One of the highlights of the Brinc ScaleUp* program, of which we are a partner, was a trip to China. The goal of the journey was to check the possibilities that this country offers in the terms of mass production. At the very beginning, participants were selected depending on how advanced the prototypes of their work were. The trip gave them an opportunity to verify how far along are they before their final products could arrive in stories.
One of the participants was the coordinator of Sescom’s cooperation with Brinc ScaleUp, the director of Sescom Innovation Lab, Mr. Maciej Halbryt. Maciej answered a few questions regarding the trip.
Is China a paradise for technological dreamers or a place that verifies fantasies and eliminates bad ideas?
China’s development is so dynamic that even small-scale activities there seem large-scale for European standards. There is no better place in the world to produce and sell in bulk. However, maintaining such a pace of business development may overwhelm. China is a market for the most persistent and the most resistant.
The trip to Hong Kong and Shenzhen from the very beginning played an important role in the whole program – it was there that startups were supposed to collide with the realities of production processes. Was it an eyes-opening experience?
Today, in the era of the Internet and popular science programs, the view of the factory interior is hardly a surprise for anyone. However, automated production processes are definitely among the most mesmerizing views. It’s easy to lose yourself in impressive numbers, such as the hundreds of thousands of copies produced monthly. Looking at such factories, you can think that mass production is not a difficult thing at all. The challenge is not to create, though, but to find customers for the product. I think that for startups such a clear awareness of the fact was an important element, inspiring them to even harder and more persistent work.
Is the “Made in China” label is still perceived as a feature of poorly made, unattractive and cheap imitations? Or have perceptions changed in any way?
Of course, even if nothing has changed, the Chinese people will not openly admit it. The game of appearances is still a strong element in dealing with foreigners. However, the quality control processes we saw at the electronics factory gave us the feeling that “Made in China” does not mean the same as 10 years ago.
We present the story behind the journey in a short video reportage:
* Brinc ScaleUp is an initiative aimed at supporting startups from the IoT industry. The program is based on the idea of providing new innovative technological solutions to companies through close cooperation between them and startups. It is co-financed by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. More about the program on: www.brinc.pl/scaleup