Program overview

China Start Unicorn Camp is a 7 weeks online acceleration program for fast-growing start-ups and scale-ups with disruptive technologies and products/services to learn from China’s economic disruption, social innovation, and digital transformation.

This program helps start-ups with great potential to gain access to one large market and more capital to develop into potential unicorns. In the past 6 years, we have delivered 10 batches of China Start. 199 entrepreneurs from 37 countries became China Start alumni.

Message from Assistant Dean

“It is every start-up’s dream to become a unicorn! To start a business is easy, but to become a unicorn is difficult. It is difficult not because start-ups don’t have novel ideas, talents, or good product, but because they lack global market access, managerial skills and leadership in managing start-up life cycles, and unicorn training. China Start Unicorn Camp is dedicated to help start-ups to become unicorns with Lectures, 5-Step Unicorn Workshop, Investment Pitches, Mentorship, and Unicorn Founder Chat.

China and the US account for 74% of the unicorns in the world. China is home to some of the largest unicorns in the world, such as Alipay, ByteDance(TikTok), Didi Chuxing, Lufax Holding, etc., many of which are founded by our CKGSB alumni. The entire Europe’s economy is comparable with China and the US, but there aren’t as many unicorns in Europe because the markets are more fragmented in Europe and other countries. China has a strong appetite for Western innovative technologies. However, there isn’t an effective channel to bridge Chinese investors and overseas start-ups. The lack of understanding of Chinese culture, consumers and business system often hinder entrepreneurs from entering China and confuse them on how to successfully integrate their business into China.

China Start Unicorn Camp provides a new way for start-ups to become unicorns. The program offers well-rounded training for ambitious entrepreneurs who aspire to understand the Chinese market, pitch for investment to scale their business, and work with Chinese partners. China Start provides an elite standard of China venture ecosystem knowledge that will help you better understand China and industry-specific knowledge that is essential for successful business expansion to China.

China Start’s advisors along with the alumni community will help develop entrepreneurs’ networks, navigate your business in China, and facilitate partnerships by identifying the most relevant potential partners. China Start Unicorn Camp features investment pitching sessions with leading investment company partners, Chinese angels, VC and PE investors that can offer entrepreneurs the possibility to acquire a substantial investment. Setting up a business in China has never been so easy with China Start!”

Ji Bo

Chief Representative in Europe

Assistant Dean


Who should attend

This program is for ambitious entrepreneurs who desire to acquire China-specific knowledge, global network and investment to develop their businesses into unicorns. You would be a good fit for the China Start Unicorn Camp, if:

  • You run a fast-growing start-up with great potential.
  • You aspire to turn your start-up into a unicorn.
  • You created a disruptive technology/product/service to tackle global challenges.
  • You need to have access to one large market and more capital.
  • You are a multinational company executive who would like to strengthen or expand your businesses into the Chinese market.
  • You are an investor interested in the opportunities in the global landscape.

What do they say

Since our founding, CKGSB has aimed to cultivate transformative business leaders with a global vision, a humanistic spirit, a strong sense of social responsibility and an innovative mindset, so that they embrace innovation ans strive for social and global good.

Xiang Bing

Founding Dean

Professor of China Business and Globalisation CKGSB


So we have very positive conversations with some investors especially from the last beach camp we had conversations now with Fosun, a company that has been investing in Portugal in the last few years and so it’s really about this connection. Sometimes you have to knock on several doors to open a door that is very close to you. And I think that might have happened with the China Start. Of course, conversations are still ongoing and are still starting but this might actually be the start of a very interesting journey.




After joining China Start, we worked together with Tencent to help Chinese visitors to Europe, especially the free independent traveler who is coming back to Europe after the pandemic for sure. People say Tencent has a very good network of over one billion Chinese users. We used Wechat mini programme to attract Chinese travellers to come to Europe. I'm really a big fan of the way Chinese people look at businesses and technology, so I would love to taste China again.

Guest Lecturer & Mentor

I know I speak up on behalf of myself and my fellow classmates in China Start cohort but it’s been really impressive the quality and caliber of the people that we’ve been introduced to and getting lectures from if it’s either teaching us about Chinese customs and the approach to business and how to get the deals done but also it’s the social media from senior executives at Byte Dance, retail trends from Alibaba. We’ve learned about structure from rows of senior partners at PWC. And this is all topped off with pitch events to not just mid-tier investors, we’re talking about opportunities to chat with managing partners at major VC firms. We’ve met with Tencent, Fosun. It’s just been a very impressive lineup for a lot of people that we met in the program.

Pieter de MIK



I came to the UK 26 years ago, so lots of changes obviously, so I need to understand a bit more in terms of business because I’ve trained as a scientist, and doing business in China is totally different, even I’m Chinese. It’s quite hard to understand. So China Start actually helps you to know how to build a relationship, how to build trust through an introduction by CKGSB, this kind of big platform which is really good for us, for investors after the final pitching I received.

CEO & Co-Founder

We participated in China start because we are focused on social media space and China is way ahead of any social media platform invest and China Start really helped us to actually understand and map out the landscape within that. They had experts from Tiktok and also Dean Bo Ji has been tremendously helpful in sort of compartmentalizing all of the aspects within that space. So if you want to build something massive, go to China Start.

Thang VO-TA

Callaly 嘉乐丽


Our goal was to find a partner in the great bay area and China Start gave us the opportunity. The networking with other companies on the same mission with investors and big companies in China gave us the exposure we needed. The learning opportunity to know more about business trends in China was my biggest takeaway and I was particularly impressed with the development on the retail industry in China since my last visit to Shenzhen and Guangzhou. I believe that we have a great partnership opportunity in the future and I would recommend China Start to anyone who wants to expand to China.

Co-founder & CEO

Dr ZHAO Xiaobin



Founder & CEO

Salman Valibeik

Orpiva AI


CEO & Co-founder




Marketing Director

Program Benefits

Have 1 on 1 meetings with leading industry experts (such as Alibaba, Tencent,, Baidu, and Huawei) to formulate your competitive China entry strategies

Understand China’s economic disruption & social innovation and its implications to global business

In-depth understanding of the innovation model driven by new technologies in China

Leverage the digital economy in China and differentiate your brand through digital transformation

Gain the best practice from the investors about how to get investment in China

Acquire the most up to date industries information and policies of China

Explore the commercial and cultural differences in the East and the West

Grasp opportunities using China’s retail innovation and knowledge of China’s Gen Z

Basic Program Information

  • FormatOnline
  • CertificateParticipants who successfully complete all modules will receive a CKGSB certificate and become a member of CKGSB International Community.


  • Program date


  • Fees

    £1,860 (exc. VAT.) per person
    £1,674 (exc. VAT.) per person (Early Bird)

    Group rate for 3 or above participants is available, please get in touch if you are interested

Program Curriculum

  • WEEK 1: 25 May & 27 May 2022

    Lecture 1: 3i Pitch Methodology: How to pitch to Chinese Investors?
    Bo JI, Assistant Dean

    Lecture 2: Globalization & China’s Model of Economic Development: an Historical and Global Perspective
    Prof. XIANG Bing, Founding Dean

  • WEEK 2: 30 May & 1 Jun 2022

    One-on-one mentorship

    Lecture 3: Cross-cultural Management: How to turn Differences into Advantages
    Bo JI, Assistant Dean

  • WEEK 3: 6 Jun & 8 Jun & 10 Jun 2022

    One-on-one mentorship

    Industry Expert & Investor Talk: Incubating & Investment in China

    1. How to get Investment & Capital in China
    YANG Ge, Founding Partner of Sky Saga Capital

    2. Insights of Chinese Accelerators, Incubators and Coworking
    GE Jun, CEO,Tojoy Holdings, former Vice President of Apple and Intel

    Pitch Event 1 – North Summit Capital
    Hosted by International investment team of North Summit Capital

  • WEEK 4: 13 Jun & 15 Jun & 17 Jun 2022

    Unicorn workshop 1& 2 : Select a big enough market & Customer Value Based Product Design
    JI Bo, Assistant Dean

    Lecture 4: Digital Transformation: Social media Marketing in China
    Prof. LI Yang

    Pitch Event 2 – Fosun Group
    Hosted by International investment team of Fosun Group

  • WEEK 5: 20 Jun & 22 Jun & 24 Jun 2022

    Unicorn workshop 3: Disruptive Innovations & Economic Disruption
    JI Bo, Assistant Dean

    Lecture 5: Social Entrepreneurship in China/Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China
    Prof. ZHU Rui (Juilet)

    Pitch Event 3 – Cybernaut Investment Group
    Hosted by International investment team of Cybernaut Investment Group

  • WEEK 6: 27 Jun, 29 June, 1 Jul 2022

    Unicorn workshop 4: Global Expansion
    JI Bo, Assistant Dean

    Lecture 6: Winning strategies in China
    Prof. TENG Bingsheng

    Fireside Chat with China Start alumni: The Perspective of the Tech based Entrepreneur Journey Growing in China
    Frederic Ture, COO & Co-founder of NIVOSE 1933
    Quang Kiet Stéphane NGO, CEO & Co-founder of Wats

  • WEEK 7: 4 Jul & 6 Jul & 8 Jul 2022

    Unicorn workshop 5: Organizational Transformation to Facilitate Growth
    JI Bo, Assistant Dean

    Fireside Chat: How to Become a Unicorn in China
    CEO of a CKGSB Unicorn company

    Pitch Event 4 – VC, PE and Angel investors, Up to 100 top-tier Chinese investors

  • JI BO
    Program Director; Chief Representative, CKGSB Europe; Assistant Dean, Global Executive Education
    Global Business Insights, Entrepreneurs advisor
    Founding Dean; Professor of China Business and Globalization; Director of the Centre on China and Globalization; PhD, University of Alberta
    Business in China, Constructive Innovations, Global Implications of China’s Economic Transformation, Innovation and Globalization by Chinese Companies, Innovation in Management Education, Reform of SOEs, Relationship Between State and Business, Role of Private Sector in China
    Associate Professor of Strategic Management; Associate Dean of CKGSB Europe PhD, City of New York Previously taught: George Washington University
    Chinese Firms' Global Strategies, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, M&A, Strategic Alliances, Strategic Management
  • Li YANG
    Associate Professor of Marketing PhD, Columbia Business School
    Big Data, Consumer Choice Models, Market Structure, Pricing, Retailing, Social Networks
  • Zhu Rui
    Professor of Marketing

    Academic Director for EMBA Program

    Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Branding PhD, University of Minnesota
    Professor Zhu Rui is a professor of marketing at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) and serves as the director of the Center for Social Innovation and Branding and Academic Director for the EMBA Program. Prior to joining CKGSB, she was an associate professor and the head of the Department of Marketing of Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, as well as a Canada Research Chair in Consumer Behavior.

Interested in China Start?

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