Eight renowned entrepreneurs and business representatives from home and abroad attended Slush Up! Shenzhen, a startup carnival focusing on the “Smart Maker” theme at the Sino-Finnish Design Park in Futian District, to share their latest achievements in the fields of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) Saturday.

The event is part of the 3rd Shenzhen Maker Week and the 2017 Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week (Shenzhen Venue) that runs until Thursday.

One of the guest speakers, Meng Jie, is the CEO of Maybe, a Shenzhen-based company specializing in developing AI technology solutions to smart-home devices.

Meng said he has met many hardware producers in Shenzhen and they all told him the same thing — it’s very hard to add AI technologies to a device, to which his company provides solutions.

He said the AI Operating System developed by his company can enable hardware producers to make their devices smarter and able to recognize voice commands, hand gestures and facial expression within one or two months.

Alexis Pons, a partner at Maybe, said the company has partnered with Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and has integrated its AI Operating System with a VR headset developed by SIAT for biomedical research.

Pons said the company makes a profit by licensing its AI Operating System to hardware companies. For example, the company is in talks with a smart-home company and it is planning to offer its AI Operating System to the company by charging a setup fee of US$40,000 and a license fee of US$3 per device.

Meng grew up in France and previously started his own businesses in France and the United States, but he said Shenzhen is the future because he feels that the speed of the city’s growth is faster than that of the United States and Europe.

Slush is a startup event organized annually in Helsinki, Finland. Since it was launched in 2008, it has grown from a 300-person assembly to the largest startup event in Europe. The core function of Slush is to facilitate meetings between startup founders and investors and to build a world-wide startup community.

On Saturday, one of the founders of Slush, Peter Vesterbacka, who is also the father of Angry Birds, said: “Shenzhen and Slush share the same DNA. It’s exciting to see what has happened to Shenzhen and Slush over the past 10 years.”

Wang Chen, CEO of Slush China, said Slush has hosted over a dozen events in China since 2015 and has helped over 1,000 startups from both China and Europe.

“We come to Shenzhen today because we want to introduce our vibrant and international startup community to Shenzhen and also help outstanding startups in Shenzhen reach out to the world,” he said.

Nearly 50 activities are being held across the city during the Shenzhen Maker Week under the theme “Make with Shenzhen.” Maker teams from China and 15 countries are attending this year’s maker week, with the main venue at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center.

(Source: Shenzhen Daily)