Chinese HNA Technology and US RocketSpace build platform for growth

Silicon Valley-based incubator RocketSpace Inc has launched its London office. Here, founder & CEO Duncan Logan made the bold prediction that sooner or later “there will be a $1 trillion start-up” company. As the leading incubator that brought us the likes of Uber and Spotify, RocketSpace is now accelerating its global footprint even further.
Not long ago, RocketSpace and HNA Technology established the first office for their joint venture in Shenzhen, China, the first practical step for these two industrial titans in implementing their global strategy. As part of the HNA Group, HNA Technology will be able to draw on 24 years of deep industrial expertise.
The global market has thus far been dominated by European and US companies who continue to lead the field, but China’s technology industry is developing rapidly and presents companies with unprecedented opportunities. How best to take advantage of this has become a point of fierce debate among competitors racing to seize market share. Yet HNA Technology and RocketSpace are pioneering a different, more collaborative approach.
Over the last quarter of a century, the HNA Group has developed its tourism, modern logistics, technology, innovative finance, property and new media industries. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions, the HNA Group has been working to better integrate the global industrial network and improve the use of resources, notably financial and technological. In August 2016, the HNA Group and RocketSpace reached an agreement to partake on a strategic cooperation that focuses on accelerating and incubating innovative concepts that meet the demands of the global market.
As the largest industrial group within the HNA Group, HNA Technology encompasses the world’s leading technological capabilities. From executing infrastructure and customer solutions to providing a full range of digital services in major cities – such as Beijing, Haikou, Xi’an, Hong Kong and San Francisco – and other world cities with solid operational and R&D institutions. The establishment of a shared, collaborative technological ecosystem will provide useful insights and financial and technical support to innovative companies. RocketSpace, as the top technology incubator with an advanced business model and philosophy, plus its new campuses, will further enhance the global development of technological innovation and incubation.
The president of HNA Technology Eric Tong expressed that HNA Technology will give full play to the 20+ years of accumulated resources by the HNA Group to promote industrial development and help small enterprises become “big” and large firms become “smaller and smarter”.
Innovation leads to the upgrading and transformation of the real economy. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang has pointed out, therefore, that this is not just the responsibility of small-to-medium enterprises or startups, but an approach that large companies should adopt and adapt too. This shows that there is full government-level support and acknowledgment that large enterprises can contribute to economic growth, as created by ‘unicorns’, for example.
Looking at the domestic entrepreneurial context of China, much of the technological development has been producing hardware and has not so much focused on attracting innovative talent or designing new products and services. With the deepening of the impact of high-tech on human society, the biggest opportunity for technology entrepreneurship is to globalize the world’s innovation. In light of this, relying on powerful industry resources, technology, capital, and having an understanding of the international market, HNA’s incorporation of RocketSpace will internationalize the use of innovative resources that will help exploit the advantages of the opening up of both the domestic and international markets.
Founder & CEO Duncan Logan said that RocketSpace teamed-up with HNA so as to acquire the capabilities to quickly scale, maximize resources, and build a world-class management platform together.
“The cooperation with RocketSpace Inc will accelerate the incubation of the internationalization and incubation of professional innovative services; the introduction of HNA characteristics into the incubation service system and the contents of the international incubation services will accelerate the scope of the field in technological innovation incubation”, says HNA Technology President Eric Tong, “to create a global dual ecological system that will focus on technology and ‘post-acceleration’ services in order to help science and technology enterprises innovate, further enhancing the entrepreneurial atmosphere”.
In the global eco-system being built by HNA Technology, the HNA Group’s internal and external innovation teams, venture capital institutions, top global educational institutions, and other global users, will be able to proactively participate to maximize collaboration, integration and cross-border exchange and flow of capital, information and talent.
HNA Technology has already built a shared resources system within the HNA Group. The next stage will be to do this for China and for the world, acting as a new engine for global growth.
In recent years, technology firms have accelerated the technology sector one after the other and impacted the composition of how business is done. Microsoft’s startup program, the “cloud + end” start-up business competition, launched by Microsoft BizSparkSAP and Amazon’s cloud resource package and cash support are examples of this.
To build up the industry, HNA has set up a business venture platform “HNA Innohouse”, focusing on Cloud, Big Data, the IoT and other high-tech fields, with the main business consisting of incubation acceleration services, “joint office” space, enterprise innovation services and training etc. It is a global training platform for domestic and international technology entrepreneurs and large enterprises, to empower them to innovate and build bridges within the shared ecosystem.
Its target is entrepreneurs who are generally concerned about how to more easily find and exploit the necessary business opportunities in the provision of the whole ecosystem of the “joint office” space; as well as for enterprises wanting to provide supporting global services and international resources, such as AI databases – that help facilitate cross-border cooperation and investment.
With its advantages in technology, resources, capital, access to a global platform, operations management and ability to attract a top-level team, the Shenzhen campus quickly attracted the likes of Startup Grind, SaaPad and Impact Hub. The depth of cooperation amongst such organizations greatly enhances their core competitiveness.
The joint venture’s next steps will be to expand into Beijing, Xi’an, Hong Kong, Israel, Canada, Australia, Los Angeles and Seattle.