Introduction to a new crowdfunding business model: An innovative mechanism for establishing business partnership

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Crowdfunding originated and gained popularity in the West. The Chinese version of crowdfunding introduced in this talk is a new type of crowdfunding. This new business model first appeared in China in 2013 and is becoming increasingly popular among entrepreneurs, primarily as a novel mechanism for identifying and selecting business partners as well as for fundraising.

The Chinese version of crowdfunding is not simply about accumulating funds. The model is more concerned with accumulating people and ideas. In this model, all the key resources needed for launching an entrepreneurial project are pre-identified and potential investors are sought and selected among acquaintances who hold these resources. Also, this business model blurs the lines between customers and investors; the investor can also be the consumer and the administrator. This selection process ensures that all investors (also shareholders) share similar ideals, entrepreneurial mind-sets, and risk tolerance, and eventually a tightly knit network of people, resources, ideas, and investment is formed. Over the last couple of years, this innovative crowdfunding model has been successfully applied in Canada, leading to many successful entrepreneurial projects in entrepreneurial hubs such as Toronto and Vancouver. Dr. Jiawei Zhang and SFU Professor Natalie Bin Zhao recently published an article in the Ivey Business Journal: Crowdfunding’s Cafe Society, to systematically introduce the rationale and key issues associated with this new business model to the academia and practitioners’ community.

Dr. Zhang will compare the Chinese version of crowdfunding with other forms of crowdfunding. He will also use the crowdfunding cases he personally guided and participated in to illustrate the core ideas, principles and methods involved in this new model. Learning from his personal experiences and observations, Dr. Zhang will also discuss common pitfalls and the possible solutions. Through this talk, Dr. Zhang hopes to introduce the Chinese version of crowdfunding as a new potential way to find and collaborate with business partners in the sharing economy and in this internet era with “too much information but not so much trust”.

UBC Asia Forestry Research Center
Grizzly Bear Institute of Canada
SFU Jack Austin Center for Asia Pacific Business Studies

Speaker: Dr. Jiawei Zhang
Commentator: Dr. Natalie Bin Zhao

Date: Saturday, March 4th, 2017
Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Location: UBC FSC 1221,
2424 Main Mall, Vancouver
Registration: Please register here.
Language: Mandarin (with English translation)

Jiawei Zhang (PhD, Dalian Maritime University) is a research fellow at the Jack Austin Center for Asia Pacific Business Studies at Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. He is also an adjunct professor at Dalian Maritime University, chief researcher of the Grizzly Bear Institute of Canada, and a research fellow at the Institute of Strategic Research of Peking University. His research areas include strategic planning, organizational management, business models, and supply chain management. In particular, Dr. Zhang focuses his research on Canada-China and USA-China economic relations as well as crowdfunding business models and niche market behavior. Dr. Zhang was the Chairman and President of a large company in China for more than ten years. He has rich management experience and is an expert in Chinese enterprise reforms and development and in China’s corporation laws. Dr. Zhang is also a successful angel investor and corporate consultant. The book Niche, translated by Dr. Zhang, and the book Rising Niche written by him, are bestsellers in China. His another book—The Winning Makers: The Ugly Duck Management—is popular among young entrepreneurs in China.