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Australia’s Launch Pad piggybacks on Shanghai’s success with startups

AUSTRALIA has started ushering some of its startup companies into Shanghai under the Landing Pad program that began in February.

The program is aimed at helping young entrepreneurs to explore market opportunities in the city while absorbing some of the creative energy generated by China’s innovation campaign.

“China is the biggest English-learning market in the work, growing 15 percent a year,” said Pawan Lalwani, CEO and co-founder of a startup called Language Your Way. “This program has helped me a lot.”

His company is an educational and technology platform that teaches English through online games. It offers online tutoring and customized study tours with existing Chinese partners.

Landing Pad has also launched startups like Chozun, Euclideon and Trendwise.

Chozun is a platform providing business travelers personalized services powered by artificial intelligence and data science. Euclideon is a leading provider of 3D visualization and hologram technology. Trendwise is a visitor behavior analytics platform utilizing existing wireless infrastructure and low-cost smart sensors to translate real world data into readable insights for business and government.

“Landing Pad draws on a strong orientation toward the huge market in China and coincides with Chinese government concept of building Shanghai into an international hub of science and technology,” said Graeme Meehan, Australian consul-general in Shanghai at a press briefing sponsored by Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

Landing Pad as part of the Australian National Innovation and Science Agenda established by Austrade in Shanghai, Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore and Tel Aviv. It aims to offer market-ready Australian startups access to wider markets and resource sharing. It also seeks to help them overcome language difficulties in pursuing global markets.

“This program provides an operational base and support for up to 90 days,” said Karen Surmon, Australia’s commercial consul. “During this period, Landing Pad sets up the framework for participants to exhibit, examine, popularize their products and expand their influence.”

Besides Australian government support, Landing Pad participants also draw on the resources of Shanghai, such as XNode, a co-working space in the city.

“China-Australia relations are the key factor in this cooperation,” said Huang Lihong, founder of XNode. “We expect more startups to participate in this program.”

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