Looking back 40 years ago, the global Information Technology sector was completely different, from the perspective of the dominant countries and companies, from what it is today. However, it is exactly at that time that China started building a city that plays an extremely important role in the global supply chain of electronic goods and especially mobile phones.

To be specific, today the city of Shenzhen in China is responsible for the production of over 60% of the world's mobile phones.

In our first iAfrikan Live session, you will get an overview of how to produce things with Shenzhen expertise using a different innovation model.


How to innovate with Shenzhen

The event will, thanks to our featured speakers, explore how you can work with Shenzhen's open innovation ecosystem to take your ideas and prototypes and have them produced/manufactured in Shenzhen, China.


Date: Thursday, April 16, 2020

Time: 10 AM (GMT +2) Central African Time

Duration: 75 minutes (keynote presentations + Q&A)

Moderators: Tefo Mohapi, CEO of iAfrikan / Vicky Xie, Global Cooperation Director, Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL)

10 mins - Opening address and a brief introduction by Tefo Mohapi

5 mins - Sharing session by David Li <How to Innovate with Shenzhen>

20 mins - Sharing session by Donny Zhang <Topic TBC>

20 mins - Sharing session by Yang Yang <Topic TBC>

5 mins - Q&A


David Li, Founder and Executive Director, Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab

David Li has been contributing to open-source software since 1990. He is a member of the Free Software Foundation, committer to Apache projects and board director of ObjectWeb. Over the past 20 years, David has started several open-source software projects and contributed to many others. In 2010, he co-founded XinCheJian, the first hackerspace in China to promote hacker/maker culture and open-source hardware. In 2011, he co-founded Hacked Matter, a think tank on makers and open innovation. In the past two years, he has become interested in urban farming and is an enthusiastic proponent of aquaponics, which brings the spirit of open source to farming and gardening. In 2015, he co-founded Maker Collider, a platform to develop next-generation IoT from the Maker community. He is also the Executive Director of the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab.

Donny Zhang, Founder & CEO, Shenzhen Sand and Wave Technology Co. Ltd

With a background in electronics engineering, Donny’s rich experiences in smart hardware and Internet of Things products have helped a lot of companies to develop and deploy their smart products to the market quickly and with acceptable cost. His company Sand and Wave Tech established deep partnerships with the world’s largest hardware accelerator: HAX. More than 120 hardware companies (mostly startups) have benefited from their professional service in product definition, R&D, DFT/DFM, prototyping, production, and certifications. He offers the solution that brings an idea to a physical hardware product.

Yang Yang, Founder of UniMaker

Yang Yang is the Founder of UniMaker and now work as CTO of SZOIL (Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab). Β He graduated from Engineering Systems in the University of Warwick, involved in Low Volume Manufacturing and customization. He worked as a designer for ThyssenKrupp Accessibility (UK) Ltd. After 11 years in the UK, he returned to Shenzhen and had his own startup to build up 3D printers and 3D printing education in 2012, created 3D printing brand UniMaker. He works with many maker spaces and incubators all over China. After years in the manufacturing supply chain, Yang is managing World Maker Group (WMG) to help hardware startups bring their prototype into production all over the world, including many succeeded Kickstarter projects manufactured in China. He Joined HNA Quantum Intelligence (an HNA Technology Group company) for Smart Containers and Autonomous Delivery Vehicles from 2017 to 2018. His entrepreneurial story has been reported on EETimes, CCTV, and the BBC.


More information on the Shenzhen Open Innovation Experience.

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