Chinese technology incubator giant establishes first Canadian office in Edmonton


China’s biggest network of incubators is set to open its first Canadian office in Edmonton, a move that will open up one of the world’s largest markets to Alberta technology innovators.

The University of Alberta’s relationship with Chinese education powerhouse Tsinghua University helped attract the company, TusStar, to the provincial capital city and the downtown headquarters of TEC Edmonton.

TusStar — with more than 80 incubators in 45 Chinese cities and its holding company, Tus Holdings, which boasts assets of more than C$70 billion — is owned by Tsinghua University.

Tsinghua and Alberta’s largest university have had a long-standing partnership for more than a decade and currently more than 100 Tsinghua alumni are involved with the University of Alberta as either faculty or post-doctoral researchers.

TEC Edmonton is a non-profit joint venture between the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

“This is a really significant deal,” TEC Edmonton chief executive officer Chris Lumb said of a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year with TusStar in Beijing.

“There is a strong motivation on both sides to access each other’s markets.”

It could also be a significant deal for the University of Alberta, which has already seen noteworthy success with its technology spinoff.

Through licence, rental and contributions to research revenue as well as cashed-in equity, TEC Edmonton in a little over a decade has added more than $70 million to the university’s balance sheet.

As part of the partnership, TusStar will offer business advice on things like access to market and the role of the state on legal and regulatory issues. And, for the right kind of ventures, it will invest in companies through its “multimillion-dollar investment funds.”

“The Chinese market is really hard to access if you don’t have connections to China and if you don’t understand how business works in China,” said …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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