Alibaba backs Aussie accelerator

The China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP) has secured a tie-up with Alibaba Group.

The world's largest retail e-commerce company, Alibaba will head up CAMP’s ‘Alibaba e-Commerce ThinkTank’, as well as host the 150-strong cohort of 75 Australian and 75 Chinese delegates during CAMP’s China summit in March 2017.

CAMP, a cross-border innovation accelerator binding hundreds of young Australian and Chinese leaders across business, entrepreneurship and social action presents the ideal vehicle for Alibaba’s chief executive Jack Ma’s Australian vision.

Different to a traditional start-up accelerator operating from a Western business culture perspective, which puts business first, CAMP describes itself as a “trust accelerator” which puts people first and accelerates relationships. 

It’s a move that’s bound to excite Australian entrepreneurs, according to CAMP chief executive Andrea Myles, who leads Australia’s largest accelerator connecting innovation ecosystems in China and Australia. 

“The opportunities for businesses in China are enormous, but it’s also a rapidly evolving market that Australian entrepreneurs have to keep pace with. You need to be able to look at your market and your product through two different cultural lenses to get ahead,” she told AB+F.

“Founder Jack Ma’s vision for the company aligns closely with CAMP’s, including giving entrepreneurs the channels and resources to succeed globally and breaking down barriers to market entry.”

Valuable knowledge 

Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Maggie Zhou said the partnership will give entrepreneurs valuable knowledge of the China market.  

“Alibaba’s founders started the company with a vision of making it easy for small businesses to thrive globally. The partnership with CAMP exemplifies this by focusing on entrepreneurs.” explained Ms Zhou.

Speaking in Melbourne before the announcement, Ma expressed enthusiasm for building closer ties with the country he first visited in 1985.

“Australia is the country that changed me. This is the country I love most outside of China. This is the country that inspired me.” 

Australian banks have already recognised the need to work with China’s payment giants.

According to Mark Whelan, ANZ's head of institutional banking, Australia's banks also need to connect with China’s innovative online payment companies such as Alibaba and Wechat 

"We follow what our customers are doing. There is $800 billion [of sales] through e-commerce in China and 100 million high income earners, so many brands will move into China," he said from Sydney.

The 100 day CAMP program starts March 22 in China and will visit Alibaba HQ on March 24th.

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