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Ex-VP & President of Google Greater China Launches Incubator

Mentoring and supporting the next-generation of Chinese entrepreneurs

Dr Kai-Fu Lee, who resigned from Google as Vice President and President of Google Greater China on 4 September, 2009, released a statement today that he was launching "a business creation platform focused on establishing the next wave of Chinese high-technology companies."

As founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of InnovationWorks, said the statement, Lee will be running what he believes will be the de-facto institution for launching the most promising technology ideas in China. "Our commitment is to mentoring and supporting the next-generation of Chinese entrepreneurs so that they can focus on building great products without distraction,” said Lee.

The idea is that through the rigorous development and testing of prototypes, and identification of a ‘founding executive’ to lead each venture, Innovation Works will provide capital, manpower, legal, financial and IT support.

“The Chinese entrepreneurial environment is still in its formative stage, with significant barriers for the early-stage entrepreneur," said Lee. He continued:

"The lack of management experience and coaching, the reluctance of venture capitalists to invest in companies in the formation stage, and the lack of networking and experience to pull a company together. These barriers all contribute to a dearth of high-tech start-ups in China. Innovation Works is matching entrepreneurs, engineers, ideas, and capital with a unique business model that improves success rates and speeds time-to-market.”

Dr. Lee, 47, was born in Taiwan and grew up in the United States. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University (summa cum laude, 1983), and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). At Carnegie Mellon, he developed the first speaker-independent speech recognition system that was selected as the “Most Important Innovation” in 1988 by BusinessWeek. In 1989, he developed an Othello-playing computer program that defeated the world’s human champion.

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