InnoSpring is a new incubator focusing on cross-border US-China startups across a broad range of technologies including mobile, software, health, and renewables. It’s opening in Santa Clara at the end of March or early April, in a 13,500 square foot building that will house 30 to 50 early-stage startups.

InnoSpring is a joint partnership between four big-time players in the Chinese technology scene: Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark), Shui On Group (Shui On), Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). TusPark, as China’s most famous technology park with 30 branches across the country, is of particular note. It’s now aiming to widen its footprint and support startups beyond China.

Eugene Zhang, President of InnoSpring, told me, ”InnoSpring serves dual roles. First, as an incubator for US startup. Second, as a soft landing pad for US companies targeting Chinese market and Chinese companies targeting the US market.” Zhang is co-founder of TEEC Angel Fund, was founder and CEO of JEDA Technologies, and previously worked at Juniper Networks, Cisco and Sun.

“Startups may launch in the Silicon Valley, but then realize that China is the real opportunity,” said Zhang. InnoSpring will advise on China strategy and provide high-level introductions so that founders don’t have to waste time as ‘lost Americans’ in China.

The InnoSpring digs in Santa Clara. 13,500 sq. feet should house 30-50 startups.

Companies admitted to InnoSpring’s acceleration program will receive funding. The investment decision will be made by an investment committee composed of venture capitalists, whose names are still being finalized. InnoSpring itself will also take a small equity stake.

Zhongguancun closely follows the Silicon Valley, at times even a little closer than it should. It’s high time for the Silicon Valley to start understanding its Chinese counterpart. InnoSpring can help.

Here’s the full press release:

Tsinghua University Science Park, Shui On Group, Northern Light Venture Capital and Silicon Valley Bank announce the launch of InnoSpring, Silicon Valley’s First Sino-American Incubator 

Santa Clara, California, January 10, 2012 – In response to the increasing demand of technology start-ups seeking business support to expand into the Chinese and US markets, Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark), Shui On Group (Shui On), Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) have jointly partnered to create InnoSpring, the first Silicon Valley-based Sino-American incubator focused on nurturing start-ups for cross-border successes. 

InnoSpring is located in Silicon Valley and will focus on nurturing start-ups by:

  • Providing comprehensive incubation services and physical space to technology start-ups.
  • Acting as a soft landing platform for cross-border development of US and Chinese enterprises.
  • Working closely with Chinese public agencies to facilitate Silicon Valley companies’ expansion efforts into China.

InnoSpring officially launched on Sunday at the Second Annual North American Start-up Contest Summit organized by the US-China Association of High-Level Professionals and TEEC/TEEC Angel Fund. Located in Santa Clara, California, InnoSpring is the first incubator to focus on nurturing American and Chinese start-ups to expand beyond their home countries. This will increase technology development, commercialization, investment and job creation in both countries.

“The creation of InnoSpring is to support several emerging trends– the rapidly rising number of Chinese returnees starting their own companies as well as American entrepreneurs seeking to enter the lucrative Chinese market. We’re excited about the bridge InnoSpring can help build between Silicon Valley and China,” said Mr. Wanfeng Liu, Senior Vice President, TusPark.

“InnoSpring is a vital node to connect to our network of Knowledge Communities throughout China. By linking to Silicon Valley, we will accelerate innovation for US and Chinese companies,” said Mr. Charles Chan, Executive Director, Shui On Group.

“InnoSpring symbolizes a proud moment for Northern Light and our partners,” said Feng Deng, founding managing director of NLVC. “China’s fast growing group of entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley’s globally-minded start-ups now have additional support as they seek cross-border expansion opportunities.”

“SVB is proud to be a part of Innospring, China’s first incubator in the San Francisco Bay Area. We hope our involvement will help accelerate the growth and prosperity of entrepreneurial companies both in China and Silicon Valley,” said Ken Wilcox, SVB Chairman.

To kick-off its official launch, InnoSpring will provide the winning start-ups of the Second Annual North American Start-up Contest Summit six months’ complimentary office space and incubation services. For companies that have the intention to expand business to China, InnoSpring will help in fundraising, business development and gaining support from relevant Chinese entities.

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