The biggest barrier to starting a company isn’t ideas, funding or experience. It’s excuses. And you can understand why: Starting a company is scary even in Silicon Valley, a place where decades of ecosystem formation have provided entrepreneurs with soft-feathered nest of funding, mentoring and support. Outside the Valley it’s downright terrifying. It’s little wonder that even the best entrepreneurs go through a period of doubt and excuses not to take the plunge.
So when I hear complaints from entrepreneurs in other areas of the US or in other countries about how they can’t start companies because there is no angel money, no mentors, no employees that will work for a startup, I always wonder how much of these gripes are truly insurmountable odds to new company formation and how much are the grousing of someone looking for someone else to blame. Perhaps someone who likes the idea of starting a company, but doesn’t really want to put in the hours.
After many months of planning and countless flights to the other side of the world, our first ever international TechCrunch Disrupt event has come to a close. 15 companies have launched new products to the world for the very first time in our Startup Battlefield, an on-stage, high stress battle for riches (50 grand!), glory (press coverage!), the much coveted Disrupt Cup, and all the open doors you could ever desire.
Without further ado, the winner is… OrderWithMe!
OrderWithMe is a group buying system meant to help Western small business owners by drastically simplifying the process of acquiring Chinese-made goods in bulk. By splitting orders (and simultaneously removing a vast majority of the middle men involved), OrderWithMe allows shops to acquire any size shipment of these lower-priced goods, as opposed to the usual minimum order of 100+.
Ecommerce in China is ready to take off and, more important, it’s ready to reach great heights on its own terms. Lu Dong of La Mui, Haifeng Ye of Mbaobao, and Fangfang Wu of Greenbox are three ecommerce pioneers who are, as we speak, redefining online sales in China.
“China is ready for ecommerce,” said Lu Dong. “People are moving to buying almost anything online.”
Haifeng Ye agreed. “We have a greater opportunity here in the Chinese market to make something new. In america the ecommerce market is quite established,” he said. “We can use ecommerce to build a new retail format.” He calls online sales a huge opportunity.
The three agreed that the biggest fish in the China ecommerce sea was Taobao and the importance of Taobao as a sales platform in China cannot be ignored. The company helps with settlement, logistics, and service and all three agreed that Taobao is “great.”
Founded by husband and wife team Jonathan and Danielle Jenkins, OrderWithMe is a group buying site specifically designed for the small Western businesses who are having trouble navigating the somewhat unintelligible world of Chinese manufacturers.
A lot of Americans desperately want to believe that China is full of poor people who cant innovate, and the only goods they make are cheap, toxic rip-offs our Western brands. They want to believe the only reason the Chinese economy is surging is becaus…