China’s largest startup event is now calling for founders in Germany!

Started in year of 2020, the HICOOL Global Entrepreneurship Competition is the largest and most important annual startup event in China. Founders from the globe are going to showcase their innovative projects to top VC investors and business angels, battling for 140 prizes across 7 competition tracks. Top teams from each track will each win 2 Million RMB (~250,000 EUR) first prizes, plus various networking and business matching opportunities with Chinese investors, corporates as well as fellow entrepreneurs world-wide.

Competition Timeline
The application to the Germany division is now officially open. The submission deadline is 2024.04.15 and the Grand Final battle with a global startup expo is scheduled in Q2 2024 in Beijing, to which global finalists will be invited to pitch on-site. The good news: China requires now no visa for German travelers staying less than 14 days. It’s your best chance to pitch top Chinese VCs face to face!

Tech Tracks

7 following Tech Tracks are open this year for both startups in early phase “Maker Stage”, or more advanced phase “Growth Stage” if you have already a registered legal entity in China:

  • AI / VR / FinTech
  • Medicine & Healthcare
  • New Generation Information Technology
  • High-end Equipment
  • CleanTech / New Materials
  • Cultural Creativity
  • AgriTech / FoodTech

Your nationality, location or experience with Chinese market does not matter: teams in different tracks and stages will compete in corresponding groups and hence have a fair battleground for everyone.

Who are Eligible?

  • Global startup founders from all countries are welcomed. You do not need to have a company incorporated for your startup. Nationality plays no role, but you must speak fluent English. You are seriously considering entering the Chinese market and plan to establish your presence in Beijing in the next 12 months. 
  • Chinese founders could also apply, but shall have obtained an educational degree or have studied, worked, or started a business outside of China for at least more than 1 year, and have returned to China for less than 10 years (i.e. after  01.01.2012).
  • Startups already registered in Beijing between 01.01.2012 and 31.12.2021 shall apply for the Growth Stage. Startups registered in Beijing after 01.01.2023 or have not registered any company in China yet, shall apply for the Maker Stage.
  • If applying as an individual, you should be the startup’s main founder and the largest natural person shareholder of the company (to be founded), holding no less than 30% of shares.
  • If applying as a team, you should be the main founder and largest natural person shareholder of the company (to be founded). Your team members shall hold at least 5% equity each, and the whole team shall hold no less than 50% equity in the project.