Recap: The Nordics at Shenzhen Hi-Tech Fair

In late 2019, 40 companies from across the Nordics traveled to Shenzhen, China, to join the Shenzhen Hi-Tech Fair. This a 500,000+ attendee event, one of the largest in the world, is a hotbed of the latest technology.

The Nordic China Startup Forum (NCSF), a community-run initiative supporting Sino-Nordic collaboration in the startup ecosystem, joined forces with local communities and agencies to select companies to attend the event from 6 Nordic cities earlier in 2019. Together they made up “The Team Nordic Delegation 2019” the largest ever joint Nordic Startup delegation coming to China.

The Royal Norwegian General Consulate in Guangzhou, China Technology Market Association, Innovation Lab Asia Denmark, PLD Capital, and the Nordic Innovation House Hong Kong sponsored the delegation. The delegation participated in two full days of events exploring Shenzhen’s business and tech ecosystems.

Nordic startups joined a Nordic Innovation Pavilion that featured exhibits from Nordic tech companies, with an inauguration ceremony attended by a large crowd and personally opened by members of the Nordic Consulates and Chinese government officials.

Ståle Torstein Risa, consul general of Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Guangzhou, Anja Villefrance, consul general of Royal Danish Consulate General in Guangzhou, Sveinn.K Einarsson, the first secretary of Embassy of Iceland in Beijing, and Tao Yuanxing, president of Technology Market Association of China, inaugurate the Nordic Innovation Pavilion.

The Nordic Innovation House and the Nordic Consulate in Guangzhou also organized a formal dinner to celebrate the pavilion. Held at the terrace of the Four Seasons hotel overlooking central Shenzhen, the event featured speeches by Ståle Torstein Risa, consul general the Norwegian Consulate in Guangzhou, and Binh Johansson, Community Director at the Nordic Innovation House Hong Kong as well as performances by famed Norwegian jazz percussionist Terje Isungset.

Promoting Nordic sustainability

The second day of the China High-Tech Week started with a scheduled visit to Tus-City. Tus-City is one of the core products of TusHoldings, the investment arm of China’s prestigious Tsinghua University. It is committed to building a sustainable new technology city that is both commercial and residential with industry-academy-research interaction & cooperation to promote the increase of urban innovation.

As the Nordics are global leaders in sustainability tech, this was one of the first times that Nordic startups with green solutions had showcased to Chinese leaders in the field.

Nordic “hygge” in Shenzhen at TechBBQ

NCSF, along with Trouble Maker, a makerspace based in Shenzhen’s famous Huaqiangbei Electronics district, joined forces with the Danish event TechBBQ, to host the first ever TechBBQ outside of Denmark in Shenzhen. TechBBQ Shenzhen marked the largest ever Nordic business event held in Shenzhen, and helped introduce some of the best Nordic startups to the local Shenzhen tech and business community.

TechBBQ Shenzhen featured multiple stages and speakers from both local and international companies. Folke Engholm from Viral Access, one of the most successful Nordic entrepreneurs in Asia, spoke about the important of influencer marketing within Asian markets. Markus Dahlström from investment firm Nordic Match, which is dedicated to Sino-Nordic M&As, spoke about the advantages of investing in China. The post-event networking boasted a one-of-a-kind rooftop barbecue right in the middle of Shenzhen’s urban cityscape.

Check out a recap of the event below:

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