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Dao Ventures Contest Wins International Award

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

U.S.-China impact venture contest pioneered by Dao Ventures gains international recognition.


AED Receiving the Award from IEDC

Washington, D.C. and Beijing — The annual Dongsheng-Dao Ventures US-China Entrepreneurship Competition recently won a Bronze Award in Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration from the International Economic Development Council, as submitted and represented by Arlington Economic Development (AED) that has served as the U.S. host site partner for the last two years.


Dao Ventures, a Sino-US impact investment and accelerator group, started to join forces with the Dongsheng Science and Technology Park in Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, to host the annual Dongsheng-Dao Ventures US-China Entrepreneurship Competition since the year 2015. The Competition is considered the only impact venture contest across the Pacific. Dao Ventures officially launched the 3rd annual Competition in early September, 2017.


Aside from the cross-border and internationalization aspect of the Competition, what particularly differentiates the Dongsheng-Dao Ventures Competition is that it has included environmental and social impact as a key part of its selection and evaluation criteria as guided by Dao Ventures, a consortium of various impact entities that overall has supported over 1,000 impact ventures in both China and internationally so far.


Most of the 25 finalists and all the top winners from 2015 and 2016 who advanced to the Beijing Grand Final were considered environmental and/or social impact ventures, and all the top winners received cash grant awards, travelling stipends and mentoring services from Dao Ventures.

The Inaugural Dongsheng-Dao Ventures Contest in 2015

Similar to last year, in addition to the Greater Washington region as the main venue, Dao Ventures will also focus on recruiting applicants from the Boston/Cambridge area where some of the well-known US institutions of higher education are concentrated, with the objective of attracting more aspiring young entrepreneurs across the Pacific. Dao Ventures is also looking to recruit applicants from Silicon Valley and Canada this year. 

What we are looking from applicants are both impact and viable business model, or in other words an innovative way of leveraging business to create an impact, as suggested by our name Dao. From our perspective, neither impact nor business nowadays should be confined to any geography, even for a start-up venture. This is a brave new world,” said Tao Zhang, Founding Managing Director of Dao Ventures.

Whether an applicant is a solid business initiative still in the garage, a seed-stage start-up company or an emerging SME looking to scale up, they are all welcome to apply to the 2017 Competition. Besides, applicants are not limited to only those who look to do business and make an impact in China – U.S. and international ventures purely focusing on the domestic market for now but with global potential are equally encouraged by Dao Ventures to apply and participate. The sector focus of the Competition encompasses environmental, internet technology, media, telecom, healthcare, education, and fintech.


The impact ventures will be competing to win the following prizes and/or benefits:

  • RMB 1million (~$160,000) top award at the Beijing Global Final

  • Cash grant awards and mentoring services for top winners from the U.S. Final Competition

  • An invitation to participate in the Beijing Global Final via a live entrepreneurship TV show

  • Free office space for up to five people in Dongsheng’s international accelerator in Beijing under the joint New Ventures Global initiative between Dao Ventures and Dongsheng

  • Brand marketing, publicity, and media promotion

  • U.S.-China cross-border consulting, mentoring and capacity building services

Application is free and easy. Applicants will just need to use a few minutes to fill out and submit an application form at www.daoventures.com/application to start the journey. Registration for applications will be closed on November 10, 2017, and the final competition in the U.S. is currently scheduled to be held on November 30 at Suite 110, 1310 North Courthouse Road in Arlington, Virginia, the headquarters of Rare, a global leader in using behavior change to achieve long-last conservation results. The language of this U.S.-based event will be English throughout the Competition.


The Competition focused on impact ventures has won support and attention from different stakeholders over the past years, including key Chinese media outlets which have covered this event. These media organizations have included Xinhua News Agency, China Daily, CGTN America, Global Times, and Shanghai Daily.


Please contact us at info@daoventures.com if there is any general inquiry about this Competition. For media inquiries, please contact Tim Yin at tim.yin@daoventures.com.

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