2017 InnoSTARS Competition

2017 ”创之星” 中美创新创业大赛

Grow Faster by Going Global: Work with Qualified Chinese Investors

to Leverage China’s Huge Market Potential

Go to 2018 InnoSTARS Website


China is a growing powerhouse of the world economy with a huge consumer market of its own and a rapidly rising scientific and technological base that is increasingly attracting worldwide attention. This thriving innovation and technology community has become one of the main driving forces for China’s unprecedented recent advances in science and technology. President Xi Jinping has promoted significant incentives for innovation in the government’s latest five-year plan with the aim to make China into an innovation-led economy by 2020. The continued rising needs for innovation and the government’s encouraging policies have resulted in growing R&D spending ($224 billion in 2016) and increased venture capital investing into Chinese start-ups ($15.5 billion in 2015).

There is a definite interest among companies and investors on both sides of the Pacific to do business with each other and to bring to market innovative products and services. However, limited information on consumer demand and market opportunities, fragmented investment resources, and challenging language and culture barriers can make the cross-border process complex and difficult. InnoSTARS aims to help overcome these obstacles.

The 2017 InnoSTARS Competition is a platform that connects U.S.-based innovators and companies with Chinese investors, corporates, and strategic partners. The goal of the Competition is to provide U.S.-based innovative technology companies with resources to enter the Chinese market. Hosted by the US China Innovation Alliance (UCIA), China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC), China Association for International Science and Technology Cooperation (CAISTC), and supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of People’s Republic of China (MOST), the competition aims to provide U.S.-based innovators and companies a better understanding of the opportunities available to companies interested in doing business in China as well as interfacing directly with qualified Chinese partners and investors. Join InnoSTARS to gain unique access to leading resources in China.

Why should I participate?

The InnoSTARS Competition allows innovative companies across the U.S. to compete for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip (worth $35,000+) to visit up to 3 highly-sought Chinese innovation hubs and meet at least 30 industry-specific potential investors and partners with fund size larger than $50 million. Companies that are selected for the Preliminary Stage will have 50% chance to win a trip.

Is your innovation ready for China? Take your business to the next level by working with leading Chinese partners. Access unique professional services that can connect you to Chinese capital and help to mitigate market-entry risks.

Apply Now!

Key Dates

Now to 11:59 pm (ET) April 30th 2017

Preliminary Stage:
Chengdu: May 12th
Houston: May 15th
Silicon Valley: May 19th

July – November
Multiple Cities in China

Grand Finale:
December 2017 or January 2018

Competition Format

Application/Online Pitch

InnoSTARS application is now open. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Participants may be invited to participate in a live pitch that will be evaluated by judges with expertise in their respective fields from both the U.S.A. and China.

Application deadline
11:59 pm (ET) April 30, 2017

Online application. Selected companies/technologies will be invited to give a 20­-minute online pitch (10-minute actual pitch and 10-minute for interpretation in Chinese) followed by a 10-minute Q&A (Time may be adjusted)

Online pitch dates
April 12, April 24 and April 27

Prizes for winners

  1. Twenty to thirty companies/technologies in each of the five areas will be invited to attend the Preliminary Stage Competition on May 15 in Houston, TX; twenty companies/technologies will be invited to the Preliminary Stage Competition on May 19 in Silicon Valley, CA
  2. Sponsored participation in the US China Innovation and Investment Summit (UCIS) in Houston on May 16
       (a) Opportunity to attend business matchmaking event and meet with potential partners and investors from China
       (b) Opportunity to showcase company and products to all Summit attendees
  3. One InnoSTARS candidate from each industry will be selected to participate in a panel discussion or deliver a 10-minute pitch in front of all Summit attendees (including potential Chinese investors and partners) at the plenary session on May 16

Preliminary Stage

Date and Time

  1. May 10-12, Chengdu, China (judges only)
  2. May 15, Houston
  3. May 19, Silicon Valley Division


  1. Chengdu (judges only): 2017 China Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair
  2. Houston: Omni Houston Hotel, 4 Riverway, Houston, TX 77056
  3. Silicon Valley Division: Fenwick & West LLP, 801 California St, Mountain View, CA 94041


  1. Houston: 8-minute pitches + 5-minute Q&A for each participant
  2. Silicon Valley: 5-minute pitch + 3-minute Q&A for each participant
  3. All applicants qualified for the Preliminary Stage will be asked to provide a presentation deck they would like to use on the day of the event by May 5, 12pm (CT). Supplemental materials are not necessary.

Prizes for winners

  1. Of the 20-30 companies/technologies in each area participating in the Preliminary Stage in Houston, 10-15 will be selected for the semi-finals in China
  2. Sponsored trips to attend area semi-finals in China
    (a) A round-trip economy-cabin flight from any U.S. city to China
    (b) Trip accommodations for 7 days in China (up to 3 cities), including transportation, lodging and meals
  3. Opportunity to participate in roadshow in China and meet potential partners and investors
    (a) Tailored B2B matchmaking services in up to 3 Chinese technology hubs
    (b) Meet with at least 30 potential partners and investors across three cities in China

Semi-­finals in China

Ten to fifteen companies from each industry will be chosen to attend an all-expenses paid roadshow (worth $35,000+) to three technology hubs in China including a round-trip economy ticket issued from any American city with lodging and meal expenses in China paid by UCIA. Thirty face-to-face investor meetings will be arranged for each of our semi-finalists. If you make it to the Preliminary Stage you have a 50% chance to go on this trip!

1. Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China

Industry of Focus: Information and Communication Technology; Advanced Manufacturing

Date: July 10 – 15, 2017

Additional Cities on the Trip: Chengdu

2. Xi’an, Henan Province, China

Industry of Focus: Agriculture and Food Safety

Date: Sept 21 – 26, 2017

Additional Cities on the Trip: Qingdao

3. Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

Industry of Focus: Renewable Energy and Clean Tech, New Materials

Date: Oct 30 – Nov 3 , 2017

Additional Cities on the Trip: Chengdu

4. Beijing, China

Industry of Focus: Healthcare and Biotechnology

Date: Nov 27 – Dec 2, 2017

Addition Cities on the Trip: Tianjin and Kunming

Why Apply?

In addition to prizes, the Competition offers the following


Interact with the most influential Chinese investors and get your technologies and products evaluated by leading experts in the field.


Meet extraordinary international entrepreneurs like you and build your network. Travel to China on us and meet your next strategic partner or investor.


Investors from around the world will be watching to see if you have the potential to take your business to the next level. At the summit in Houston, several major Chinese investors and partners as well as media outlets including CCTV and Xinhua will attend, along with American media too. On the roadshow in China you will continue to meet potential investors and partners and promote your brand through constant media coverage of events and meetings. Finally, during the grand finals we have arranged for a live broadcast of the entire event. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology will highlight partnerships between China and U.S. companies matched during the competition and UCIS, putting you and your company center stage and allowing you to secure your company’s future.


  • The applicant must be a representative of a registered U.S. company with innovative technologies or products that have been or can be commercialized.
  • Application must feature a technology that falls under one or more of the focus industries.
  • Products, technologies, patents and control of IP or exclusive licensing rights must be owned by the applicant, or his/her company, and must not have any potential or outstanding IP ownership disputes.
  • The applicant must have interest to seek Chinese investment and/or explore the Chinese market.
  • The applicant is committed to continuing the development of products and technologies with the intent to further commercialize these assets in the foreseeable future.
  • Revenue generation and profitability are preferred but not required.


Judges are principals of investment fund (fund size > $50 million) and renowned experts in the related industries.

The judges will evaluate the submitted technologies based on factors related to their:

  • relevancy to meet the needs of the Chinese market such as competitiveness, innovativeness

  • readiness for the Chinese market such as scalability, sustainability and other important market factors

Interested in becoming a judge for the Competition? Click here for the application.


Jinfeng Bo

President and General Manager

Heilongjiang Keli Capital Co., Ltd.

Yongheng Chang

Deputy Director

China Center for Food and
Drug International Exchange,
China Food and Drug

Min Ding

Senior Investment Manager

Sound Group

Cangshan Dong

Managing Director of Prospect Investment (Asia) Co., Ltd,
Managing Director of ICID,
Chairman of International Innovation City Committee of ITTN

Dejun Guan

Executive Director

Harbin Chuangxingu
Investment Management,

Bin Hu

Managing Director

Infinity Group

Tiefeng Hu

General Manager

Gateway Medical
Innovation Center

Xu Huang

General Manager

China Fortune Land Development Co Ltd.

Congxiao Li

Deputy General Manager

China State Construction
Engineering Corporation
Limited/China Construction
Science & Technology Group
Co., Ltd.

Kechun Li


Mingxin China Growth Fund

Qianye Liu


Kaiwu Capital

Yanan Liu

CEO and Executive

Giant Med-Pharma
Services, Inc.

Ling Loerchner

Associate Director of Commercialization , Senior Advisor to the Mayor

University of Waterloo, City of Waterloo

Hesheng Ma

General Manager

China State Construction
Development Co., Ltd.

Brian Magierski

Managing Partner & Co-Founder

Pacific Springboard

Lisa McDonald

Managing Director

Endura Ventures

Ying Mcguire

Vice President

Technology Integration Group (TIG)

Andrew Nerlinger

Venture Partner

Vesalius Ventures

Huihong Ren


Songshan Technology Innovation Fund Management Co., Ltd.

Yandong Tang


Foreign Economic Cooperation Office, Ministry of Environmental Protection

Wei Wang


Photon Fund

Seth Williams


Zhongmen Group

Yanfei Xi

Director of Biomedical
Materials and Tissue
Engineering Center

Academy of Advanced
Interdisciplinary Studies,
Perking University

Tao Xie

General Manager

Haier’s Global R&D Centers Operation

Qi Yang

Chairman and CEO

Interstellar Firefly
(Beijing) Consulting Co., Ltd.

Bin Zhang

Managing Director

Tianyi Capital

Yang Zhang

Executive Director

Hong Kong Fengyi International Cultural Investment Co., Ltd.

Xiantang Zheng

General Manager of Industrial
Business Department

Space Holding (Shenzhen) Co.,

Zhi Zheng

Executive Director,
Deputy Secretary

Harbin Gongcheng VC, Harbin Business Angles Association

Hear from companies that have participated in previous UCIA roadshows.

“The September 2016 US China Innovation Roadshow afforded an excellent opportunity for participants from the Houston, Texas and U.S. startup ecosystem entrepreneur, investor and accelerator communities to see their counterparts in three dynamic and exciting cities in China: Ningbo; Wuhan; and Qingdao. In each city our pitches were well attended and received, and many interactions were initiated. The cities we visited are impressive in their size, infrastructure, culture, economic activity and future opportunity, particularly entrepreneurial. Any American startup ecosystem participant with interests in growth and/or investment in/from China would benefit greatly from this exposure and experience.” — Mike Mueller | Houston Technology Center

“Structured Polymers is very thankful for the US China Innovation Alliance for a chance to participate in the highly competitive 2016 High Technology Roadshow held in China. We got the opportunity to meet and collaborate with industry leaders in materials, hardware, software, and manufacturing services. It was very well organized, and the crew made us international delegates feel at home with a glimpse into the ancient Chinese culture. We highly recommend participating in this roadshow for high growth technology companies and like-minded entrepreneurs wanting to take advantage of the next global innovation growth spurt.”   Vikram Devarajan | Structured Polymers

“I had the privilege of participating in UCIA’s China Roadshow in October 2016. During the one-week trip, I visited Beijing, Tianjing, Suzhou, and Shanghai and presented my clients before hundreds of investors. The majority of the investors are well-experienced in the healthcare space. We had great conversations in one-on-one meetings, and many of the dialogues are still ongoing today. The UCIA did a great job in arranging every detail of the trip, from travel to translation, making it a pleasant and productive experience. I would highly recommend this trip for entrepreneurs seeking to build personal connections with Chinese investors.” — Shaoyu Chang | Life Science Nation 

“The ability to participate in the UCIA Roadshow was a huge honor and opportunity for us. It opened up a whole new range of relationships that would never have been possible without the Roadshow. We met a large number of potential investors, strategic partners, and customers on this trip that we are still in communication with, and working towards mutually beneficial ventures. I would not hesitate to go again if invited.” — Brian P. Vickers | MedeStat, Inc.

“The entire trip was well organized and thoughtful. As foreign business, we appreciate the opportunity to meet with both potential investors and government officials at the same time. It allows us not only direct present ourselves to the potential investors, but also comprehend local policies first hand from the officials. Travel with fellow business owners give us the chance to know and establish connections with each other.” — Troy Jiao | Immunophotonics, Inc.

“It was a great honor and opportunity for Najmtek to participate at the US China Innovation Roadshow in September 2016.  The entire trip was well organized. We met with government officials, industry leaders, potential investors, strategic partners and even customers. I stay in contact with some of them through Wechat which is a really useful tool. I would not hesitate to go again if invited and highly recommend this trip for any entrepreneur seeking new opportunities and market.” — Sophie Ennadi  | NAJMTEK

Supporting Organizations





We are currently accepting sponsorship inquiries at all levels. Please email: sponsorships@uschinainnovation.org for more information.

Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Media Partners


The Hosts of the Competition protect the confidentiality of all applicants’ applications, technologies and products in the following ways:

1. The Hosts must not share confidential information of applicants and submitted material with unauthorized personnel.

2. The Hosts request that all judges must not share confidential information of applicants and submitted material with unauthorized personnel. However, the Hosts are not responsible for actions or verbal statements by the judges.


1. To protect the rights of applicants, we strongly encourage all applicants to raise the awareness of intellectual property rights. In cases of IP violations to third parties, the Hosts reserve the rights to disqualify any team committing the violations. The Hosts are not responsible for any of the legal redress and have the rights to disqualify any applicant in case of such violations.

2. Applicants are fully responsible for any legal redress of participating in the Competition including, but not limited to, violation of third party patents, copyrights, trademark rights, privacy rights etc. The Hosts reserve the right to disqualify applicants in cases of such violations and is not responsible for the legal redress.

3. The selection of the applicants to compete and the decision of the winners are at the sole discretion of the judges and the Hosts.

4. If a confirmed applicant for the Preliminary Stage drops out after May 8th, 2017 at 12:00pm CT for any reason, they will be ineligible to compete in the InnoSTARS Competition for two years.

5. The Hosts reserve the right to use any material prepared for the InnoSTARS in publicizing and promoting the event. The Hosts may use these materials in any printed materials or other medium that they may produce, including but are not limited to website, social media, and videotape.

6. The rules and prizes are subject to change at the discretion of the Hosts at any time. The Hosts reserve the right to interpret these rules according to its own judgement.

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