On July 28, Ladies Who Tech and the German Consulate General in Chengdu co-hosted a "Startup - Power Breakfast" to share insights and experiences on survival, innovation and development during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to explore more areas of cooperation between companies of the two countries. Participants of the event included startup founders from Fintech, consulting, mechanical manufacturing, Biotech, and representatives of incubators and investment institutions.
Consul General, Mr. Wolfgang Rudischhauser, gave an inspiring opening speech to kick-off the event. By comparing startups and incubation businesses operating in Germany, US, and China, Mr. Rudischhauser concluded that helping startups is helping the economy to grow faster. He added that the impact of women within the economy was too strong to be ignored any longer. Female leaders often pursued a different and more successful strategy in overcoming challenges in the field of technology.
In the following discussion, the present representatives of Chengdu's start-ups shared their stories and experiences on survival, such as lowering budgets, reducing facilities, and stabilizing their core teams. At the same time, many considered Covid-19 as a chance to rethink and reshape their own business models and plans. The Biotech industry is one of the big "winners" of the crisis. Revenues have increased significantly since the industry's products such as diagnostic kits and vaccines are in dramatic demand during the fight against Covid-19. Representatives from incubators and investment institutions shared their insights on how many startups have – vis-à-vis the persistent constraints on public life and services - recently ventured into fields such as online medical systems and online education. One participant gave the example of how the NYU created a campus in Shanghai WeWork for those Chinese students who were not able to return and continue their studies in the US due to the current international travel restrictions.
Moreover, the participants also shared their appreciation of and views on the genuine positive impact of women in technology companies. A representative from a startup consultancy pointed out that, according to their research, gender diversity was good for business.
When the "Power Breakfast" came to an end, Mr. Rudischhauser pointed out that Chengdu is a much more progressive business environment than most people in China and Germany are aware of and, that women have a critical role to play in technology development in both countries.To take a look at our start-up scene means to take a look at our future.
The passion for coping with changes and challenges runs deep in the veins of every start-up. Although 2020 has brought about enormous challenges, we believe that women in tech will continue to thrive along with the future development of technology.