I'm on the plane to Hong Kong and about to spend a week learning about doing business in China through a UCLA Anderson trip. I'm very excited because this is my first trip to Asia, and I'm interested in learning about how entrepreneurship and small business works over there.
I've heard the architecture and culture are very different from the United States, though Hong Kong I expect won't be as drastic of a departure. Even so, I hope to get a flavor for some of the more traditional culture, architecture, food, and music while I'm there. I'm looking forward to meeting with real businesses, getting to know the business students at Chinese University Hong Kong, and trying to some real dim sum. I've also heard the light show at the harbor is beautiful, and I'm a big fan of light shows.
Also, as someone with a finance background, I'm excited to see one of the four "Asian Tigers" and one of the world's financial centers in action. I've heard that relationships and personal contacts are much more critical in Asian business, and I'm looking forward to learning more about that. Do people "network"? How do you meet new people? Do people give each other intros? How prevalent is bribery?
Overall, I'm very excited and will report what I learn soon.
Below are great articles I've run across in my preparations and research.
WSJ: After Earning Cash in China, The Trick Is Getting It Out
WSJ: DreamWorks in China
Really interesting article about modern HK-Mainland relations: MSNBC: Birth rights battle: China vs. Hong Kong
Understanding China and censorship: MakeUseOf: How To See If Any Website Is Blocked In China
An Overview On Doing Business In China: Intro, Full
Foreign Entrepreneurs in China: A JV Survival Guide: Article 1, Article 2
BBC: Hong Kong entrepreneur finds opportunity in city’s darkest moment
TechCrunch: From Zynga To Flipboard: Why All Eyes Are On China For The Next Mobile Boom
WSJ: China Premier Wen Jiabao Backs Financial Market Reform
9 Trends in Chinese Entrepreneurship
In search of best dim sum in Hong Kong
Day 2 of the trip was really informative, as we got to tackle a lot of the difficult issues facing the city in safety (crime) and economic development. We also discussed some of the large improvements in education through charter schools and the big journey still ahead to get NOLA education where it needs to be. We also got to start the day by visiting another really successful tech company and learning straight from the CEO, which was awesome. (I also got to try alligator soup, which I was not particularly fond of.)
Before I dive into my notes on each event, I wanted to say that I've been really impressed with the amazing group of people I've met. Everyone is cool, interesting, positive, and super talented. The group is very diverse, including people with roots in Louisiana and some there for the first time, like me. Among the awesome people I've met are a full time traveler and author, film producer, fashion designer, interior designer, 2 doctors, video engineer, sustainable product designer, and several tech entrepreneurs. It's awesome to see a mix of people interested in digital media, arts, biosciences, and sustainability, and everyone's really dedicated to finding ways to help NOLA out.
My notes on the day's events are below.
Industry Panel at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)
Today was jammmm packed. I got an amazing sense for the vibrant tech culture and amazing recovery of New Orleans across its arts, digital media, and biosciences sectors. What a day!
We started the day at a beautiful museum, which went from 9 to 40,000 pieces in 100 years. We ate breakfast at a HUUUGE
30 seat board room table, and the museum was filled with "Art in Bloom" exhibits combining art and flowers (not so great for my allergies).
Having cameras around us the whole day was a bit strange (I felt like it was reality TV), but for the good of the documentary and spreading the word, we are all good sports.
Below are some of my photos and notes on the day.
Panel at New Orleans Museum of Art
NOLA Branding Talk
Growth Industry Panel
Tech transfer office
Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans
Search Influence Company Visit
Bioinnovation Center Happy Hour