A startup guide to Shanghai can help budding entrepreneurs in their challenging journey.

Shanghai’s startup ecosystem is maturing and starting to look like an entrepreneur’s heaven. Money is getting thrown at the innovative initiatives while the government is willing to reimburse venture capitalists for their loss.

Startup Guide to Shanghai tips

Want-entrepeneurs, incubators and co-working spaces are growing like mushrooms. Markets are popping, craftsmanship is suddenly vintage and cool, and being an “entrepreneur” is the dopest job you can wish for in this booming city lately.

Even if it means everything at the same time, it takes much more than that to develop a mature startup ecosystem.

To help you in your entrepreneurial efforts in the city, we’ll give you a startup guide to Shanghai. We have compiled a list of resources beyond co-working spaces and VC funds we thought you might need.

This guide is tailored to foreign founders of Chinese and foreign companies alike. We have curated the support most available to you, particularly on the investment side because we know it’s tough for foreign founders to raise purely Chinese funds.

Startup Guide Shanghai infographic

Before we proceed, ask yourself the following questions in order to find out which support do you actually need.

1. What’s the founding team nationality, core competence, and commitment?
2. What’s your company’s stage?
3. What are your immediate needs?
4. What do you want to achieve in the next six months?

Now that you have answered these questions, here’s a curated list of support for foreign entrepreneurs in Shanghai.


Startup Guide Shanghai investment firmsInvestment

If you’re creating the next unicorn, consider these groups.

Private Funds incubators: Caohejing Innoclub, theXnode, QiaoLab, istartvc

Foreign friendly Investment funds: Northern Light Venture Capital, APAX Partners, The Carlyle Group, Matrix Partners, Steamboat Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – Shanghai, Mailman Group, ShanghaiVest, ZhenFund

Angel Groups: AngelVest


Startup Guide Shanghai acceleratorsInvestment + Visibility

Raise funds and learn how to sell with the help of these groups.

Accelerators: EO accelerator, Chinaccelerator, 23Seed, Innospace, Shanghai Valley

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Purple Spread, hubbers, Initial Coin Offering platforms



NetworkStartup Guide Shanghai networks

Connect with like-minded individuals, share tips and tools and find business opportunities.

Nationality based: French Founders, French Tech, National Chambers of Commerce,

Topic-based: La Ruche, Female Entrepreneur Worldwide, Feiy, Made In Shanghai,

Mentoring: Mentors’ Walk, HerCentury, Divii, EO network

Fablabs & Hackerspace: XinCheJian, Fablabo, XinFab



Startup Guide Shanghai eventsEvents

Attend these awesome events and meet fellow entrepreneurs.

Networking events: Networking Matters, Green Initiatives, Meetup, entrepreneur

Hackathons: Startup Weekend, TechCrunch Hackathon, Fail Faster, Full list.




Startup Guide Shanghai workshopsTraining

Step up your game in the long term without giving away equity.

Training program: Concept Lab (coming soon), Le Wagon, Startup Leadership Program

University: UTSEUS, NYU, EMLyon, HULT

Workshops: NextStep Workshops, MotivateShanghai, CoderBunker

MOOCs: Digital Innovation by Telecom Paris Tech, Digital Marketing in China by Xnode, Koudetat by the Family


Startup Guide Shanghai inspirationsInspiration

Be inspired to get going and keep going when it gets tough.

Events: Startup Grind, Ladies Who Tech

Videos: Ted Talks

Entrepreneur Blogs & Magazines: Technode

Books: The Lean Startup, #Girlboss



Startup Guide Shanghai coworking spaceServices

From the office to hiring we need services catered to startups.

Office: naked Hub, theXnode, WeWork, Sandbox, UrWork, Soho 3Q, Impact Hub Shanghai, People Squared, Spaceyun, Xindanwei, Cowork, Sandbox, FitSpace, BaseCo, 创邑SPACE (Creater), Xindanwei, (To name few…)

Spaces: Impact Hub Shanghai, PWC experience center

Hiring: QLC, Le Wagon, CoderBunker

There you have it! We hope our startup guide to Shanghai helps you.


This article is originally written by Rachel Daydou.

Rachel has lived in China for 7 years and has been involved in the Shanghai startup ecosystem for 3 years. She’s the co-founder of Lihaoma and managing member of Startup Grind Shanghai chapter. She’s also an aalumnus of Chinaccelrator and program leader of the entrepreneurship program of Shanghai University UTSEUS.

Rachel is also currently developing training programs for founders.


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