Chinese Entrepreneurs Win More than $50,000 in Cash and Prizes in International
Business Plan Competition
University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Announces Winners in
Beijing, China & College Park, Md. – October 29, 2008 – The University of Maryland’s
Robert H. Smith School of Business today announced the final winners of the fourth
annual China Business Plan Competition. The announcement puts a cap on the year-long
contest, which began with more than 200 entries that judges narrowed to 20 semi-finalists
before selecting five finalist teams. Robert Krapfel, associate dean of MBA programs
at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, named the winners
at a final event and awards ceremony in Beijing at Peking University’s Guanghua
School of Management. The program was opened with remarks from Dr. Xia Yingqi, deputy
director of Zhongguancun Science Park. The winners included:
$25,000 grand prize winner, CreditEase, and $15,000 second-prize winner, Vendiamax. CreditEase facilitates peer-to-peer loans and Vendiamax combines vending machine
services with point-of-purchase advertising. Winners were selected from the five
finalist teams. Each team delivered presentations of their businesses and obtained
feedback from a panel of judges in front of an audience.
Ten $1,000 Young China Entrepreneur Awards. In a separate category just for current
students from Chinese universities, individuals were invited to develop and enter
a business idea. Those selected presented a 5-minute pitch to a panel of judges
to compete for $1,000 cash prizes.
“People’s Choice Award” The Smith School opened up online voting via its competition
partner, Hexun.com. Visitors to the site selected their favorite team – CreditEase
-- from among the five competition finalists.
“My congratulations to all of the participants – they are all winners,” said
G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “Entrepreneurial
traits such as creativity and flexibility are vital in a world economy that is driven
by technology and new venture creation. Whether these teams go on to own successful
businesses or to work for major multinational corporations, they will greatly benefit
from the skills they hone today.”
The Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship holds the competition
annually to encourage the growth of world-class business ideas and innovation in
China. Since its inception in 2005, it has attracted more than 600 entries and awarded
more than $195,000 in cash and prizes, making it one of the largest and most influential
entrepreneurship competitions in China. While past participants have focused primarily
on bringing current business models and ideas to the Chinese market, this year more
entries focused on unique solutions crafted to meet a local market opportunity.
This is consistent with the maturation of local experience, and research and development
capabilities, according to Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center
for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.
“We can expect to see more unique solutions tailored toward meeting unique local
challenges as China beings to flex its muscles as an innovator,” said Epstein. “This
is also a smart path to growth for local entrepreneurs. They can leverage their
home court advantage in China’s growth market while the United States and Europe
“Fidelity is proud to participate in this event that has brought so many talented
entrepreneurs from around the world to China, a market we are obviously very excited
about and know very well,” said Daniel Auerbach, managing director and partner of
Fidelity Asia Ventures, and a competition judge. “We are excited to share with the
participants our unique understanding of entrepreneurship in China, based on our14
years of on-the-ground experience in nurturing successful Chinese companies such
as Alibaba and Wuxi Pharmatech.”
Fidelity Asia Ventures (FAV), the Asian venture capital arm of Fidelity International
Ltd., is a key sponsor of the competition. Auerbach is representing FAV on the judging
panel for the competition. The company, which combines its long and successful track
record with Fidelity’s vast global resources to maximize the success rate of the
entrepreneurs it works with, will be sharing its experience and hosting a tour at two
of its portfolio companies for competition participants.
A main focus of the competition is sharing best practices from the Dingman Center
and Smith School with individual entrepreneurs in China. In keeping with this the
Dingman Center offered a series of free workshops in Beijing leading up to the competition’s
final event and awards ceremony with the aim of helping entrepreneurs gain experience,
confidence and knowledge for launching a new venture. Entrepreneurship, globalization
and the integration of business and technology are key areas of focus for the Smith
Fidelity Asia Ventures (FAV) is the Asian venture and growth capital arm of Fidelity
International Ltd. (FIL), a part of the global Fidelity investment organization.
FAV is among the earliest and most successful institutional investors in private,
growth companies in China and has actively invested predominantly FIL proprietary
capital in both the information technology and healthcare sectors throughout Asia
for nearly 14 years, with a longstanding focus on China. More recently, Fidelity
has established an affiliated fund to invest in promising private companies in India.
FAV’s current mission is to invest principally in high-quality, high-growth companies
broadly in the information technology, healthcare and consumer sectors in China.
FAV’s investment teams in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai are among the most experienced
in the Asia-Pacific region. Current investments and recent exits include: Alibaba
Holdings, Pharmanex (Acquired by Nu Skin NYSE: NUS), Wuxi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX),
Hurray! (NASDAQ: HRAY), Linktone (NASDAQ: LTON), AsiaInfo (NASDAQ: ASIA), Dianji
Technology, CDP, Datuu, Xunlei,iSoftstone and Asia Renal Care (acquired by Bumrungrad
The Smith School in China
The Smith School is partnered with the University of International Business and
Economics to deliver its leading executive degree and non-degree programs in China.
About the University of Maryland’s
Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in
management education and research. One of 13 colleges and schools at the University
of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and
part-time MBA, executive MBA, executive MS, PhD and executive education programs,
as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree,
custom and certification programs in learning locations on three continents — North
America, Europe and Asia.