Phil Crimmins, from the US, shares his sartup experience in Chengdu.
My name is Phil Crimmins. I'm from the United States of America and I live in Chengdu, China. I came to China first in April, 2011.
So we started the business in January of 2016. What we do is to build the character learning using a mnemonic visualization system that is patent pending to help people learn step by step every aspect of the Chinese characters.
It was the first (entrepreneurial visa) in Sichuan. I went through the procedures of getting the visa because the Sichuan University students office called me and said, "Hey, there's a new visa that's being released for graduates, new graduates from Chinese universities." They weren't too complicated. I had to submit a business plan and submit my various credentials, but it was pretty easy. And I was delighted to get the visa.
We also benefited from the entrepreneurship competitions that are sponsored by the government here. So we participated in 2017 in the Tianfu Cup Entrepreneurial Competition (天府杯创业比赛). And that was a great moment for us. We actually came in second place in the preliminary competition and that gave us an RMB10, 000 grant. That mechanism was a big benefit to us.(There were) news stories written about us at that time. And so that was super helpful towards getting us some name recognition.
There will definitely be more Chinese learners. China is such an important player on the world stage. There are opportunities to work in China. There are opportunities to start businesses in China. There's of course all the different reasons one might want to learn the most spoken language in the world, mandarin has more speakers than both English speakers and Spanish speakers combined. So the opportunities you open up to yourself by learning mandarin are incalculably high.
Phil Crimmins is co-founder of a platform teaching the Chinese language.