Workshop, a prototyping start-up founded by a Frenchman, in the Chinese centrifuge

by bold-lichterman

Every morning, my employees tell me (in Chinese) ‘Hello Boss’ when I arrive at the office“. It is one of the daily prides of Kim Pen, French entrepreneur living in China for eleven years and founder of Workshop. In the heart of the new Chinese capital city of electronics, in Shenzhen, Kim Pen has just launched his start-up specializing in the prototyping of high-tech products. Barely a year after its launch, the company is attracting customers on all continents. Their need is to test a connected object before going into production, and above all to go faster than a possible Chinese copy.

The Chinese adopt the same strategy as the Americans: kill the competitors but even harder, for even longer. Uber rival Didi Chuxing did this», Observes the French entrepreneur.

In Shenzhen, a new city created 35 years ago from a fishing port to locate Chinese electronics companies, Kim Pen rents a 1,300m2 space for around 3,000 euros per month. He is already thinking of doubling the area to meet demand. “Speed ​​is in Shenzhen, all factories are around us“Enthuses the founder, who did not take the time to finish the company’s website before launching the activity. Its assembly engineers, trained in local management and specific tasks, Kim Pen pays them 650 euros per month (charges included), “approximately 600 euros in the employee’s pocket“.

For now, Chinese engineers are admittedly trained to repeat a series of tasks. But from now until they become “creative” like the French, there is only one step, according to Kim Pen.

He came to present his start-up to Frenchweb on the occasion of a pitch evening organized by Business France in Shenzhen.

Founder : Kim Pen

Seat : Shenzhen, Guangdong

Workforce : 53

Creation date: December 2015

IT: 300 / 400,000 dollars per month

China Special Week 2