Joseph Zhou of Bits x Bites, China’s only food tech startup accelerator and venture capital firm, is inspiring China’s entrepreneurial community to bring new ideas to solve global food safety and nutrition issues. China has the world’s largest population and the country is the world’s largest food producer.
With increased investments in startups enabling entrepreneurs to scale and grow their companies, there is a revolution underway in the food tech industry. “Technology is really the most powerful enabler that we can use to disrupt the traditional Chinese food industry.”
Joseph shared his insights with the Tel Aviv Startup Grind community on how global startups can make a meaningful impact.
1. Identify the challenge.
China just surpassed the US as the country with the highest obese population, with many children among the afflicted. The Chinese government understands the problem and is beginning to support food safety and nutrition. There is room for the private sector to do its part as well to give the 1.3 billion people access to safe food.
2. Concentrate on areas that are ripe for disruption.
Find the areas where technology is able to successfully solve problems. China is the world’s number one pesticide consumer and the Chinese government is now setting a cap for pesticides. In addition, the Chinese government is seeking to decrease animal consumption. These areas are ripe for disruption.
3. Provide an innovative solution — with a succinct pitch.
For potential investment in startups, VCs look at a company’s people, product and market. The more innovative the solution the better. Potential startups should create a succinct one sentence pitch that grabs investor’s attention.
4. Become part of a global community.
The Chinese market is vast, and it is beneficial to partner with global startups. Companies that are interested in working in the Chinese market can gain from joining the local community and utilizing a local startup’s knowledge of the market.
Personal missions can also help drive change and make an impact. Joseph joined the food tech sector to fight for the future of good food so that his young son grows up with plenty of safe and nutritious food options.
He believes it is possible to have business goals that include both profit and purpose. The investment horizon in food is longer than other tech sectors. To that end, the Bits x Bites team takes a strategic long-term investment approach to help companies realize their full potential.
To hear more about achieving startup success in China watch the Startup Grind full interview here.
Written by: Dalia Landes | Photos by: Liat Mandel