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Starting a company in Shanghai: The interview of Romain, co-funder of EEXAR

Starting a company in Shanghai: The interview of Romain, co-founder of EEXAR

    At only 24 years-old, Romain Dessain-Gelinet left France to start his Augmented Reality company in Shanghai with his co-founder Nicolas Letendrie. The start-up called EEXAR was initially a student project. Ex-student from a French Business School, Romain explains why Nicolas and him decided to start their company in China rather than in France.

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– Hello Romain

– Hello Sarah

– You are the co-founder of EEXAR. Could you please present your company?

– So in a few words, EEXAR is an Augmented Reality Company. What we do is we develop the vanguard sales. Basically we equip every salesman with a tablet and AR glasses to improve the sales process from product presentations to the final quotation.

– Why did you choose this name?

– Actually we were called “Rocket & AR” before. It started as a student project for a year but we found out that it was quite a chillish name. Especially the logo were kind of childish. So we went through an all design thinking for finding the new name. It did not work and at the end we just had the co-founder Nicolas who typed EEXAR on internet, found that is was an available domain name and it sounds nice. There is ” XAR” in the name which is “extended reality” and we go for Enterprise Experience and Augmented Reality.


Starting a company in shanghai : EEXAR

– Why did you make the choice to set up your business in Shanghai?

– So as I said before it was a student project so we were pitching this project in France. But I was doing my internship in China for my last year so I was also pitching the project here. And we had like two difficulties in France. In France people are telling us “It’s a good idea”. In China they are telling us “It’s a good idea, when do you start?” So we decided to be in here instead of France.

– Because you had more contacts, more people that encouraged you?

– We have our contacts, my network was well-developped here because I had a year and a half of internship before. The community in Shanghai is like as soon as you are starting something they all want to be part of it. And the second thing is technology adoption. People here are willing to try new things.

– So, do you speak chinese?

– Ting bu dong (“Je ne comprends pas”, en chinois)

– Did you know how to set up a business in China before to come here?

“Actually, starting a company is not that hard”

– No I didn’t. Actually I came here, the last time was for a 6 months internship, and my goal was to fundraise 1.5 million dollars for a company. I was thinking “Actually, starting a company is not that hard, because fund raising is close to start a company : the projection, the pitching… And I was like “ok, just do it!”

– Ok, that’s a lot of courage. So, do you have investors, and if you have, where did you find them?

– Currently, we don’t have any investor in our company. We are “Bootstrap“; that means our clients fund us for the project we do for them. However, we do need fundraising to play faster cause we want to have a full software ready by the middle of next year instead of 3 years from now. So we have some investors, Business Angels we are talking to, to fundraise 200 000 dollars. It is a long process, your project needs to be perfine, you have an idea you pitch in the front line.

– Which type of visa did you have when you arrived?

-Tourist Visa. The story is I heard about a program with the chinese government called the entrepreneurship Visa. The fact is you arrive here with a tourist Visa and then you transfer it into an entrepreneurship Visa if you are qualified. We were recommended by an incubator called “K-tech but at the end we had this Visa. It is like a resident permit for one year.

– So now you have the entrepreneur Visa?

“The entrepreneurship Visa allows you to stay in China, but not to get paid.”

– I have it and now we are switching to working Visa, because the entrepreneurship Visa allows you to stay in China, but not to get paid. So even if you have a company and you are making profit, you can’t get money from it with this kind of Visa.

– That’s difficult thus, how can you survive? Did you receive any help?

– A lot, it is not like in France. Actually if you start in France for example you will just have financial help mostly and you will get 50 000€ if you want for your company, free of charge. It is pretty good. However, if you start there having clients is pretty complicated because in France they require that you have a background, a great team, other used cases.

It is not the case in Shanghai, you have a team, you have a prototype, technology is working so we go for it. We decided to use that so the help we had was mainly from the community who connected us with people who needed our technology and also told us how to develop our business in Shanghai.

– Do you have kind of a PEPITE ? You know in France we have PEPITE in Business School and IAE. Have you heard about it?

– I was a PEPITE actually in France, in Rennes, for an another project. For consulting and transformation technology between France and China. However there was a few support. It was good for connecting us with other entrepreneurs, but few added value for your own project.

And right now the PEPITE in Shanghai is the French Tech PEPITE and it’s a completely different environment. Here they push you to investors they push you to pitch or to clients. This is a way more worth the time in the company than in France.

– Maybe it is more professional and less scholar?

– Exactly.

Startign a company in shanghai: augmented realty helmet

– How do you advertise your company in China?

“If someone knows us, he will tell the rest.”

– Basically we don’t. The fact is we work in B to B, so we don’t believe in marketing automation yet. What we do is talk to people, then refer us and that’s how we advertise. Because everyone is connected here and work with international companies. So if someone knows us, he will tell the rest.

– So this is World of Mouth.

– Exactly.

– Are you in chinese social media?

– No, I mean we are in Wechat. Mainly what we do is to advertise our success. For example we won this prize or we pitched there. It is good enough to show people we are existing but it does not bring leads. But I guess Wechat and Weibo are great in marketing. It could help us a lot if we were in a more advanced step.

– Do you think about doing it later?

– That is of course a plan , for sure.

– What are the important points you learnt until now?

“Better do than think. […] At least we have someting to show to other people.”

– Better do than think, definitely. I have started with 3 other entrepreneurs, we all got the entrepreneur Visa. So we were 4 starting, and today I am the only one left.

Because those three, they had good projects basis but they did not invest and try prototypes, and work on it. They were just pitching and fund raising. And they died out of cash flow. Instead of us, we were “ok, we have a link here, we develop right now because at least we have something to show to other people”.

– Thank you Romain.

– Thank you Sarah.

Starting a company in Shanghai : 10 Takeways

  • Choose a clear name with an available domain name for your website
  • Find an incubator to help you for the Visa requirements
  • Be aware you will not earn money with the entrepreneurship Visa
  • Be ready to pitch
  • Develop your network
  • Involve the Shanghai community in your project
  • Never stop looking for investors
  • Get closer to The French Tech Shanghai
  • Talk about the development of your company in social media
  • Better do than think



A.I Augmented Reality Business Digital Business Marketing UX Virtual Reality

l’Amour Digital, une romance derrière l’écran

Aujourd’hui, de plus en plus de rencontres amoureuses se font par le biais d’application prévu à cet effet. En effet, rencontrer une personne qui partage nos intérêts n’est pas souvent chose facile. Ce pourquoi nous nous tournons d’avantage vers ces application. Comment cela se passe désormais, maintenant que nous sommes à l’ère de l’amour digital ?

Le marketig de l’amour digital 

“On s’est rencontré sur Tinder.” Une phrase que nous entendons de plus en plus. Cela avait commencé avec les site internet comme meetic ou encore attractive world. Depuis l’avènement des smartphone, ce sont les applications qui règnent en maître sur l’amour. Et l’amour ça fait vendre. La ou il y a un cœur à prendre , il y a parfois aussi un porte-monnaie. Le Tinder 100% gratuit n’est plus. Bien sur, il toujours possible d’utiliser application gratuitement, vous n’accéderez plus aux mêmes fonctionnalités. Aimer des profils à volonté, ou encore rendre le siens plus visible est désormais sur Tinder Plus.

Pour voir toutes les fonctionnalités de l’application

Tinder gratuit ou payant : faut-il payer pour l’utiliser ?

Le “Sex Robot” contre la solitude affective


De plus en plus se commercialise les robots du sexe, très répandus au Japon avec la Real Doll. Il y a aussi la Dreamdoll le robot du sexe à la française. De la simple poupée en plastique à un automate pouvant gémir et bouger, le progrès ne s’arrête pas là. En effet, nous aurons des robot pouvant se mouvoir à volonté, s’adaptant à l’utilisateur. Avec une sensibilité de peaux ainsi qu’une personnalité grâce à la réalité virtuelle, les robots du sexe sont destinés à ressembler à des humains.

Une société encore plus centrée sur elle même 

Ce genre de pratique pourrait rendre son bien être à une personne en détresse. Un ou une éternel célibataire comblé par l’affection d’un robot. Cela ressemble au résumé du film Her.

Lire aussi :

Nouvelles Technologies quand Fiction rejoint Réalité

Mais si justement au lieu de réconcilier les gens avec le monde et les personnes réelles nous nous transformons doucement vers un monde ou les interactions sociales n’auront lieux qu’entre humains et robots ? Comment ferons-nous pour procréer ?

Augmented Reality Digital Business Marketing

Nouvelles Technologies quand Fiction rejoint Réalité

Qui n’a jamais fantasmé devant un sabre-laser de l’univers Star Wars ? Ou encore s’être dit que cela pouvait être génial de posséder la DeLorean de Retour vers le futur ? Nous avons tous voulu un jour avoir une technologie futuriste de science-fiction à portée de main. Mais le problème se pose là, il s’agit de science-fiction. Le terme Fiction étant opposé au Réel, cela implique que ces nouvelles technologies ne verront jamais le jour. Cependant, certaines sont apparues à l’écran il y a longtemps, et sont bien réelles aujourd’hui.

Outre le traducteur universel que l’on peut voir dans Star Trek, ou encore le GPS de la voiture de James Bond dans Goldfinger, de nouvelles technologies existe mais ne font pas encore partie de notre quotidien, découvrons-les.

Nouvelles Technologies Holographiques

Les hologrammes ont toujours fait rêver. Vus dans de vieilles productions comme Star Wrars, les hologrammes ont décris le futures des communications. Plus récemment ils apparaissent dans des films d’anticipation comme IRobot, ou encore Minority Report et dernièrement dans l’Univers Cinématographique Marvel. La technologie holographique sera dans nos foyers plus rapidement qu’on ne le pense. La technologie Head-up Display de la BMW permet d’avoir vos informations de conduite sur le pare-brise.

Votre vitesse, la navigation ainsi que les obstacles et voitures à proximité indiquées sont très convaincants. Pour le côté “information sur une surface transparente” nous y sommes, en revanche, aucune possibilité de contrôle sans contact. La technologie Myo de Thalmic Labs le permet. En effet, grâce à un bracelet rempli de capteurs sur l’avant-bras, nos mouvements sont enregistrés afin de faire fonctionner certains objets à distance.

Aussi, la technologie Mezzanine se rapproche, dans l’esprit, de la technologie vue dans Minority Report. Il s’agit d’un tableau interactif contrôlable à distance grâce à une télécommande.

Le mariage de ces technologies pourrait donner naissance à nos rêves des films de science-fiction.


Des Voitures sans Pilotes


A Dubaï, la société 2getthere a développé des transports autonomes. Cela a commencé avec les taxis pouvant transporter jusqu’à 6 personnes, puis ils ont développés des navettes destinées pour un plus grand nombre. Aujourd’hui ils opèrent dans des villes comme Singapour Bruxelles ou encore Amsterdam.


Cela fait référence bien sur, au taxi auto-pilote du film Total Recall de Paul Verhoeven. Par ailleurs ce film présente d’autres technologies. Le générateur d’implant mémoriel qui est la principale technologie présentée, permet de voyager sans bouger de sa chaise. Cela est désormais possible grâce à la réalité virtuelle.

Lire aussi :

Le Tourisme Virtuel devient réalité

Ainsi, au travers de ces deux exemples de nouvelles technologies, nous pouvons observer que la vie telle que nous la connaissons sera, à terme, révolutionnée par le digital. Chaque jour nous faisons des progrès, et chaque jour nous avons des idées innovantes pouvant apporter un plus à nos vie, transformant la fiction en réalité.

Analytics Apps Augmented Reality Digital Business FrenchTech Gaming Marketing MBADMB Mobile News

BiliBili Mobile APP as a Success in China

As soon as you meet new Chinese Friends, you always find a way to know more about digital Strategy in China and what type of APP do Millennials use in China every day. So I thought it was interesting to know about the Success of BiliBili APP in the Chinese Market today.

BilibiliBilibili (stylized as bilibili, Chinese: 哔哩哔哩; pinyin: bīlībīlī; nicknamed B, literally “the B site”, NASDAQBILI) is a video sharing website themed around animation, comic, and game (ACG) based in China, where users can submit, view, and add commentary subtitles on videos. Bilibili uses an Adobe Flash or HTML5 player, which can be manually switched, to play user submitted videos hosted by either itself or third-party sources, while featuring a real-time overlaying subtitle system for interactive playback experience.

With the fast growing number of visitors on Bilibili, it decided to expand their functions. Besides the dominant themes, now Bilibili offers videos of various fields, including music, dancing, science and technology, entertainment, movie, drama, fashion, daily life and even advertisement films. Also Bilibili provides a live streaming service where audiences can interact with streamers. Usually the topic is about anime, content creating, game strategy and so on.

Other than videos, Bilibili also offers games, mostly ACG (animation, comic and game) themed mobile games, such as the Chinese version of Fate/Grand Order.

Bilibli Chinese APP - Florence Rouchy

Bilibili APP is a Chinese version of NicoNico APP originally set up in Japan. It is like Chinese Youtube > YUKOU. Before Bilibili was for Cartoons. Today Bilibili is a hug success in China

Why BiliBili became famous in China?

Bilibili is mostly a video game company and became a huge and famous business in China.  Bilibili was know by this famous IPO amounting $3 billion this year.

Bilibili is listed NYSE : New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange (abbreviated as NYSE and nicknamed “The Big Board”), is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York.

The target is millenals : Users are individuals & Private People

This APP is very flexible. It is like Youtube or Youku and you have a lot of options

  • By answering questions
  • By having a competition to get a good Score
  • By making a competition with your own videos with spontaneous online reactions. when the video streaming is on
  • By having access to private videos such as Chinese Songs, vidéos from Olympics Games …
  • By answering questions to make comments

How to register an account on Bilibili Chinese APP?

The main thing to do if you want to register and to have fun online using this Chinese Mobile APP by streaming, making your own videos and gaming, you have to sign in :

To know more about BILIBLI APP

Bilibili website

Bilibili APP Nasdaq IPO – 2018

Bilibili Digital in China

Example of a video made by a Chinese Millennial

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CsjBot, Performance of Industrial Robots in China


After a visionary Class in February 2018 with ESSCA #MBADMB team, I am pleased to give you more information about Csjbot Strategy in China & abroad.

Through Artificial intelligence (AI), robots can is a huge market in China. In our coming future, robots will be more and more present in our companies, not only to replaces employees but also to support them in their work.

That is why to visit the Team of Csjbot was amazing to have because our MBA team learned a lot about robots and what they do.


What Csjbot Robots are powerful in China and abroad?

In China

  • Robot can help companies to increase their turn over becoming more and more by industrialisation of products.
  • Robots can be used in Services sectors and there is a ROI (Return On Investment in China).
  • Robots are  online selling & promotions on WeChat ALIBABA, TAOBAO (Chinese e-commerce plateforms)  related to their website : WeChat Mini Programs in China
  • New jobs to support the robots too develop more technically.
  • China is huge market for robots and robots efficiency will become one day very helpful for world wide firms. Even today robots are assets for servicing and industrialisation business sectors.

Out of China

  • Csjbot have partners in the US markets and in Europe (Spain, Italy and Romania) to sell their robots and it is starting to be a success overseas.
  • New skills for experts in Digital Marketing & Business can be created in the future to increase the development of industrial and servicing companies.
  • To develop a robot you have different partnerships with Europe and US. So when a robot is manufactured, you have world wide competences in one robot.
  • Even you have less than 5 % of companies who use robots assets, it will be become more and more inside of international firms in the coming 20 years
  • Robots will support the  company team to be more and more efficient.

What Csjbot Robots can be funny to use?

  • Robots can dance : The 540 robots dance performances even applied for the Guinness Book of Records! In recent years, artificial intelligence has gradually come into people’s daily life from distant highs, by giving the audience an eye-opener on the rapid development of artificial intelligence today.

The example of Csjbot is really important because with their 2 robots :

  • “Amy Robot” who is dealing services like in a restaurant area to serve your customers who orders to the robot what he/she wants for meals.
  • “Samy Robot” who is programming to give you a human exchange

CsjBots interviews by Florence Rouchy, following the Discovery class of our MBA in Digital Marketing near Shanghai on February 2nd, 2018


Please see more about Robots




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The world’s biggest Starbucks

The 6th of December 2017, Starbucks opened his bigger shop around the world in Shanghai. It’s called the ‘Reserve Roastery’ and it’s located on West Nanjing Road (Nanjing Xi Lu) a really famous and touristic street in Shanghai.




Starbucks came in China in 1999 but their success wasn’t sure, due to the huge consumption of tea in China. But since 2012 and thanks to the strong strategy build by Belinda Wong (who’s now the Starbucks Chinese’ CEO), the brand success to establish itself in the landscape of major Chinese cities.

Starbucks China in numbers :

  • Today, there’s 3000 Starbucks in China
  • A new Starbucks open every 15 hours in the country
  • There are 600 Starbucks only in Shanghai
  • Their goal for 2020 is to reach 5000 shops in China



The brand define it as « a coffee theater with a Chinese Spirit ». This is the second Reserve Roastery that Starbucks opens in the world. The first one opened in 2014 in Seattle, but the chinese one is two times bigger ! We are here on a 2 700 square meter’s shop, which is 15 times bigger than a classic Starbucks’s shop (around 200 m2).

This only shop counts 400 employees, and can serves around 500 persons at the same time !

The store concept :

Here, the specific thing is the store concept : we are on a unique retail experience. This is a up market store with a premium quality of products and services. We’ll find an in-house artisanal bakery, a long coffee bar, a Teavana bar, a shop with clothes, goodies, food, italien catering (in collaboration with Prince Bakery), cooking utensils and professional tools for coffee or tea making. The coffee Aficionado will also find rare products, such as « grands crus » unfindable elsewhere, such as Yunnan, a region best known for its teas.



TaoBao & Alibaba :

But this shop is also a showcase for Alibaba’s technology. With the TaoBao app, Starbucks offers us an interactive experience to discover virtually the process of coffee roasting.

Just open your app, and you’ll have access to the drinks & food menu. But you’ll have also access to several augmented reality experiences with your smartphone : just scan the shop to discover the different steps of coffee transformation, the utility of each machine and how coffee tastes evolve during these steps.




When you interact with a machine, you’ll collect a badge. More interactions you’ll have with the shop, and more badges you’ll collect. Each badge represent a special photo filter that you can use to take a selfie, and then share on social medias. It thought to create buzz and it works !

Future plans

If this shop is a success, Starbucks will open 3 other Reserve Roastery in the world : one in New York, one in Tokyo and one in Milan (Italy of course, the country of coffee and espresso).



The thing that really surprise me when I came inside the Reserve Roastery is the smell. Usually, when I go into a Starbucks, I expect to smell the sweet smell of coffee. Here, barely you open the doors, the smell of pizza invades you. The white and green shop lets place to a vast area of wood and gold. No power socket here, no worktables : we are more on a Muji shop style than a traditional Starbucks. Here, we sell coffee, pizzas, coats, cups and backpacks gloriously branded ‘Reserve Roastery Shanghai’. We are swept away in a whirlwind of products, bars, choices, people and yet we are amazed by this abundance and immensity. An experience that I would describe as truly unique. I felt like Denise coming to ‘Au bonheur des Dames’ in the Zola’s novel.




« You guys have transformed China, a country drinking tea, and you make so many people love coffee. I don’t like coffee, but I like Starbucks. »

Jack Ma




Jack Ma at the inauguration of the Reserve Roastery on December 5, 2017


Sources :

Reserve Roastery :

Belinda Wong :

Starbucks in China :

Jack Ma :


To Learn More :

Alibaba :

Taobao :

Princi :