​Over 7,000 companies sign up for 'Startup in Shanghai' competition

(en.sh-italent.com)Updated : 2022-07-20


A launch ceremony for the 2022 "Startup in Shanghai" International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition is held at the Shanghai Technology Innovation Center on July 7. [Photo/WeChat ID: sh_stcsm]

The 2022 "Startup in Shanghai" International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition officially started at the Shanghai Technology Innovation Center on July 7.

During the launch ceremony, several measures for bolstering the development of science and technology enterprises were also unveiled.

The launch ceremony was broadcast live simultaneously on platforms such as Bilibili, Douyin and WeChat, and garnered a total of 12,000 views.

Over 7,000 companies signed up for this year's competition. More than 65 percent of them are technology-based micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that have been established within five years.

They will compete in multiple fields, including biomedicine, artificial intelligence, integrated circuits, and epidemic prevention and control. The winners will represent the Shanghai Division to participate in the China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.

Since its debut in 2012, the "Startup in Shanghai" competition has become a stage for technology entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative solutions and cutting-edge technologies, and serve as a platform to gather innovative resources.

In the past 10 years, more than 50,000 technology-based SMEs have participated in the competition, and for seven consecutive years, the Shanghai Division has been the victor in regional competitions throughout the country in terms of amount of registrations and awards received, and a number of leading technology companies have emerged from the competition.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the registration began on April 6 and many companies were unable to complete the registration in time, or encountered operational difficulties such as stamping. In response to these circumstances, the competition organizers not only extended the registration period, but also relaxed the corresponding requirements.

In addition, this year's event set up a special competition for epidemic prevention and control. Nearly 400 pre-competition online lectures had been organized throughout the city to answer relevant questions for participating companies, attracting more than 100,000 participants.

In order to help enterprises overcome difficulties brought about by the ongoing pandemic as soon as possible, the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality will expand the scale of technological innovation funding support for technology-based SMEs linked to the competition this year. The number of enterprises to receive support is expected to exceed 2,000.

During the launch ceremony, Chen Hongsheng, an inspector from the Department of Achievement Transformation and Regional Innovation of the Ministry of Science and Technology delivered an online speech, and Xu Feng, secretary of Shanghai Science and Technology Working Committee of the Communist Party of China, awarded honors to outstanding companies that emerged from previous competitions.

Pan Oudong, chairman of biotechnology company OBiO, and Wang Hui, chairman of semiconductor equipment manufacturer ACM, shared their entrepreneurial process and experience in participating in the competition.

Pan said that the "Startup in Shanghai" competition helped accelerate the development of OBiO and was a milestone in the company's growth process. "As a biotechnology company focusing on the field of gene therapy, OBiO has won the trust and support of municipal and district governments and relevant departments. Now, the growing number of support policies have given me more confidence in the development of the industry."

Wang said that semiconductor industry is a long-term and high-investment industry. Although ACM has received investments from Shanghai Science and Technology Venture Capital, Zhangjiang Science and Technology Investment, and Pudong Science and Technology Investment in its early stages, it is far from enough for this industry. "During this process, the 'Startup in Shanghai' competition and relevant policy support play a crucial role in supporting ACM 's continuous innovation."

In order to help science and technology enterprises recover from the impacts of the ongoing epidemic as well as implement the relevant requirements of the city's action plan for accelerating economic recovery and revitalization, the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality and the Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau released several measures at the launch ceremony.

The scale of financial support is expected to be expanded, the local government plans to accelerate the evaluation and approval of technological innovation funds for technology-based SMEs in the city, and funds of more than 400 million yuan ($59.22 million) will be provided to support over 2,000 enterprises.

More innovation and entrepreneurship carriers in the city are encouraged to take the initiative to reduce or exempt corporate rental fees and increase investment in epidemic prevention and control. More than 10,000 companies are expected to directly benefit from this measure.

All State-owned carriers will exempt rent for micro and small-sized enterprises for six months, and it is estimated that the rent reduction or exemption will exceed 600 million yuan. Non-State-owned carriers are encouraged to grant rent reductions or exemptions to micro and small-sized enterprises, and 30 percent of the total rent reduction and exemption will be subsidized, with a cap of 3 million yuan. Half of the carriers' investments in epidemic prevention and control, digital transformation, and supply chain construction will be subsidized, with a cap of 500,000 yuan.

The city's entrepreneurship and innovation carriers, innovative enterprises and other institutions will release no less than 10,000 jobs for fresh college graduates. High-tech zones and related institutions will launch 3,100 scientific research assistant positions.

Through an innovation platform for large, medium, and small-sized enterprises, about 50 State-owned enterprises and listed enterprises will cooperate with 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises to develop together. The open innovation centers of large enterprises which effectively boosted the development of small and medium-sized enterprises will be given financial support of no more than 2 million yuan.

In addition, the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality and the Shanghai Headquarters of the People's Bank of China jointly released the "High-tech Enterprise Loan 2.0". In the previous version signed by the two parties in 2019, the first batch of eight commercial banks was required to provide a special credit line totaling 50.5 billion yuan. In the past three years, the cumulative amount of credit provided to 5,478 enterprises has reached 540.4 billion yuan. The upgraded credit scheme will add ICBC, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial Bank, and China Everbright Bank, and add no less than 50 billion yuan in credit. Together, the 13 banks will provide a credit scale of no less than 200 billion yuan each year to meet the needs of the innovative development of high-tech enterprises.

The "High-tech Enterprise Loan 2.0" is an important measure to provide financial support for technological innovation. The banks will provide more financial guarantees for high-tech enterprises in terms of R&D investment, and innovative product applications and promotions.