This video is the 7th part of a blog series throughout 2018, with the pioneers of #TeamCharlotte to capture the opportunities and experiences in Shenzhen China in 2017. Check out the previous video blogs: Who is #TeamCharlotte and How Did They Find Out About Shenzhen, China?; Part 2 – Communication and VPN’s in China; Part 3 – Unique Industries and Relationships in China; Part 4 – Public Security and Chinese and American Risk Management; Part 5 – The Silicon Valley of China and it’s Comparison to Charlotte from a Millennials Perspective; and Part 6 – Charlotte Entrepreneurs Diversity of Business in China.
The video series are very informal, and a lot of joking is probably going to happen so be prepared to laugh!
Vanessa Vaughn: What were some of the things that took you by surprise or that you were not expecting that you saw on this trip?
Justin Witz: Not saw, I would say experienced out of the forum. When you think of this forum you might be thinking we’re all beginners and just startups trying to figure out our way and our path. That was not the case. I mean there were definitely early stage companies, some companies that are doing over $70 million a year in revenue, and billions in revenue.
I mean we had incredibly high caliber people that obviously #TeamCharlotte was able to be around. And they got to see the caliber that we represent as well, from the community and education we’ve been able to receive in our city. I think that took me by shock because going into this I didn’t know who we would be next to, and how we would be able to sharpen one another, but I think there was a lot of sharpening on both sides and that was a pleasant surprise for me.
Amanda Zullo: I think what I also found really fascinating was, since this is an entrepreneur forum. I’m about to turn 33 next year and I’m just now starting to get it. What was fascinating was there were a lot of young, and I’m talking about college students from Arizona State University.
Vanessa: Shoutout to Arizona State University.
Justin: Arizona State!
Amanda: I mean we had 20 year olds getting up and pitching about companies they’ve already started and products they’re already selling. I’m just like wow, you guys got started early.
Vanessa: There were people on our trip that are moving to Thailand, they’ve lived in Shanghai. They graduated from college and moved all the way to China and they’ve been here doing business. I met one guy, Noah who does manufacturing in Shanghai. He has more experience doing work overseas than in America. What it helped me to see is I can do that. We have the opportunity to go anywhere and do business. We are not confined by where we live. I think it was just awesome to meet people who are doing bigger things, but also not to be the smartest person in the room.