What kind of miracle will happen after six years of focused work?
In April 2015, six years ago, CAMP landed in Toronto, Canada. In November of that year, 10 Canadian start-ups from the first training camp of the China Canada Joint Venture Camp set foot on China’s land. Now, it is the sixth year.
Over the past six years, CAMP has led more than 40 Canadian entrepreneurial teams to China for learning and exchange. More than 30 campers have obtained direct investment from CCAA or Chinese investors through CAMP trips, and 16 enterprises have found local partners or established offices in China. Even in 2020, when the COVID-19 is severe, the newly completed financing amount of CAMP camper enterprises exceeded CAD 250 million.
Looking back at the start-ups that participated in CAMP that year, ApplyBoard has grown into a unicorn enterprise with a valuation of more than 2 billion Canadian dollars, and has become the first project invested by CAMP in North America with a valuation growth of more than 100 times; During the COVID-19, Cyclica, an AI platform for drug research and development, gave full play to its expertise and carried out international cooperation with a number of top institutions, including the Institute of Medicine of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, becoming a typical example of international collaborative anti epidemic; Genecis, a bioplastics disposal company for kitchen waste, has also achieved rapid growth; Fibos, an optical fiber sensor R&D company suitable for harsh environments
At the same time, CAMP has gradually become a part of Canada’s science and technology ecosystem, with relevant Canadian government departments including the Canadian Embassy in China, OCI Ontario Center of Excellence, Mals Innovation Center, China Canada Technology Transfer Center, GTAN Golden Triangle Angel Network, NACO Canada National Angel Alliance, Canada US Finance and Economics, innovation incubators, mainstream investment institutions, universities and research institutions Venture capital media have established deep mutual trust and good cooperation. With a dazzling transcript, the new CAMP has officially opened in May this year.
Due to the COVID-19, the opening ceremony was held online. 14 outstanding Canadian enterprises, including nanotechnology, life science, new energy, artificial intelligence, intelligent sensors and other hard science and technology fields, made a centralized appearance. Song Yijun, representative of the Government of Ontario, Canada and commercial counselor of the Canadian Embassy in China, former president and CEO of the Ontario Center of Excellence Dr Tom Corr, the person in charge of CAMP China, Wang Tong, the founding partner of Zhongguancun Dahe Capital, Yang Jun, the person in charge of CAMP Canada, the vice president of CCAA and other guests attended the meeting, and participated in the meeting together with representatives of Canadian government agencies, creative service agencies and venture capital media.
It is understood that 100% of the 14 Canadian enterprises entering this year are technology driven. For example, XProEM, which leads the recovery technology of lithium batteries for electric vehicles in the future, and V3E and S3M processes independently innovated and developed by the company, can reduce the energy consumption and material costs of recovery operations by more than 55%, thus greatly increasing the gross profit margin of recovery operations from 20% of current technology to about 45%; For example, Skinopathy, an enterprise engaged in remote diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, is building a health wallet and entering the market as a telemedicine platform focusing on dermatology
In recent years, CAMP, based on the current situation in China, has chosen more enterprises driven by hard science and technology and related to China. Wang Tong, the founding partner of Zhongguancun Dahe Capital, once said that after years of exploration, CAMP has gained more recognition in guiding overseas high-tech enterprises to develop in China through early investment, and has gradually established its own standard for the selection of campers. Why do overseas entrepreneurs take Chinese money? In fact, they pay more attention to the Chinese resources that can be used behind China’s huge market and investment institutions. Therefore, CAMP mainly considers three points in the selection of campers: first, China is a huge target market; Second, the production and supply chain of enterprises is in China; Third, the project needs funds.
In order to better let Canadian entrepreneurs understand China and settle in China, CAMP has formed a complete training system. In the past, CAMP will focus on organizing campers to come to China for a two-week study and exchange, during which time it will provide campers with entrepreneurship course training, project roadshow docking, large enterprise exchange visits, key resource docking and other activities.
This year’s CAMP has been upgraded on the basis of the past. The original 2-week activity has been upgraded to a 6-month 3-step training plan, which aims to provide more targeted guidance to campers and provide more efficient resource docking and implementation plans.
In the first stage, CAMP invited Chinese and Canadian government institutions, investment institutions, top law firms, etc. to join in, and introduced China’s market opportunities from different perspectives, as well as the business culture that needs to be understood when entering the Chinese market. At the same time, it provides professional guidance for the campers, including law, intellectual property rights and Chinese patent and trademark application process, to study the feasible business structure of Canadian enterprises in China.
In the second stage, CAMP will help campers develop specific strategies for entering China, help campers establish contacts with Chinese investors/partners/local incubators, and finalize preliminary business development plans for specific opportunities in the Chinese market.
In the third stage, we will organize campers to visit China on the spot, connect with Chinese investors and potential partners, and promote cooperation.
In terms of scientific and technological innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecological environment, both China and Canada are one of the innovation centers in the world today. Canada itself has a small market, but it has good science, technology and talents. Among Canada’s numerous industrial clusters, life science, clean technology and renewable energy, artificial intelligence, information and communication technology, and advanced manufacturing are all regarded as competitive industries. China, on the other hand, has a huge market, strong production and manufacturing capacity and sufficient capital, which provide the soil for innovation exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
As an important measure to build a China Canada cross-border angel investment platform, CAMP not only opens the door to the Chinese market for Canadian start-ups, but also provides an opportunity for Chinese start-ups to seek North American cooperation. Through the training camp activities, Canadian entrepreneurs can greatly promote their understanding of China, China’s entrepreneurial environment, and China’s venture capital environment, and bring new ideas to Chinese entrepreneurs and venture capital circles, as well as more understanding of North American innovation. Zhongguancun Dahe Capital and CAMP will actively advocate innovation, entrepreneurship and cooperation exchanges with a global perspective, practically promote scientific and technological innovation cooperation and entrepreneurial culture exchanges between China and Canada, and create an international innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.