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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

Top 18 Startup Accelerators & Incubators in China

China is undeniably one of the top economic entities in the world. The country's massive domestic market is an environment in which opportunities are endless and competition drives success. Aside from its sheer size, China has successfully effectively transitioned its economy from manufacturing towards cultivating an atmosphere conducive to high-tech innovation. For instance, China has its own Internet ecosystem, one that is not dominated by foreign entities. Some of the most valuable tech giants we know of today are Chinese, and they are on their way to becoming global leaders. If you’re building a global startup in China, you might want to consider joining an incubator and accelerator.


In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of startup incubators and accelerators in China. They have been subdivided into applicability for startups in their 'ideation', 'launch', or 'growth' stages, so you can find a program that meets you where you're at!


➡️ Click on the link to download ​the FULL LIST of Accelerators & Incubators including over 800+ listings with contact links!



accelerators and incubators in China
accelerators and incubators in China

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STARTUP INCUBATOR AND AN ACCELERATOR?


In essence, startup incubators and accelerators both support startups for the same objective: to help them grow and succeed. However, there are actually some key differences between the two that make them more suitable for startups at certain stages. Let's discuss them briefly.


Incubators are concerned with creating an environment that is conducive to innovation for startups at the ideation stage. These are startups who are still brainstorming their business idea and smoothing out their business plan. As such, incubators tend to be less structured than accelerators and have no set timeframe. To support the development process of the business concept, incubators offer physical coworking space, capital, as well as connections to their network.


Accelerator programs are essential "training schools" for growing startups, offering a cohort-based learning program within a set timeframe. The programs are usually highly structured and involve workshops, seminars, and mentoring to "teach" startups all the fundamentals needed to expand their businesses and become investment-ready. Accelerators often provide funding to support startups' activities in exchange for ownership in the company. The climax of most accelerator programs is "demo day," during which each entrepreneur pitches their company to an audience of investors. As such, accelerators are aimed at early-stage companies, but ideally at those who already have an MVP, proven early traction, and are ready to grow and scale their business.


To summarize, the primary distinction between an incubator and an accelerator is that an incubator seeks to transform outstanding ideas into profitable ventures, whereas an accelerator seeks to accelerate an existing firm. As such, incubators often focus on innovation, whilst accelerators are focused on growth.




FULL LIST OF STARTUP INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS IN CHINA


Ideation Stage Startup Incubators in China


The complete list of ideation phase incubators in China:





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Core Components, Robotic Systems, Industry Applications

  • Duration: -


XbotPark is a startup incubator focusing on the robots and smart hardware industry. Located in Dongguan, the space is in close proximity to major airports and international shipping ports, benefitting from access to local suppliers in the hardware molding, electronic processing and manufacturing, and the electronic information industry. As such, startups can have easy access to resources, materials, and crucial components they require at each stage of the development process. Furthermore, the space is fully equipped with R&D facilities, testing and production facilities, office space, and technical support teams.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Hard Tech

  • Duration: 6 months


HAX is a program targeted at pre-seed startups in the hard tech industry. As part of a global venture capital fund, SOSV, HAX offers US $250,000 investment, 6 months of hands-on engagement, and a worldwide founder network to help early-stage founders build their hard-tech firms. Their Seed program equips founders with access to their in-house team of engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs to assist in real-world product development and manufacturing. It is designed to assist teams in de-risking their core technology and company and raising a substantial seed round within 6-12 months.





Launch Stage Startup Incubators and Accelerators in China


The complete list of launch phase startup incubators and startup accelerators in China:




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Advertising, Media, and Communications

  • Duration: -


Withinlink is a startup incubator and early-stage venture fund that focuses on the advertising, media, and communications sectors. With extensive experience in the industry, they understood the pain point and gaps in the Chinese marketing ecosystem, and seek for technological innovations that can elevate the marketing experience in the country. Their incubator provides comprehensive services in all business areas for startups, including business planning, company administration, human resources, legal and compliance, and access to key strategic partners.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Blockchain

  • Duration: -


Happy East Capital is a venture capital firm that offers startup incubation for blockchain startups. They seek to assist in the development of blockchain technologies and promote the development of blockchain economy and finance. Their offering includes office space, equipment, mentoring, and funding for startup teams.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Commercial Estate Technology

  • Duration: -


G5 Innovation Centre is a global startup community and incubator located in 5 major countries, with the core in China and other key locations in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. Championing themselves as a center of collaboration, they have a large network of innovators, investors, and industry leaders worldwide. They are invested in seed-stage technology projects and are committed to supporting innovative founders by providing access to space, services, capital, and network.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Deep Tech

  • Duration: 6 months


LeanSpark is a deep-tech accelerator that provides equity investment, a robust curriculum, and a worldwide network for early-stage startups to scale their operations globally. They collaborate with entrepreneurs to commercialize their businesses, in areas such as product-market fit, customer approach and growth, financial modeling, talent acquisition, and investment networks.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: FinTech, InsurTech, Blockchain, WealthTech, PropTech, Alternative Lending, Big Data

  • Duration: -


Based out of the financial district in Shanghai, JadeValue is an investor and incubator that focuses on the FinTech and InsurTech sectors. They seek to incubate seed to Series A startups with technology-driven and consumer-focus innovations. Powered by CashBUS, one of China's largest consumer loan firms, they have the resources startups need to scale in the industry. They provide startups with the capital, network, support, and space to develop next-generation product and service offerings, as well as to expand to national and international markets.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Food and Beverage, Conscious Consumer, New Drinking Experience, Smart Nutrition

  • Duration: -


On a mission to contribute to global food transformation, Feast is an F&B-focused platform that aims to help startups deliver sustainable and ethical food innovations. They help brands to explore and validate their ideas in the Chinese market, assist in brand-building activities, and help brands go to market through omnichannel delivery. They extend the brands' reach through offline and online distribution channels, major digital commerce platforms, and vast influencer networks.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Healthcare

  • Duration: -


Daan Chuanggu is an incubator for health startups that integrates the whole ecosystem players through 'mutual incubation' concept. To support startups' quick development, they pool all the internal and external resources into 1 place. This includes R&D, management, industrial service, investment, marketing, health service, and financial service platforms. From project inception to enterprise listing, they offer the tools and support a startup needs to grow.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Healthcare, Life Science, Electronics, AI-enabled Health Solutions, Organoids, Bioelectronics, Liquid Biopsy, Clean Meat, Neuromorphic System

  • Duration: 6 months


Backed by Merck, an American pharmaceutical company, the Merck Accelerator China program seeks to find potential healthcare companies for partnership prospects and business exploration. The initiative is formed with the objective of ideating, incubating, and training startups to create breakthrough technologies and introduce new solutions to the Chinese as well as global market. Through the Merck global network and China Innovation Hub, they connect startups to China's innovation ecosystems and foster collaboration with partners, including entrepreneurs, academic institutions, industry players, and local governments.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Medical Device

  • Duration: -

Innovators Inc is an incubator for medical device innovations based in Shanghai, China, and Palo Alto, USA. They seek startups who are introducing novel technologies to address unmet clinical needs and assist them through development, regulatory approval, and commercialization. Startups will be supported by a team of experienced, multi-disciplinary staff with a track record of success in the medical device business.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Duration: -


Established in 1999, Tus Incubator is the flagship incubator of Tus Holdings Group, a Chinese science and technology park builder. Since their founding, they have established over 170 incubation centers and incubated over 20,000 firms in more than 90 locations worldwide. TusStar follows the incubation + investment model, providing startups with a compreehensive incubation chain including capital, space, acceleration activities, and a vast network to the innovation ecosystem.






  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Duration: -



Tsinghua Technology and Innovation Holdings is a scientific park developer and operator, as well as a technical service provider specializing in technology and innovation. Their innovation hubs are located in various key cities within and outside of China. Committed to promoting industrial development, they offer a multitude of startup services, including TIIncubator, a technology incubator, TIService, a platform for startup investment, and TICapital, a financing platform dedicated to early and growth-stage companies. Over the last decade, they have helped 20,000+ businesses, fostered over 10,000 entrepreneurs, sponsored 1,000+ company contests, and hosted 1,000+ startup events with 713 startup mentors.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Adtech, AR / VR, Artificial Intelligence, Arts, B2B, Big Data, Bitcoin, Cleantech, Ecommerce, Edtech, Fashion & Retail, Fintech, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Logistics, Machine Learning, Media & Entertainment, Mobile, Photography, Real Estate, SaaS, Social, Trade, Transport, Travel

  • Duration: 6 weeks


Chinaccelerator, now part of Orbit Startups, is an accelerator program focused on emerging and frontier markets. They offer a $150,000 investment package to accelerate the development of MVP and assist startups in business development, fundraising, sales and customer acquisition, and growth.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Fintech, Insurtech, Brand & Retail, Mobility, Health, Supply Chain, Travel & Hospitality, Energy & Sustainability, Smart Cities, Food & AgTech

  • Duration: -


Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that connects industry-leading corporations with the brightest startup to induce technological innovations. They operate over 60 accelerator programs in various sector focuses, as listed above. In China, they engage with local governments, high-tech parks, and other institutions to provide resources, services, funding, and workspace to propel startups' growth. Across the country, they have over 34,000 square meters of co-working space in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and other cities.





Growth Stage Accelerators in China


The complete list of growth stage accelerators in China:





  • Who is it for: Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Duration: 2 weeks

XNode is a provider of corporate innovation, startup acceleration, and venture-building services to get your company China-ready. Intended for startups who are preparing to enter the Chinese market, they provide market research assistance to give you insight into the local market for your expansion plan. Their incubation and acceleration program will provide you with cross-border experts who can help you access China's business knowledge and prepare your go-to-market strategy. To ease the market-entry process, they'll also help you validate your ideas with real customers in the local community.



  • Who is it for: Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Duration: -


TOJOY is a global expansion platform that assists in bringing global enterprises to China and Chinese firms to the world. TOJOY's worldwide business accelerator is committed to assisting promising enterprises in taking their business models to countries ripe for market development. Founded in 1991, they are China's largest business accelerator and have scaled over 350 businesses to date. They have hosted over 300 large-scale investor symposiums, through which they have built a massive network of over 1,000,000 accredited investors, entrepreneurs, and operational partners and more than 2,000 chambers of commerce. The TOJOY network offers funding at all startup development phases, as well as contacts and knowledge in a wide range of sectors and locations.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Smart City, Corporate Acceleration

  • Duration: 3 months


Nihub is an innovation center that provides a one-stop platform for international entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in China. They offer various startup services and assistance, including investments, acceleration programs, pitch contests, grants, field visits and delegations, along with other administrative tasks such as business incorporation and visa application. They have three acceleration programs: Smart City Initiative for smart city startups, Corporate Acceleration initiative for supply chain technologies, and International Roadshow Program for companies looking to scale their operations into China.




Closing Thoughts on Joining a Startup Accelerator or Incubator in China


China has maintained a consistent culture of innovation. One thing is certain: the country’s influence in the global innovation scene will continue to expand and strengthen. Today, major cities in China such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou are experiencing a thriving startup ecosystem, especially with Beijing being coined as the “Silicon Valley in China”. Just like Silicon Valley, a heavy focus in the Chinese startup landscape is on deep tech. Therefore, to survive and succeed in China, you really need a technical advantage. Joining an incubator or accelerator program will help you polish your offerings and strengthen your footing in the market.






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