Saturday, November 28, 2009

Government money, accept or deny?

I attended an interesting forum in Beijing on Thursday. There are three famous VC sitting in the panel, Hugo Shong, Partner of IDG AP, Yan Yan, Partner of Softbank SAIF, and Nanpeng Li, Partner of Sequotia China. They were debating with government officials on whether a start-up in the creative industry should accept government investment. Someone did a survey among the audience. Turned out that only one tenth raised up their hand to accept the money, while another one tenth raised hands to deny the money. The argument from venture capitalist is that accepting government money means a lot of time cost,so better not.

I totally agree. I was in the same situation these days after coming back to Beijing to work on a start-up. Government said they will subsidize the overseas graduates for being an entrepreneur, but the process is very long, and there are lot of forms to be filled. I have to spend half of time dealing with those processes, instead of focusing on the main business. I would rather have the government help with reducing the bureaucracy of starting a company. Looking back, Silicon Valley is really a nice place to start a company. Hopefully government offcials can learn to be more friendly to entrepreneur and understand their concern from deep heart.