On 20th August 2020, our company Glee Trees had our virtual Demo Day with XNode as part of the GIA Acceleration Programme, along with other startups. XNode is Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) partner for China. They are a Shanghai-based startup and corporate accelerator that works with international founders to scale with large corporates to innovate.

We signed up for the GIA Acceleration Programme earlier this year, known as ‘China-Singapore Innovation Launchpad Acceleration Programme’. This programme helps us to set up, test-bed, commercialise our solutions, or co-innovate with partners in Shanghai. As a result, we granted access to the Chinese market through the programmes and activities, which included potential investors, partners, customers and talent resources.

Phase One

Firstly, XNode conducted a 1-month China Education Programme in Singapore to give us a clear overview of the market and provide in-depth insights specific to our business in China. Topics included landscape of startups in China, Business Model Canvas, Sales Training, Finance for startups, legal tips for China and more. XNode arranged meetings for us with prospective customers and partners to seek their opinion about our product, Gleematic. XNode also brought us to some “live” events via Zoom in Shanghai to let us know about the state of things. As a result, they prepared us for market entry, ensuring that we avoid common mistakes made within the market.

Phase Two

Secondly, XNode will arrange a 2-week trip to China for us to engage with relevant stakeholders in our industry. They designed this trip for us to achieve actionable insights and build connections through in-market engagements. Thus, we can apply what we have learnt to our entry strategy and long-term execution. We will conclude this phase with a Demo Day. However, due to the pandemic, we could not travel to China. Hence, we conducted our Demo Day virtually. This marked the start of our journey into the China market. We might be able to travel down to China next year if the pandemic dies down by then. 

My Personal Experience

I attended some of the webinars conducted by XNode, two of them were ‘B2B sales in China’ and ‘WeChat Marketing’. I learnt how brands differentiated themselves with their competitors, standing out from their competitors yet being relatable to the citizens. They showed us how brands use WeChat to market their brand, as WeChat is the biggest messaging platform in China. This was very insightful for me, as I did not know that WeChat has so many functions despite being a user. XNode was very detailed in their webinars. They taught us every tip, showing us each step on how to enter and market ourselves in China. This gave me a better understanding of business in China as I am unable to travel down to China. I am sure what I have learnt will help me when I am doing up the marketing materials for China.

Written by: Elicia Yeo