Hutong (Ad)Ventures #5: Mike Zhang - Founder and CEO @Walnut co-working space
Mike Zhang is the founder and CEO of Walnut co-working space in Chengdu in southwestern China. Born in China, grew up in Canada, Mike returned to China to found Walnut in 2015, the first co-working brand in Chengdu. Unlike most returnees or expats, Mike’s research took him to start in Chengdu, not the usual Tier 1 cities. A big thanks to Brodie Burns - Williamson from the Australian Consulate Chengdu for suggesting Mike as a good interviewee candidate. Key points covered: Background to Walnut Why choosing Chengdu? Differences between Chengdu and a Tier 1 city. Walnut vs other co-working spaces: differences Thoughts on coworking space vs accelerators/incubators What are some of the interesting startups that have been in Walnut? Are they a reflection of the Chengdu startup scene? As a returnee Chinese, what are the difficulties faced and how to overcome them? Items mentioned: Favourite book: The House of Morgans by Ron Chernow Favourite Chinese investor: Zhang Lei, Hillhouse Capital Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.