Brought to you by the Office of Redundancy Office and the Ningbo Government, I present the new Yinzhou Sci-Tech Incubation Incubator Park, located across the street from Nottingham University.
I visited the management office recently along with the ever active Jessica He. The park isn’t quite up and running yet but they were able to give us some information on what the incubator will likely start to offer next year. This is preliminary information and may change. Nottingham University has (probably) secured some space in this incubator and will (probably) also be offering their own incubator program within the Yinzhou incubator. It’s rumored to be called the Nottingham University & Yinzhou Incubating Incubation Incubator.
The incubator is split into two section: The incubator and the nursery. At first they wouldn’t reveal the existence of the nursery program, I’m not sure why. Perhaps because it wasn’t fully developed yet. The incubator is for revenue generating companies while the nursery is for seed stage startups.
Of the several buildings in the park Building E is the nursery (might be D). It is four floors, first floor has a cafe and reception area, second floor is open co-working space for student startups, fourth floor is open co-working space for professor startups, third floor is a mix of the two and some meeting/private rooms. One point of concern is that they call this a “science and technology” incubator and specifically ask for “clean energy, environmental management, biotechnology, medical, etc.” type startups, yet they do not have any labs or private/secure space for startups. It appears as though they expect all the startups to operate in an unsecured open co-working office environment which would pretty much limit startups to computer/app based technologies. You can’t bring science R&D home with you every day in your backpack.
Information on the official (not UNNC) incubator program: The information below was given to me by WeiWei (project department, National Hi-Tech Innovation Center, Ningbo; info below) and translated by Jessica.
Wei Wei (project department)
National Hi-Tech Innovation Center, Ningbo YinChuang Incubator Co.,LTD.
Room 205 N. 298 Xueshi Road, Yinzhou District, Ningbo
Tel: 0574-8906 9553 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Incubator Entry Requirements:
- Have completed R&D research
- Should be generating rmb4 million (about $645,000) in annual revenue (seems excessive, hopefully not a strict requirement)
- Must have customers or market contracts
- Must have sufficient funding to complete the project (I assume this means 3 years of opex, they didn’t say)
- WeiWei emphasized this incubator is different than those in the US and focuses on profit.
Nursery Entry Requirements:
- Must be students (I think they mean at least one member must be a student)
- Should be at least three people in the team
- Program period will be somewhere between 6 and 12 months (they’ll decide this later)
- Funding of between rmb20,000 and rmb200,000 (not sure if grant, loan, equity, etc.)
- One day application and interview process, 5 day (approx) total application processing time
- PhD students and “returning Chinese” get better treatment/more money
- Cannot handle any science, lab based, or “maker type” (hardware?) startups (could not tell me where they expect R&D to occur)
- Provides open workspace, desks, kitches, meeting rooms, wifi, etc.
Obviously the “incubator” sounds like a subsidized office park and the “nursery” sounds like an incubator. We’ve applied to the nursery but they haven’t reviewed applications yet for the first batch. I assume applications run on a rolling schedule, they didn’t say.
Application: Below is the website and application requirements:
- Resident Certificate (looks like only Ningbo people with Ningbo Resident certificate can apply, need to confirm)
- Student certificate
- ID card (passport?)
- The application documents