MetaVRse takes part in China-Start

Alan Smithson Metavrse News, The Blog

MetaVRse was selected as one of the 19 elite startups selected to travel to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen as part of the China-Start program hosted by the Harvard of China, Cheun Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). This intensive 5 day event put MetaVRse in front of over 500 high tech investors and giant Chinese companies like Fosun, Tencent, and Galaxy.

13 year old entrepreneur, Abi Smithson and China-Start Dean, Mr. Bo Ji in Shanghai

Our CEO travelled with his 13 year old daughter Abi, who was the youngest and only female entrepreneur to participate in the program with her own shoe company, Love Sandal.

Synopsis of the trip by Alan Smithson, CEO MetaVRse

June 4, 2018, Beijing, China

Opening session and Chinese Cultural Management session with China-Start Dean, Mr. Bo Ji.  We learned the subtle and not so subtle differences in Eastern business culture. From passing business cards to “Gambay” (cheers with a bottoms up!).

Dean of CKGSB China-Start Program, Mr. Bo Ji

The same day, we all jumped on a bus to visit internet eCommerce behemoth, where we pitched to their investment team and had a tour of their incredible campus that reminded me of Google’s campus in Silicon Valley.  They had a full retail store with some of their most popular items (electronics, etc.) One thing that stood out was their e-paper price tags that were connected to the online price so that they were never out of sync. Then we were invited for a 360° immersive experience in a wall to ceiling video wall extravaganza.

Another mind-blowing room was’s autonomous delivery room where they showed everything from package robots to this full size package drone (stove delivery anyone??)

June 5, 2018 – Beijing, China

After, we were whisked away about 45 minutes outside of Beijing to a new special economic zone called Dachang Commercial City.  This city has only 100,000 inhabitants but was built for millions! Most of the buildings are complete and waiting for companies to come in and build their future.  It was incredible to see a fully built city with almost no one in it.

We visited the incubator Techcode and a movie training college where we saw this guard standing in the 105° heat. Here’s a shot of the group after a presentation on the benefits of starting a company in China:



June 6, 2018 – Shanghai, China

While the group practiced Tai Chi in the garden, I prepared for our big pitch at China’s leading investment group (over $15B in annual revenue) whose founding principles are to create wealth, health and happiness for their customers. I was really impressed by the portfolio of companies they have including Club Med.

The day concluded with an investor pitch event held at MyTech 365, one of Shanghai’s leading technology incubators.

June 7, 2018 – Shenzhen, China

Our day began with a riveting lecture on the internet and social media in China where we learned that almost everything in China revolves around WeChat. From payments to messages, WeChat is the mega-app that China runs on. With over 1 billion monthly active users, WeChat, owned by Tencent is a beast. Here is a NY Times video on WeChat.

View from Tencent Offices overlooking the Bund in Shanghai

We then traveled to Tencent where we took a tour of their spectacular office overlooking the scenic Bund in Shanghai.

Alan Smithson out front of Tencent office in Shenzhen

Alan trying a new top secret stand-alone AR headset




Later in the day, we had another pitch event at the Tencent Innovation Hub where my daughter did another fireside chat with Mr. Bo Ji and I got on stage wearing a Hololens to explain the future of vCommerce to the audience.

June 8, 2018 – Shenzhen

While not a part of the official tour, I travelled with Carlos from VRidge to meet Kevin and Jo from the HTC Vive X Accelerator where I tried the HTC Vive Focus and Vive PRO VR headsets. The Vive Focus is a stand-alone VR Headset with six degrees of freedom (6-DOF) meaning you can actually move around. I ended up rolling around on the floor having the time of my life. I also tried Beat Sabre on the HTC Vive PRO which has a slightly better resolution, but was considerably lighter and better feeling.

Alan at Vive X Accelerator in Shenzhen

Alan having a blast with the HTC Vive Focus stand-alone VR headset.

The final stop on our whirlwind tour was at the offices of Galaxy China, a leading real estate developer and technology incubator.  We were all presented with our “CHINA-READY” certificates where we jumped for joy!

This was an experience of a lifetime, but more importantly, it has unlocked the unlimited potential in China for MetaVRse moving forward.

China-Start June 2018 Cohort


Alan & Abi Smithson receiving their certificate from Dean Bo Ji


Alan with Merge CEO, Franklin Lyons at Galaxy Office in Shenzhen