InnoSTARS is the one and only innovation competition officially supported by the governments of United States of America and of People’s Republic of China. In 2017, the InnoSTARS Competition was featured in the scientific and technology cooperative area at the first U.S.-China Social and Cultural Dialogue (SCD), co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese Vice Premier Yandong Liu.

Organized by the US China Innovation Alliance (UCIA) and China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC), this competition aims to provide U.S.-based technology companies a better understanding of the market opportunities available in China. In 2017, 56 high-quality U.S. companies were sponsored to visit up to three Chinese cities. With over 800 one-on-one discussions, more than 35 U.S. companies and Chinese institutions have reached a preliminary cooperation intention.

The 2018 InnoSTARS competition has already launched. This year, InnoSTARS lists the following six industries of focus: Healthcare and Biotechnology, Advanced Manufacturing, Environmental Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Artificial Intelligence and AR/VR, Renewable Energy and New Materials.

Preliminaries will be held in US cities including ChicagoDenverHoustonAtlantaSan Francisco and Boston. The most competitive companies will be selected to go to China from over 600 participating startups across the six industries. Nineteen of most dynamic cities in China, famous for innovation and technology, will be joining the InnoSTARS competition as the host cities for roadshow, semi-final and grand finale. Winning U.S. companies will be able to showcase their business in targeted cities and have one-on-one matchmaking meetings with hand-picked Chinese leading investors, partners, and industry executives.

How do I know if I qualify?

  • The applicant must be a representative of a registered U.S. company with innovative technologies or products that have been or can be commercialized.
  • Application must feature a technology that falls under one or more of the focus industries.
  • Products, technologies, patents and control of IP or exclusive licensing rights must be owned by the applicant, or his/her company, and must not have any potential or outstanding IP ownership disputes.
  • The applicant must have interest to seek Chinese investment and/or explore the Chinese market.

What are the important dates and locations for host cities?

Preliminary Stage:

  • Chicago Pitch Date: March 12, 2018; Application Deadline: March 5, 2018
  • Denver Pitch Date: April 27, 2018; Application Deadline: April 17, 2018
  • Houston Pitch Date: May 14-15, 2018; Application Deadline: May 4, 2018
  • Atlanta Pitch Date: May 16, 2018; Application Deadline: May 6, 2018;
  • San Francisco Pitch Date: May 21, 2018; Application Deadline: May 11, 2018;
  • Boston Pitch Date: July 17, 2018; Application Deadline: July 7, 2018;

Semifinals and roadshows:

  • Multiple cities in China: September or October, 2018

Grand Finale:

What are the prizes for the winners?

  1. All-expense-paid trip from U.S. to China for preliminary winners
  2. Professional fundraising and partner finding services and strategic business consultation from hosts and potential funds and policy support from the local government
  3. Cash prizes and certificates for semi-finals and grand finale winners
  • 1st prize: $50,000
  • 2nd prize: $20,000
  • 3rd prize: $10,000

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