After filling out numerous applications, creating pitch decks and rehearsing we felt ready for our presentation to investors and advisors from China and Ontario Centres for Excellence (OCE).
We had made the short list of about 20 Canadian companies, chosen from a field of over 100, to make our case to be one of the ten companies chosen to participate in the two week trip to Beijing to meet corporate leaders, to interact with Chinese culture and business and, of course, secure the $200K investment.
It had only been a few weeks since learning of this opportunity but we had already made progress in forming a potential partnership at Communications University in Beijing. And though we were still in the early stages of our working relationship with Jet, things were moving quickly and we were coming together as a team extremely well. The fact that he was born, raised and had acquired professional experience in China was obviously an invaluable asset, certainly in applying for the OCE / China program but in a number of other ways as well.
Through Jet we could directly experience some of the unique attributes of Chinese communication styles and culture; aspects of life to which we had been totally unfamiliar. As we worked together we became conscious of how we, as a team, embodied the differences – and similarities – that exist between east and west.
This was inspiring on a personal as well as professional level. I decided to quickly learn as much about China as I could from a wide range of sources. Over the weeks I listened to podcasts and read books about Chinese history, business and politics, including accounts of China’s amazing rise over the past 30 years, a practice I continue to this day.
With 5000 years of continuous culture, China is more than just a country.
From the start, Cheryl and I have always been dedicated to creating original content that emphasizes positive values and appreciation for cultural diversity. Now, with our new affiliation with Jet – and with China – life and creativity fused together in a way that deepened the vision we brought to our work.
It also added a poignant relevance to our presentations to investors.
About two weeks after the big meeting with the Chinese investors, we received good news; our pitch was successful and we were chosen to be among the ten companies that would participate in the trip to Beijing, coming up in November; just six short weeks away.
The next step was now to find a lawyer to draft a suitable Shareholder’s Agreement, procure the money and get on the plane to the Middle Kingdom.