While some incubators will look for “techie” products to invest in, the founder of Chinese incubator TriBeluga said she looks at the leaders of start-ups to decide whether to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fledgling firms.
“I will see the leader, then the team, and the last thing is the product,” TriBeluga president Lili Luo said.
And the trust building is done over a meal.
“For example, for people who like to eat spicy food, their character is usually not very soft. They like adventure,” she said, admitting that she also likes spicy food a lot.
“The most important thing is how we get along together, and how the chemistry is sparked at the scene … [only then can] we work on mutual ground and accomplish mutual goals,” Luo said.
“The leaders of Haebora and V touch, I believe in them,” she said, describing the bosses of the two South Korean start-ups in which Tribeluga has invested as sincere and energetic.
TriBeluga sees South Korea as the first step of its business expansion, as Luo said intellectual property rights (IPR) in China are not mature enough.
“Since President Xi Jinping took office, many regulations [regarding IPR] are already undergoing changes. It is such a big country with one billion-plus people, unlike Korea, with a population of 50 million who can change the rules very fast,” Luo said.
She also said that the products South Korean tech firms develop are more able to meet the needs and preferences of the Chinese population, as the lifestyles of Chinese and Koreans are similar.
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