On October 31, 2018, at the "Next·Me Most Potential Innovative Enterprise Creation and Sharing Conference-Longhua District Artificial Intelligence & Intelligent Manufacturing Special Session", there were constant roundtable dialogues with big coffee.
In order to further explore and cultivate unicorn enterprises of various sizes, and to develop a group of potential unicorns, future unicorns and high-quality enterprises with growth potential, Alibaba Cloud and Whale will be held in Shenzhen on October 31. Next·Me Future Unicorn Innovation and Enjoyment Conference-Longhua District Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Manufacturing Special" roadshow event. This event relies on the integration of Alibaba Group's resources, as well as Alibaba ecological partners, domestic first-line investment institutions and service institutions, and comprehensive docking He empowers potential unicorn companies with growth potential in the Longhua region and across the country.
"What AI can't do is our human creativity. Because these creativity represent human feelings, such as our love, our hatred, our jealousy, and our greed. This is what we are as human beings. Fundamental rights."
"The overall trend of artificial intelligence in the development and application of various aspects of the industry is still very extensive and very broad, and will show an explosive growth trend."
"In the long run, the application of artificial intelligence in industrial upgrading and human life can foresee a bright future with certainty, so the prospect of artificial intelligence must be bright."
"The cold winter of capital is the past tense for angel investment. Many traditional entrepreneurs and real estate developers have not participated in it. Only when these companies participate in angel investment can they continuously improve their innovation capabilities and industry competitiveness. "
This roundtable forum was hosted by Ms. Wei Qiang, Vice President of Whale, Mr. Shen Weiquan, Chairman of Hong Kong Angel Investment Foundation, Mr. Meng Jianbin, Executive General Manager of Shenzhen Venture Capital, Mr. Chen Hao, Managing Director of China Merchants Venture Capital, and Mr. Xu Hongbo, Chairman of Chuangda Capital Other heavyweight guests expressed wonderful views on topics such as how to view the future trend of China's artificial intelligence & smart manufacturing from the perspective of capital.
The following is a dialogue.
Wei Qiang: First, please introduce yourself.
Shen Weiquan: Hello, everyone. I am Shen Weiquan of the Hong Kong Angel Investment Foundation. Thank you very much for the invitation of the conference organizer. We are an investment institution in Hong Kong. We have been established for 4 years and have invested in about 50 projects, including artificial intelligence, big data and biomedical fields. Our capital pool comes from family funds, Hong Kong listed companies and overseas venture capital funds. We It also created a type of insurance plan to provide early-stage investors with repurchase guarantees at the original price, matching start-ups and investor cooperation.
Xu Hongbo: Hello, everyone. This is Xu Hongbo. I have been overseas for 16 years. Before returning to China, we were the first group of people engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial angel investment and incubation in South China. In the past 7 years, we have incubated a series of star projects. We are very concerned about investments in three areas, the first is the retail sector, and the second is front-end technology, IoT and blockchain.
Meng Jianbin: First of all, I want to give you a brief introduction to Shenzhen Venture Capital. The scale of Shenzhen Venture Capital is more than 200 billion yuan, ranking among the top in China. There are more than 900 investment projects, nearly 150 listed companies, and a wide range of investment fields, including artificial intelligence, which are our key investment directions. The region and scope of investment are cross-regional investments. Over the years, we have invested in a large number of enterprises in front-end, terminal and back-end. Based on the early, middle and late stages of the industry, we support more early-stage outstanding and innovative core enterprises through reasonable allocation.
Chen Hao: We are a century-old central enterprise established by Li Hongzhang, with a history of more than 140 years. Development At present, China Merchants Group has become the largest investment enterprise in terms of assets, and its profit ranks second among all state-owned enterprises. The innovative investment management company established by China Merchants relies on the existing industrial background of China Merchants, focusing on incubating mid- and early-stage projects in the industry chain, and lays a solid foundation for the rapid development of China Merchants in the next step.
Wei Qiang: A few days ago, Christie’s, a world-renowned auction house, just auctioned off its first AI painting with a total value of 3 million yuan. The signature of the author (artificial intelligence) in the lower right corner of the painting is a mathematical equation. Christie's officials also believe that this transaction "marks the entry of artificial intelligence art into the world auction stage." Fields that can be replaced by artificial intelligence are not limited to repetitive tasks. Can algorithms really imitate creativity? Although people are mentioning that the capital winter has come, according to the Whale Quarantine Research Report, from the data point of view, the financing events and financing amount in 2018 have increased compared with 2017. I would like to ask everyone, in the field of artificial intelligence, why capital has been stay tuned?
Shen Weiquan: Artificial intelligence projects have several characteristics. First of all, it needs the support of big data, and enough big data can confirm the success of AI algorithms. Investment projects in the AI field usually have to go through a long process of data accumulation and continuous optimization before they can gradually mature. Therefore, when we invest in the AI track project, we mainly look at the project algorithm, the integration with big data, and the application extension ability.
For example, relying on AI, we can quickly analyze laws and regulations in different regions, and can quickly sort out all relevant legal files. When there are legal restrictions across borders, with data assistance, we can quickly solve the problem. Therefore, I think that many different AI investment business opportunities are contained in different application scenarios.
Xu Hongbo: Let me talk about some of my views. Someone spends 3 million to buy a painting made by a robot. I personally think that the hype of this matter is greater than the actual value. why would you say so? I think we must have reverse thinking when starting a business and investing. If everyone thinks that AI is awesome, then we think about something that AI can't do. There is an assumption here, that is our human creativity, those great artists, great musicians, and great painters, whose things we think cannot be done by machines. Why can't the machine do it? Because these creativity represent human emotions. For example, our love, our hatred, our jealousy, and our greed are our basic rights as human beings. These powers should not be replaced by machines.
To give an example, Qi Baishi's works or Fangu's works are valuable because of their scarcity, and scarcity is the least valuable for machines. So I personally think that the AI painting auction may be just a show.
The second question, let me first talk about what kind of AI has no chance. Regarding the issue of AI opportunities, I am a little pessimistic. I think if everyone, including big companies, thinks AI is an opportunity, start-ups are missing this opportunity. Because start-up companies do not have data, although you can rely on Ali's big data and Taobao's big data to do more precise marketing, this is only a tool attribute, not an AI attribute. This is a very harsh fact.
Let me talk about which two areas I think still have opportunities. One is in the field of retail scenes. China is the most developed country in the world for e-commerce, and Alibaba is one of the most powerful e-commerce companies in the world. However, in China, e-commerce only accounts for 16% of the entire physical retail, and physical retail accounts for 84%. U.S. e-commerce only accounts for 5% of the entire physical retail, which means that there are huge opportunities offline that have not been tapped. The second is the upgrading of the industry. Take the Pearl River Delta as an example. Our annual production capacity in China is 80 billion yuan, accounting for 60% in the world. These processes can be completely replaced by machines, and machines must be more accurate than people. In these areas, we can use AI to empower.
Meng Jianbin: Human-computer interaction is also a process of mutual learning and touching. Human feelings are not only scarce, but also vividness, imagery and other attributes. These things cannot be replaced. These attributes make it impossible for human beings to be surpassed or replaced in some areas. While machines are touching people's thinking development and cognitive perception, people also promote the continuous progress of artificial intelligence products. This is a two-way interactive process and should not be understood as a simple, static state.
I think that the development and application of artificial intelligence in all aspects of the industry is very extensive, and it will show explosive growth. For example, applications in the public domain will show explosive growth, which in turn will drive the development of artificial intelligence. Whether it is the technical support layer or the application layer, there will be a great leap forward. We are investing in the field of artificial intelligence, from front-end, terminal to back-end. Especially since the second half of last year, we have made large-scale investments in the chip and IT industries.
At the same time, we are also very concerned about the application level. For example, for a public security project in Longgang District, the company’s valuation has exceeded 2 billion yuan in a short period of time, and it has grown by more than one billion yuan in less than three years. This rate is It's amazing. This kind of project can be favored and recognized by investment companies because of its grasp and expansion at the application level. I think there are many application scenarios in smart phones, smart homes, and the Internet of Things. There are many big data that can be captured. The problem is how the data should be used. The big data we are talking about is a vague concept, and we don't know how to apply the concept, but we will attach great importance to this field.
Chen Hao: Whether it is the capital winter or not, good things must be sought after by everyone. We must buy good things, not choose based on its price. In the long run, both industrial upgrading and human life cannot do without artificial intelligence. Therefore, the future of artificial intelligence must be bright.
From the perspective of the government, we need to foster and support the development of artificial intelligence industries through policies that foster entrepreneurial companies, like the Longhua District government, and at the same time generate tax revenue. Government departments may be more interested in results.
From a capital perspective, we may pay more attention to its development process. Because the AI field spans a wide range, no matter from data to algorithm calculation examples, including perspective systems, voice systems, etc., it is involved. Because artificial intelligence is currently at an immature stage, capital is willing to deploy this field as soon as possible. The perspective of capital may be more focused on the process, so this is why in the cold winter of capital, capital still pays much attention to the artificial intelligence industry.
China Merchants Group is currently making some early business growth points around the industry. We have invested in AI projects in finance, ports, smart home and other fields, and the growth is also good. In addition, we are also laying out the application of calculation examples and data mining, and we are very actively promoting this big cake.
Finally, I support Mr. Xu and Mr. Meng who said that auctioning AI paintings must be hype, and I didn't see any high artistic value in it. When we look at Van Gogh, we can see the anxiety in the artist's heart. For example, for a piece of music, the same artist has different experiences at different moments. At present, AI cannot do this. If AI has feelings, it may become a crisis for our human beings.
Wei Qiang: In addition to the layout of artificial intelligence and the focus on the subdivisions we just discussed, we also want to discuss with you about the field of intelligent manufacturing. We all know that policies have been introduced in many places this year to support intelligent manufacturing. In 2017, my country’s Industrial Internet The direct industry scale is about 570 billion yuan. It is expected that from 2017 to 2019, the industry scale will grow at an average annual growth rate of 18%, and will reach the trillion yuan level by 2020? From a capital perspective, what do you think of the current situation? What is the current state of smart manufacturing?
Shen Weiquan: The cold winter of capital is the past tense for angel investment. In fact, there are a large number of capitals that did not participate in start-up investment, such as traditional entrepreneurs and real estate developers. They must improve the innovation capabilities of traditional enterprises by investing in start-ups in order to improve their industry competitiveness. Therefore, one of our investment directions is to invest with investors in traditional fields. We hope that traditional entrepreneurs will find some technological developments that can be applied to traditional enterprises. In fact, many traditional entrepreneurs have a lot of big data, but they don't know how to make data valuable, so someone needs to explain that they turn some valuable data into AI, which can be optimized, and there is a product or a plan. Start-ups can find some good traditional companies and integrate resources from both sides. This combination point is a good investment opportunity.
Xu Hongbo: Our genes are different from many institutions. We started with technology. Our partners and investment managers have a very solid technical foundation. We know the logic of judging the business prospects of an early company and how to judge its innovation and core competitiveness. Therefore, many start-ups hope to make friends with us. Because we understand them, we can provide him with suggestions related to his development needs. . Many Silicon Valley investors also say that we are the VCs most like Silicon Valley investors in China.
I think we must know the scope of our abilities and not do things outside our abilities.
We are very concerned about a special industry intersection, which is the combination of intelligent manufacturing and AI. How to judge the value of this cross-field? In our opinion, it is particularly simple, improving efficiency, reducing labor, and giving users a better interactive experience. So we will find application scenarios around these three points. For example, we invested in the future store, which is a typical IoT+intelligent manufacturing+AI+retail scenario. This project is now working on an unmanned store, and one store can be opened at a distance of 150,000 yuan, which is very remarkable. There are 4 robots in each store, and the cost of opening a store is only a quarter of that of 711, and the operating cost is 15% of 711.
Meng Jianbin: We pay more attention to advanced manufacturing, automation and intelligence in the high-end manufacturing process. I don't know if the concept of smart manufacturing is accurate. So far I have been skeptical about the concept of smart manufacturing. From the perspective of artificial intelligence, we can't manufacture high-end chips, and we have to go outside for foundry. Therefore, we cannot create a high-end basic layer. With the development of high-tech technology, artificial intelligence needs to rely on high-end equipment. Without high-end equipment, high-end intelligent products cannot be produced. It can be said that high-end manufacturing is a top priority of our Shenzhen Venture Capital investment.
Chen Hao: Overall, artificial intelligence plus traditional manufacturing is still very promising. China is a big manufacturing country, but we must not forget that smart manufacturing is the next stage after manufacturing automation and informatization are completed. However, the current reality is that many companies have not yet done a good job of automation. Therefore, we should continue the layout when Chinese companies can develop in the fields of automation and information technology, and then introduce the concept of intelligent manufacturing.
The other is our workers. All manufacturing, even smart manufacturing, is inseparable from workers in the long run. How to improve the quality of workers is the fundamental problem of China's manufacturing industry. We always talk about manufacturing in Japan and Germany, but the foundation of their industry is also their workers. This is what we should pay attention to in the capital layout.
Wei Qiang: Thank you for sharing. Everyone here has expressed their views on the general trend and the industry. I believe that participating in the Next·Me Most Potential Innovative Enterprise Creation Conference jointly organized by Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center and Whales today must be very rewarding. Thank you again for your wonderful sharing.
"NEXT·ME Creation and Sharing Conference" is a blockbuster event initiated by Alibaba Cloud in 2018, which is jointly held by Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center, Whale Standard and other institutions. "NEXT·ME Chuangxianghui" focuses on the two core resource pain points of entrepreneurs' industry and capital, and hopes to rely on Alibaba's ecological resources and the capital and data capabilities of the Whales platform to provide entrepreneurs with a zero-distance docking of industries and capital. The series of activities mainly focus on four areas: new retail (new consumption), new cultural innovation, new finance, and artificial intelligence (new manufacturing). In the future, it will grow into the forefront of venture capital, driven by top-notch investment and financing + resource docking. The roadshow platform will hold landing events in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and other highland cities across the country.
The Angel Investment Foundation will work closely with Alibaba Cloud, integrate powerful domestic resources, solicit the world's top innovation and technology projects, jointly incubate and capture more investment opportunities.
The following are the introductions of four forum guests:
Founder and Chairman of Angel Investment Foundation – Mr. Shen Weiquan
The Angel Investment Foundation is a Hong Kong-based private equity investment institution that focuses on leading investment in integrated start-ups, projects that are in line with national development policies, joint ventures for companies to expand into new markets, and projects involving resource leaders. The investment amount of a single project ranges from a seed stage of hundreds of thousands to a venture capital stage of no more than HK$100 million.
The foundation has a variety of free funding programs, interest-free entrepreneurial loan programs, seed project cultivation programs, angel investment guarantee programs and other methods to assist start-ups and investors who invest in start-ups.
Since its establishment four years ago, HK$140 million has been allocated to provide up to 70% investor equity investment repurchase guarantees for nearly 100 local start-up projects, leading nearly 20 projects involving corporate strategy consulting, market planning, system development, Legal arbitration, translation services, media magazines, artificial intelligence, Internet finance, cross-border e-commerce, etc.
There are more than 60 entrepreneurial incubation bases with global cooperation, including Beijing Zhongguancun Dongsheng Science and Technology Park, covering an area of 1.2 million square meters, and Guangzhou IPV Zhishang Valley, the largest intellectual property themed entrepreneurship base in Asia.
Executive General Manager of Shenzhen Venture Capital – Mr. Meng Jianbin
Shenzhen Innovation Investment Group Co., Ltd. (“Shenzhen Venture Capital” for short) is a limited liability company specializing in venture capital investment established by the Shenzhen Municipal Government in 1999 and guided by social capital. Since its establishment, the company has always been committed to cultivating national industries, shaping national brands, and promoting economic transformation and upgrading and the development of emerging industries. The current registered capital is 4.2 billion yuan, and the total scale of various funds under management is about 288.181 billion yuan.
As of the end of September 2018, the number of Shenzhen Venture Capital investment companies and the number of listed companies ranked first in the domestic venture capital industry: 918 projects have been invested, and the cumulative investment amount is about 39.9 billion yuan, of which 141 investment companies are in the world. 16 capital markets were listed. Professional investment, in-depth services, and strict risk control have achieved the outstanding performance of Shenzhen Venture Capital's venture capital business IRR 40.32%.
Managing Director of China Merchants Venture Capital – Mr. Chen Hao
The management scale of the first phase of China Merchants Venture Capital is RMB 5 billion, which mainly invests in early and growth VC funds and projects. In the two years since its establishment in December 2015, the Fund of Funds has invested in 27 early and growth stage funds, including 3 overseas funds; 34 direct investment projects, such as 36Kr, Golden Axe, Flash Silver, Shenjian Technology, etc. . As an angel investment and innovation and entrepreneurship incubation platform under China Merchants Group, China Merchants Qihang uses "incubation + investment + fund" to achieve a three-wheeled business drive, creating an incubation brand "CM Space", an investment brand "China Merchants Qihang Capital" and a fund management company " "China Merchants Set Sail" has more than 10,000 square meters of incubation space, the first phase of 300 million yuan of seeds, and angel investment funds. In the two years since its establishment, it has promoted investment through incubation, and promoted innovation through investment. It has invested in more than 40 entrepreneurial projects. Many projects have achieved geometric growth in business flow and obtained the next round of financing. The intention of the sponsors for the roadshow of the invested projects is to realize the effective docking and full collision of entrepreneurship, industry and capital.
Chairman of Chuangda Capital – Mr. Xu Hongbo
Mr. Xu Hongbo is the world’s first group of technical experts in artificial intelligence and robotics, focusing on research in the field of neurocomputing neural network computing. His investment projects exceed the success rate of 70%, and he is one of the investors with the highest early return on investment in China. He is also The predecessor of Android, the earliest Internet standard-one of the six drafters of the global mobile Java standard. Served as chief architect and chief scientist in global leading Internet companies BEA, Sun, etc.
Encryption and open source software are the foundation of blockchain technology, and building a high-quality open source community is the guarantee for the establishment of a blockchain community. Mr. Xu Hongbo is not only the world’s first expert in cryptography, but at the same time, Mr. Xu Hongbo, as the initiator and project leader, has jointly undertaken the major scientific and technological innovations of the EU’s Sixth Framework Project with 21 cooperation units in 9 countries on 3 continents. The QualiPSo project is the largest open source software technology project in history, and it is also the world's largest investment in the key link of open source software-quality assurance so far.