Three Chinese innovation start-ups impressed Britain's Prince Andrew and over 300 audience in a high-end international competition held in London.
The Pitch@Palace, an initiative founded in 2014 by Prince Andrew to support entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas, has seen its global final Wednesday night at the St. James's Palace.
A total of 23 global entrepreneurs, selected from hundreds of participants in 15 countries, pitched their businesses at the palace to an influential audience including angel investors, mentors and key business supporters.
Three Chinese start-up companies entered the global final this year, including YI Tunnel, who is among the first companies to make use of AI in the retail sector, Pony AI, who has launched China's first self-driving fleet for urban area open street operation and aims to create the safest, most reliable and state-of-the-art technologies for autonomous vehicles, as well as China Craftmanship, which combines Chinese traditional craftsmanship with modern fashion designs to create a business model with both commercial and cultural value.
"All the Chinese entrepreneurs are excellent," Prince Andrew told Xinhua at the site, "All of them were really, really good. This particular event is not about one being better than all the others. This is about showing the great innovation that there is around the world at the moment, and China has got just as much innovation as anywhere else. "
He added that it was a great privilege and a pleasure to be able to bring Pitch@Palace to China since 2017 and to have Chinese partners that want to expand the event around China.
"Because it is not only about, as it were, finding businesses, it's about raising the awareness of your own population to the innovation that's going on and encouraging younger people in the schools system to think about being an entrepreneur and solving problems in an entrepreneurial way," he said.
Xia Hua, co-founder of Pitch@Palace China, said while new technologies brought both opportunity and challenge to Chinese entrepreneurs, many entrepreneurs now have their eyes on China's domestic market.
"We suggest that entrepreneurs have an international perspective from the outset, targeting the global market while integrating global capital and intellectual resources. In this regard, Pitch@Palace presents many chances," she said.
Pitch@Palace has seen 45 events in Australia, Bahrain, China, Hungary, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Vietnam in 2018. The three Entrepreneurs of the Year are a Uber-like program for trucks from Vietnam, a portable hardware device from Uganda that offers cost-effective and rapid diagnosis of malaria, and a high resolution imaging tool invented in Australia that allows surgeons to accurately remove tumors.
Over the past five years, Pitch@Palace has worked with entrepreneurs from over 50 countries and caused more than 800 million pounds investment for nearly 700 businesses.