The Shortest Path to the Largest Market in the World
The FORGE programme is all about supporting your Data, Hardware or IoT startup as it builds its engineering and distribution capabilities. We'll start in Newcastle (UK), where veteran engineers from Foxconn will work alongside you to help you engineer and design your product for mass production (DFM), while you receive talks from mentors about Intellectual Property protection, doing business in China, and how to make use of the TusPark network of 40 of the biggest cities inside China to grow your startup and receive local funding, support from mentors in each city, grants and Venture Capital.
Then, it's over to "the Silicon Valley of China" in Beijing, Shanghai (tbc) and Shenzhen in China, where you'll see China first-hand, grow your professional and social network, and start building the relationships you'll need to take you to the next step and beyond. The Programme ends in Shenzhen, China's hardware capital, where you'll be hosted by Foxconn (the iPhone manufacturer), find a factory partner to start manufacturingyour product, and learn personally from our partner, Alibaba, how to distribute your product through the largest e-commerce store in the world.
Part I: United Kingdom: January 15 – March 9 (8 Weeks)
Part III: China: March 19 – April 9 (4 Weeks)
Key Investment Terms
£40,000 net cash investment on convertible note
£55,000 gross total investment
Converts to 0.7% to 4.4% of company (based on stage)
Effective valuation cap range of £1.2M to £8M
Engineering advice from Foxconn's affiliate in Europe
Grow in 40 cities in China
Invaluable social and business networking
Fundraising in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen
18-Month business support by FORGE
Part 1: Newcastle, United Kingdom
• One-to-One Check in: with your FORGE Director, who will connect you to relevant mentors and investors in our network
• Team Dinner: Eat and bond as a family, share current challenges, and solve problems together
Week 1 (w/c 15 Jan '18) – Setting New Directions
Welcome to Newcastle, one of the friendliest and easiest to live in places in the UK. Your office is well-located, only 3 minutes from the train station. You'll spend the next 8 weeks accommodated here but have the freedom, of course, to get things done anywhere and anytime. You probably won't want to miss out on the One-to-One engineering and mass production talks that Koobe (the Foxconn affiliate in Europe) will be giving you. But Week 1 is all about settling in, signing your investment documents with FORGE, opening up a bank account if need be, and having your initial check-ins with the Programme Director to see exactly where you're at, and what you resources need to be directed to you over the next 4 months.
Week 2 (w/c 22 Jan) – UK Investor Week | Using the TUS Network
In Week 2, we'll also bring in investors from the UK who are interested in Data, Hardware and IoT (that is, investors relevant to your startup) to get to know you and your startup, to mentor you and provide immediate feedback at the start of the programme. We'll also teach you how to use the resources of your investor: TUS Holdings is China's largest network of technology and science incubators, present in the main 40 cities of China. Through FORGE, you share the same access. It is also one of China's largest Private Equity and VC firms. Week 2 is devoted to helping you learn how to use its resources, which ranges from top-level government access, to business support and mentorship, and of course to venture capital.
Weeks 3 - 4 (w/c Jan 29 and w/c Feb 5): Product and Engineering
These weeks are the most important of the UK Programme: veteran engineers from Foxconn (makers of the iPhone) will come and personally give you intensive feedback on your product. You'll be assigned an Engineer Partner (EP) who will become intimate with your product goals and requirements. This is an exclusive, one-on-one arrangement, and you'll have access to some of the most experienced engineering resources and minds in the world. There will also be talks on Product Design and other related topics to design.
MID-PROGRAMME MILESTONE: You'll now know your EP, who will help you put together your Bill of Materials and Product Requirement Document by the end of the 8-Week UK programme so that you'll be ready to enter mass production by the end of FORGE.
Week 5 (w/c 12 Feb): Towards China 1 | Business Development
As we enter this second half of our UK programme, we'll begin shifting your business focus towards China. In Week 5, Chinese mentors and speakers already based in the UK share professional tips and resources that you'll be able to use once you land there. We'll also educating you on Chinese business practices, and how to best complement the power of the TUS network. The TusPark UK team will also begin working one-on-one with you to plan your business development strategy in China and match you with any contacts and resources ahead of your visit.
Week 6 (w/c 19 Feb): Towards China 2 | Intellectual Property
This week focuses on the practicals and legals for starting up your company in China, such as setting up a WOFE, and any other best practices around finance and accounting. We will also focus heavily on Intellectual Property and knowledge transfer topics.
Week 7 (w/c 26 Feb): Fundraising: Tailoring Your Style for the UK and China
As we approach the UK Demo Day, we'll bring in pitch coaches to help you hone your pitch. We'll also start teaching you the differences between pitching for a Chinese investor audience, versus the UK, so that you'll be able to work on both forms of your pitch as you start to mentally gear up for the Chinese leg of this programme.
Week 8 (w/c 19 Feb): Demo Week
Demo Days for the UK will be in Newcastle and London: it's been an intense 8 weeks... But now we'll see you in China!
1 WEEK BREAK AS WE TRANSFER TO CHINA:
Next stop: Beijing's ZhongGuanCun... aka the "Silicon Valley of China"
Part 2: Beijing & Shenzhen, China
Week 1 - 2 (w/c 19 March): Zhongguancun, Beijing
Here in the "Silicon Valley of China", you'll be based at TUS Holding's headquarters at its centre. Investor networking, company formation, Chinese law, Intellectual property topics, and getting to know other members of the TUS network.
Week 3 (w/c 2 April): Regional City to be Confirmed
This week is focused on growing your company in a regional city which we will visit.
Week 4 (w/c 9 April): Shenzhen
Get to know the Hardware capital of China, understand its resources, and start finding trusted production partners with our help.