The SHENZHEN OPEN INNOVATION EXPERIENCE is a unique program developed by RETHINK and INOVASIA, in partnership with SHENZHEN OPEN INNOVATION LAB, that allows C-Level executives from all over to immerse themselves in the biggest and most innovative hardware hub in the world.


About the program

of the world’s electronics are created and produced in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a vast technological ecosystem that creates and produces 90% of the world’s electronics – ranging from PCs to smartphones, feature phones, smartwatches, speakers, headphones and much more.

The scale is simply massive: tens of thousands of factories, 6,000 industrial design institutions with 150,000 designers, and 5,000 technical solution houses with 150,000 engineers. This scale has transformed the creation and production of high-tech ventures into a company-building affair.

This is the perfect site to host a program for telling manufacturers everything they need to know about how to bring your “back of the napkin ideas” to life. Learn how to transform your drafts into real products rolling off the assembly line!

6,000 industrial design institutions

150,000 designers

5,000 technical solution houses

150,000 engineers

TRANSFORM PRODUCTS IDEAS from Notes into Products

The “Open Innovation” program provides an exclusive first-hand tour, guiding you through this massive ecosystem by inviting participants to bring their “back of the napkin ideas” and seeing how to turn that little napkin into a product rolling off the assembly line.

Who studied here


Open Innovation teams from all around the world have come to the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab to learn how to innovate faster and more efficiently. They come to visit the most productive factories, meet with hardware suppliers and identify future investors.

Groups from Airbus, Carrefour and LG have joined the courses over the last few years


The Agenda


Arrival at Hong Kong Airport and transfer to Shenzhen. Check-in at your hotel and a networking cocktail with a briefing on our agenda in China.


10:00 -11:00

David Li has been contributing to open source since 1990. He is a member of the Free Software Foundation, contributor to Apache projects and Board Director of ObjectWeb. Over the past 20 years, David has started several open-source software projects and contributed to many more. In 2010, he co-founded XinCheJian, the first hackerspace in China to promote hacker/maker culture and open-source hardware. He also developed Ardublock, the most popular visual programming environment for Arduino. In 2015, he became the Director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab, which was established by Maker Collider and SIDA, as a space and platform in which worldwide makers could communicate and collaborate. As a bridge for international maker teams and startups, the lab works closely with Shenzhen production networks that promote collaboration between researchers, makers, startups and Shenzhen producers.

11:00 -12:00

Sino-Finnish Design Park Tour

Sino-Finnish Design Park includes public exhibition space, public service platform, incubator base of innovative projects for young design teams, Sino-Finnish design center, training and certification center of international design talents, headquarters of international design brands, cross-strait venture base, Fab Lab, etc.

12:00 -13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 -16:00

Huaqiangbei Electronics Market Tour

This area is the largest electronics market in the world, which stands to reason as Shenzhen is a major producer of electronics goods, as well as a city where many big brand tech gadgets are produced. There are over 20 shopping malls located in the Huaqiangbei area, which provides about 70 million square meters of business area. Annual sales reach over US$ 20 billion, and there are approximately 130,000 people employed in the area.

16:00 -18:00

Design Society and V+A Design Museum Tour


10:00 -12:00

Industrial Design Tour

Visit one of Shenzhen’s award- winning industrial design companies, where you will learn about how Chinese companies innovate in design.

12:00 -13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 -16:00

Manufacturing Tour

See Shenzhen’s famous manufacturing industry first-hand by touring a factory and learning about the production line and manufacturing process.


10:00 -12:00

Hi-Tech Park Tour

Visit the major companies in Shenzhen’s Hi-Tech Park and discover the rise of China’s “unicorn” companies.

12:00 -13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 -17:00

Dafen Cultural Tour

Tour the urban village of Dafen, which once produced more than 60% of the world’s oil paintings, and learn more about the history of art in Shenzhen.


10h - 17h

Special Workshop: Full Day Master Class

Local entrepreneurs, engineers and designers will take you through how to develop your innovative hardware in Shenzhen, step-by-step. The workshop discusses everything from the idea to production, including how to find investors in China, identify suppliers and how to export your products to major markets.



10h - 12h

Visit the World’s Largest Hardware Accelerator

Visit HAX, a venture capital-based program dedicated to accelerating startups with a hardware element. Learn about their award-winning program that operates across two locations, Shenzhen and San Francisco, and which gives founders the resources necessary to move at lightning speed.

The organization

Open Innovation is organized in China by the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL), established by Maker Collider and Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association, and is an open innovation platform supported by the Shenzhen Municipal Government. It aims to promote and facilitate collaboration between global makers, IoT entrepreneurs and the open innovation ecosystem in Shenzhen, as well as help scale projects from ideas and prototypes to real products. The lab is dedicated to exploring current issues and developing solutions to connect Shenzhen’s massive production ecosystem to small hardware startups, thereby promoting Shenzhen’s international standing. Through the development of digital intelligent hardware and manufacturing, Shenzhen aims to create its own intelligent hardware Silicon Valley by combining new open-source methods and the current manufacturing ecosystem.