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8 July, 2013 - 21:31 By News Desk

China banks on UEA initiative


The University of East Anglia’s Norwich Business School and the Bank of China, the China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge will see four teams compete to produce the best idea for a venture that promotes business ties between the two nations.

The competition aims to encourage new commercial relationships between China and the UK and is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms. It is open to university teams in the UK and China and existing businesses.

The finalists, selected from more than 100 entries, presented their ideas and business plans to a panel of five judges on July 9, using a Dragon’s Den-style presentation and discussion format. The winners will get a slice of £12,000 in prize money, and an opportunity to secure £250,000 of investment for their projects from venture capital firms.

The judging panel includes Prof Raphael Markellos, director of research for Norwich Business School, Dame Ruth Silver, chair of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, and Parvin Ali, chair of the China Innovation and Development Association.

Dr Yu Xiong, a senior lecturer in the Innovation, Technology and Operations Management (ITOM) Group at Norwich Business School, is chair of the competition. He said: “China is becoming a more and more important country economically. It has not been affected by the recession in the same ways as others. Business opportunities there are huge and it has a rising scientific and technological base that is increasingly attracting worldwide attention.

This year’s China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge, which takes place at the Bank of China in London, is a joint venture between UEA, Lancaster University, University College London and the China Innovation and Development Association in the UK. The competition is also supported by the British Council, Chinese Embassy, and the Chinese government.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Professor Raphael Markellos

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