companies as well as intercultural training and education. Markus Prandini holds several awards in teaching, amongst others the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.




Jan Smejkal

Founder of YCG & Co 

Jan Smejkal, a.k.a. YourChinaGuy, is featured on the LinkedIn Power Profiles List 2018 as one of the most viewed and engaged members of LinkedIn China (alongside Kai Fu Lee from Sinovation Ventures, Starbucks China CEO, and many others).

Jan managed to scale Startup Grind (the world’s largest startup community) to 100+ cities in Asia (including 25+ cities in China) as the Director of the company in the region. He created The Dinner hosting exclusive networking events in China and around the globe. Most recently, Jan worked for Credit Suisse to help their clients (hedge funds, family offices, ultra-high-net-worth individuals) get better access to China tech. He’s been in China for 4+ years and regularly works with founders and high-level executives from companies such as Forbes, Bain & Company, Deutsche Telekom, Continental, Singularity University, etc.

Jan is an active startup advisor and public speaker. He graduated from Peking University HSBC Business School and speaks 3 languages (English, Czech and Mandarin Chinese).


Ji Ke 

Partner & Program Director, HAX

As program director at HAX, Ji Ke is responsible for driving the content and delivery of the HAX Seed accelerator program in Shenzhen. He oversees all elements of recruitment, application review and due diligence, curriculum development, mentorship development and program execution. He also provides ongoing mentorship and support for teams in-program and HAX alumni.

Ji is a mechanical engineer by training, who comes to HAX most recently from IDEO. He brings with him a unique combination of experience in factory automation, product design and high speed machinery. He is skilled in designing complex mechanisms for a wide range of industries. His patent portfolio includes DMLS, machine vision, nursery products, industrial machineries, air compressors and diesel engine components.

In his spare time, Ji enjoys tinkering with machines and electronics and frequently visits his workshop in South China to produce and test out new inventions.


In collaboration with:


Innosuisse is the federal innovation promotion agency responsible for encouraging science-based innovation in Switzerland by providing financing, professional advice and networks.

Innosuisse operates on the principle of subsidiarity, supporting innovation projects which, due to lack of funding, would not otherwise be possible, or whose market potential could not be realised. It is active in cases where initiatives in the private sector can be supported by state measures. By helping to transfer research results into concrete marketable products, Innosuisse helps to improve the competitiveness of Swiss businesses, particularly SMEs, thereby contributing to a strong, innovative economy in Switzerland.