Sunday, June 28, 2015

Silicon Dragon Eyes LA With Alibaba's Move To Set Up In Pasadena

Alibaba's new digs in
Alibaba's move into Los Angeles by leasing a 22,000 square foot office space in Pasadena’s new Playhouse Plaza signals a bigger opening of cross-border China and southern California business connections. These links are being framed around technology entrepreneurship, venture investment and nearby innovation hubs that seek to make startups more central to the city’s economic base.

This is a catch up for LA compared with its northern neighbor San Francisco. Sand Hill Road venture capitalists have long been bridged with China, and Chinese tech titans Baidu,

Alibaba, Tencent, Fosun and Renren have been setting up bases and making numerous investments in Valley startups over the past few years. But far fewer SoCal venture and tech links with China have existed.

Now a new corridor between LA and China is emerging from Silicon Beach in trendy Santa Monica to San Gabriel Valley’s Pasadena. Famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and parade, Pasadena is getting on California’s innovation hotspots map with startups from the world-renown Caltech, Idealab, the Art Center College of Design – and soon Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Silicon Dragon’s forum in LA, July 29-30, will delve into this trend of LA as a gateway city for China investment, with tech talks, venture panels and deal making at the Pasadena Convention Center, just a few blocks from Alibaba’s soon-to-open digs.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Silicon Dragon Dealmakers Face Beijing VC Bubble

Dealmaker panel at Silicon Dragon Beijing 2015
It’s a nerve wracking time for venture capitalists doing deals in China today. Valuations to invest in hot startups that could be the next unicorn have escalated to new heights. Yet no one wants to take a pass on a deal that just might be the next Albaba, Baidu, Tencent or Xiaomi in the world’s second-largest venture market.
The competition is fierce and the pace fast to get in. Yet experienced venture capitalists who have been through up and down cycles of the market before are taking a slightly more measured approach. A panel of venture capitalists at a recent Silicon Dragon event in Beijing said they are trimming the number of deals they’re investing in this year and being more selective about teams and business models they back.
At the same time, these venture capitalists are encouraging entrepreneurs and founders of emerging Chinese companies to take in as much capital as possible now while the boom lasts.
Keep reading at Forbes: Beijing bubble

Alibaba's Jack Ma Doesn't Sound Like a CEO In New York

If it’s true that dreams can change the world, then Jack Ma may be on to something big.
Alibaba’s founder spoke before a packed ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria at the Economic Club of New York, and told of his vision to take China’s e-commerce titan into the next decade, and even the next century as he seeks to fulfill his promise for Alibaba to last 102 years.
Not sounding like the typical American CEO of a major company, Ma wove in references to religion, politics, climate change and social good into his remarks, which were made flawlessly for more than half an hour before an audience of investors and corporate leaders who kept their smartphones clicked off to listen.
Keep reading post at Forbes: Jack Ma in NYC.