November 15

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Welcome to TechBBQ


TechBBQ, Nordic's Prime Startup Stage

TechBBQ Shenzhen 2020 has ended. After the introduction in 2019, it was the second edition of this originally Danish event in China. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in earlier this year, it seemed unrealistic that a conference where people gather, meet and mingle could successfully be organized.  But, the situation here in Shenzhen is stable and the environment is generally healthy. So, on October 23rd, the partners TechBBQ, Innovation Lab Asia, the Nordic-China Startup Forum and TroubleMaker unanimously agreed to go ahead and announced a welcomed intermezzo to the daily routines of the hard working citizens of Shenzhen.

TechBBQ Denmark, a tradition

 TechBBQ is the largest tech and entrepreneurship summit in Scandinavia.

In 2012 a handful of Danish tech entrepreneurs decided to create a meeting place where the local startup scene could get together to “celebrate the successes”, exchange experiences and connect with people that had not been possible during the year. The event started with a BBQ in a park in Copenhagen, where around 150 tech people brought their own food and beer to the meetup. Since then it has been an annual event and TechBBQ has grown in stature to be quite the crowd-puller. 

  • 2012 - 150 attendees
  • 2013 - 300 attendees
  • 2014 - 600 attendees
  • 2015 - 1,000 attendees
  • 2016 - 2,300 attendees
  • 2017 - 3,500 attendees
  • 2018 - 5,500 attendees
  • 2019 - 8,000 attendees

Will TechBBQ Shenzhen follow in the footsteps of Denmark?

With the borders closed and taking example of TechBBQ Denmark being fully digital this year, we aimed to organize a hybrid, in-person and online event. Streaming the offline activities live gives startups, investors and generally curious people worldwide a chance to experience the China activities of the powerful Nordic startup ecosystem as if they were here with 

In 2019, TechBBQ Shenzhen welcomed around 250 people. Due to the travel restrictions, however, we confidently estimated 60 people to attend  The turnout proved to be higher than anticipated: Over 100 people showed up in-person, 65% more than we hoped for.

The engaged Shenzhen tech community enjoyed the introduction video by Nicklas Pavoncelli of TechBBQ Denmark and Julian Nielsen of Innovation Lab Asia, which was presented right after a short opening word of Henk Werner of TroubleMaker Shenzhen and Jenny Chan of the NCSF.

Martin Rune Hoxer, the Executive Director of Innovation Center Denmark in Shanghai was supposed to be on stage in-person, but due to a suddenly invoked travel ban he wasn't able to get tickets. Instead, he presented Nordic Sustainable Solutions from the comfort of his home while IT volunteer Jenxi Seow flipped the pages of Martin's presentation in the conference room.

We then welcomed three entrepreneurs on stage to share their stories of how they have conquered the challenges of running their company in China .

  • Jacob Noerrgaard Krogh-Jensen, founder of Ounnid Consulting, talked about how trademarking your brand in China can protect you from unwanted problems while increasing the value of your brand at the same time.
  • Callum Yap, Head of Manufacturing at Okra Solar disclosed how tapping into the startup community of Shenzhen paved their way to a successful roll-out of their OKRA pods.
  • Giovanni Schirinzi, CEO of iMakerbase Italy painted the picture of how iMakerbase Shenzhen helps inexperienced hardware startups bring their consumer product to market with ease.

The host of TechBBQ, Henk Werner , came back on stage to introduce  a practical, step-by-step online training program called "Manufacturing Zen" to the audience. 

We haven't seen the end of this pandemic yet. Let's prepare for the winter and embrace it - Chadwick Xu, CEO at SVV

We completed the well balanced conference program with forum on the topic  "Landing a foreign venture in times of pandemic". For the panel, we welcomed Nausheen Ishtiaq-Chen, Director at Startup Grind Shenzhen, Chadwick Xu, CEO at Shenzhen Valley Ventures and Giovanni Schirinzi, CEO at iMakerbase Italy to the stage.

The show, however, doesn't end until the fat lady sings. This might have happened at the After Party at the rooftop garden of TroubleMaker, also known as our Secret garden of Eden.

How can you benefit from TechBBQ Shenzhen?

The heart of TechBBQ beats for startups. What runs through our veins is supply chain. And what makes us stand tall is investment. With TechBBQ, we bring all stakeholders together so  you can tap into each and everyone. 

This website will transform. First, the new blog will grow with posts of speakers, investors, suppliers and other industry veterans. Next, the event pages will be archived and make place for relevant industry news in 2021.

There will be countless touch points for you to learn, interact and benefit. Both online as in-person at TroubleMaker. TechBBQ Shenzhen aims to set the bar for high-quality, personalized support with a mix of Chinese and Western influences.

Roger Lewis at the barbeque

Roger Lewis at the BBQ

Did you attend TechBBQ Shenzhen? I'd love to your experience in the comment section below!

You can also drop the name of who we should feature in the next posts. You can take inspiration from the names mentioned in this post, or come up with your own ideas. Ken Yu, the CEO of RAKwireless for example.

Oh. Did the fat lady sing? I honestly don't know. The party lasted until way past my bedtime!


Conference, Entrepreneurship, TechBBQ Shenzhen

About the author

The Map, guiding challenged companies to a safe haven

Henk Werner

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  • Nestor Quispez-Asin says:

    Fantastic event and hope it repeats soon! Thanks and great to see everyone!

    • I was happy seeing you again, Nestor. 🙂 Let’s make the next one even better!

  • Michael Eagleton says:

    Really enjoyed TechBBQ at TroubleMaker, wish I could have stayed longer – I’ll be back and I won’t wait for the next TechBBQ – TroubleMaker team & community are awesome, inspirational, insightful, experienced, welcoming and very willing to lend a hand.

    • Thanks! You’re one of the Shenzhen hero’s, Michael. I even heard someone say “Uncle Michael!!!. Your praise means a lot. 🙂

  • Michael S says:

    Great event Henk. Very interesting speakers and people attending the event. Already made some good connections to improve my business. See you soon.

    • That’s exactly why we’re doing this, Michael. I’m thrilled to hear it’s worth your time!

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