Geeks on a Train

Nick Plante
Jul 21, 2011 · 2 min read

Geeks on a Train starts today!

This afternoon I’m leaving Dalian, Liaoning, China for a 10-day journey across China’s tech ecosystem with a bunch of awesome startup founders. By train. Because planes and buses are so last year.

With stops scheduled in both Beijing and Shanghai and a number of events on the schedule including tech meetups, company visits, mentor meetings, and a 10x10 mini conference in each city, it’s bound to be a fun — and delightfully chaotic — experience. I’ve really been looking forward to it.

Geeks on a Train (affectionately referred to as “GOAT”) is part of the Dalian-based Chinaccelerator program, which is a Chinese startup accelerator run by program director Cyril Ebersweiler and the good folks at SOS Ventures. I was fortunate enough to meet them through TechStars in 2010 and am really honored that they invited me over to work with some of the young teams that were accepted into the program this year. How could I say no?

Chinaccelerator itself is much like TechStars, but with a brilliant international twist. The startups here aren’t just from China, they’re from all over the world, with founders from Malaysia, Canada, Italy, the Phillipines, India, and England, as well as China and the United States. It’s really fascinating to experience both the similarities and differences of startup life on the other side of the world, but a couple philosophies remain as constants: heartfelt motivation and JFDI are key.

In the two weeks I’ve been here thus far, I’ve seen the founders produce some truly great work and make impressive progress. It’s good stuff. There’s nothing more inspiring than being trapped in a room full of crazy entrepreneurs with wildly different backgrounds who are trying to change the world.

But I can only imagine what it’s going to be like trapped on an overnight train with them :).

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