The Stevie Awards Blog

Tech Incubator Helps Start-Ups Plug in to the Asian Market

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 10:29 AM


Walk through virtually any major city in the United States, and you’ll likely find coworking spaces. In these environments, budding entrepreneurs are not only able to work but to bounce their ideas off like-minded professionals.

When young business leaders enter any of eight U.S.-based OnePiece Work locations, however, they find more than just physical spaces for collaboration. They also get access to an array of resources that help them plug in to some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies.

OnePiece Work-1At OnePiece, members attend speaking events with global business leaders, as well as tap in to a network of partner companies in Asia and Europe, getting help with everything from business development and market research to recruiting and product localization.

“We’re a truly cross-border coworking platform, and we held over 100 events last year with lots of investors, Fortune 500 companies, academic leaders, and entrepreneurs from across the globe,” says Yue Xiong, the marketing director at OnePiece.

OnePiece_logoLaunched in 2017, OnePiece has hosted more than 200 multicultural events with over 30,000 international visitors, including representatives from giants like Alibaba, Mitsubishi, Seiko, Cheetah Mobile, and Samsung. It has also brought in several high-profile leaders in the public sector, such as Hirofumi Yoshimura, the governor of Osaka, Japan, and representatives from the United Nations.

“Our mission is to provide the best support to the next generation of start-ups with our cross-border advantages,” says Xiong.

“We Accept and Respect Differences”

In 2016, Vickey Li, a young commercial real estate developer, opened the first OnePiece Work location in San Jose, California, United States. The space was intended as a boutique coworking area, and the hope was to provide a friendly environment to business customers.

However, when Li met Wei Guo, a Forbes 30 under 30 investor who has supported more than 300 companies to date, the venture took a sharper focus on the technology industry. The partners soon moved OnePiece headquarters to the heart of the tech world, San Francisco, California, United States.

In just three years, OnePiece, the 2019 Gold StevieⓇ Award winner for “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the real estate category, expanded into seven more tech markets on the U.S. Pacific Coast. It plans to open its first Chinese-based workspace in Shenzhen. Those locations house nearly 250 companies from over 30 industries, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, consumer goods, fintech, education, social networking, and gaming.

From the beginning, the OnePiece founders—each backed by significant international business experience—made international growth a key point of differentiation from other tech incubators.

“We trust our members’ crazy ideas and help them expand to broader markets,” Xiong says.

Given the potential sales opportunities in Asia, it’s not hard to see the appeal. Despite a slowdown in recent years, China’s economy, for example, continues to grow at a more than 6 percent clip. For a country with nearly 1.4 billion people, that means a lot more consumers will see their spending power grow in the decades ahead.

Xiong says the emphasis on global business opportunities also ensures there’s a lively exchange of viewpoints and experiences, which brings value to young companies.

“We accept and respect differences,” adds Xiong, “and because of these differences, we’ve built a cross-border community that helps us stand out.”

OnePiece Work recently won two Stevie Awards—a Gold Stevie in the Entrepreneur of the Year category in the Real Estate industry and a Bronze Stevie in the Startup of the Year in the Business Services industry—in the 17th annual American Business Awards®.

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Tags: The American Business Awards, technology innovations

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