Eolane Suzhou IoT City

Bringing IOT entrepreneurs to the market

49, 9 Dong Fu Lu, Wuzhong Qu, Suzhou Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China

Incubateur Centre d'industrialisation

Superficie 2000 m²

Ouvert en Juin 2016

Type de structure Private Company

Exploré en Septembre 2017


The aim of the IOT city is to accompany makers in the development of IOT products. They provide space, mentorship, but more importantly a small assembly line allowing a small scale production.

Thématiques principales

Technologie - machines & outils Entrepreneuriat Robotique Electronique

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Welcome in Suzhou, the Venice of China! Here you will have the pleasure to take a boat along its many canals, or to walk in one of the beautiful traditional Chinese gardens. And if you want at the same time to launch your IOT startup, you will rent a desk at the IOT CITY CHINA. Created in March 2016, the IOT CITY is a private company owned by EOLANE group (the French EMS) at 65%, and 7 other shareholders, companies specialized in electronics.

The EOLANE group owns manufactures in China for 11 years. But until last year they did not provide EMS for small and medium companies. The IOT market is booming everywhere in the world, and has especially of huge potential in China. Following the success of the Cité de l’objet connectéin France, Suzhou IoT City was created to emphazise the development of this new market in China.

The aim of this incubator is to accompany makers in the development of IoT products. They provide space, mentorship, but more importantly a small assembly line allowing a small scale production.

18 startups have already joined the program, working on educational robots, smart lighting system for professional shows or robotic arms for production. The location of the space in the industrial park of Suzhou allows them to attend government competitions and win grants. Every year, demo days are organized in front of Venture Capitalists.

The IoT City has celebrated its first year and the model is likely to expand over many Chinese cities, as the demand for hardware incubator is rising.

The IoT City has hosted 18 startups since its creation in 2016 (14 are still in the offices). They also have 25 independent companies requiring their production line for small /medium scale.

Regarding the startups, all of them are founded by Chinese people, mostly males aged between 25 and 35 years old. They are attracted by the location (near Shanghai), but more importantly the space, the small EMS capabilities and the expertise of the teams helping them to develop their products (on the use of the LoRa for example). They also look for an incubator that can help to access government helps and grants, as IoT development is very supported in 2017 in China.

The lab uses a lot social networks to attract its new users. They are very active on Wechat and attend many events in Suzhou area.

One of their key development pillars is to target overseas startups (they are looking for a 30% ratio). They count on the international aura of EOLANE to develop this part as well as the attractiveness of the Chinese market.

The initial investment made to set up the place was 1,3 M€. It was mainly to rent the place, build the open spaces and fund the first months of salaries. The machines are owned by EOLANE, which is renting them to the IoT City.

Since its launch in 2016, the IoT City is not profitable yet (September 2017). The two main activities generating revenues are the incubator (co-working space),10%, and the EMS for small and medium businesses (90%). This latter is generating all the profit for the company.

Regarding the costs structure, salaries represent 55%, followed by the rental of the machines (29%), and the rent of the space, 15%.

In 2017, the company is expected to reach 600 K€ revenues, and 1 500 K€ in 2018. In the following years, its growth is expected to be 20% per year. The incubator team is expected to stay flat, as almost all desks are taken already (14 startups currently incubated).

The IoT City model in Suzhou is expected to accompany and foster the growth of EOLANE and more generally EMS services in China.

In September 2017, 14 people are working in the IoT City. 3 on the incubator program (1 operational manager, 1 administration specialist and 1 PR), and 11 on the mini factory (1 operation manager, 2 program managers, 1 process engineer, 1 customer quality engineer, 1 production manager, 1 warehouse keeper and 4 operators).

There is not specific program to join the incubator. Any hardware startup can apply and stay in the space during the time they need. “Every hardware startup has unique development challenges” according to the team.

Once they integrate the incubator, the startups can benefit from the expertise of the teams present onsite, and also from the network of the 8 shareholders, helping them a lot to find their suppliers and materials. Every month, startups have a monthly review with the team of the lab, regarding their advancement and needs from the incubator.

Every week, the manager of Suzhou IoT City reports to the General Manager of EOLANE China, as the two entities work closely together. If case of specific needs, EOLANE provides the services of its manufacture located in Suzhou. A quarterly review is also set up with the board of shareholders.

No formal documentation is required from the startups incubated. But every month, the team of the lab records in detail their needs. The intent is to understand the requirements of the startups, and to anticipate their future challenges to bring an efficient response, and to adapt their program with the time.

Welcome in Suzhou, the Venice of China! Here you will have the pleasure to take a boat along its many canals, or to walk in one of the beautiful traditional Chinese gardens. And if you want at the same time to launch your IOT startup, you will rent a desk at the IOT CITY CHINA. Created in March 2016, the IOT CITY is a private company owned by EOLANE group (the French EMS) at 65%, and 7 other shareholders, companies specialized in electronics.

The EOLANE group owns manufactures in China for 11 years. But until last year they did not provide EMS for small and medium companies. The IOT market is booming everywhere in the world, and has especially of huge potential in China. Following the success of the Cité de l’objet connectéin France, Suzhou IoT City was created to emphazise the development of this new market in China.

The aim of this incubator is to accompany makers in the development of IoT products. They provide space, mentorship, but more importantly a small assembly line allowing a small scale production.

18 startups have already joined the program, working on educational robots, smart lighting system for professional shows or robotic arms for production. The location of the space in the industrial park of Suzhou allows them to attend government competitions and win grants. Every year, demo days are organized in front of Venture Capitalists.

The IoT City has celebrated its first year and the model is likely to expand over many Chinese cities, as the demand for hardware incubator is rising.

The IoT City has hosted 18 startups since its creation in 2016 (14 are still in the offices). They also have 25 independent companies requiring their production line for small /medium scale.

Regarding the startups, all of them are founded by Chinese people, mostly males aged between 25 and 35 years old. They are attracted by the location (near Shanghai), but more importantly the space, the small EMS capabilities and the expertise of the teams helping them to develop their products (on the use of the LoRa for example). They also look for an incubator that can help to access government helps and grants, as IoT development is very supported in 2017 in China.

The lab uses a lot social networks to attract its new users. They are very active on Wechat and attend many events in Suzhou area.

One of their key development pillars is to target overseas startups (they are looking for a 30% ratio). They count on the international aura of EOLANE to develop this part as well as the attractiveness of the Chinese market.

The initial investment made to set up the place was 1,3 M€. It was mainly to rent the place, build the open spaces and fund the first months of salaries. The machines are owned by EOLANE, which is renting them to the IoT City.

Since its launch in 2016, the IoT City is not profitable yet (September 2017). The two main activities generating revenues are the incubator (co-working space),10%, and the EMS for small and medium businesses (90%). This latter is generating all the profit for the company.

Regarding the costs structure, salaries represent 55%, followed by the rental of the machines (29%), and the rent of the space, 15%.

In 2017, the company is expected to reach 600 K€ revenues, and 1 500 K€ in 2018. In the following years, its growth is expected to be 20% per year. The incubator team is expected to stay flat, as almost all desks are taken already (14 startups currently incubated).

The IoT City model in Suzhou is expected to accompany and foster the growth of EOLANE and more generally EMS services in China.

In September 2017, 14 people are working in the IoT City. 3 on the incubator program (1 operational manager, 1 administration specialist and 1 PR), and 11 on the mini factory (1 operation manager, 2 program managers, 1 process engineer, 1 customer quality engineer, 1 production manager, 1 warehouse keeper and 4 operators).

There is not specific program to join the incubator. Any hardware startup can apply and stay in the space during the time they need. “Every hardware startup has unique development challenges” according to the team.

Once they integrate the incubator, the startups can benefit from the expertise of the teams present onsite, and also from the network of the 8 shareholders, helping them a lot to find their suppliers and materials. Every month, startups have a monthly review with the team of the lab, regarding their advancement and needs from the incubator.

Every week, the manager of Suzhou IoT City reports to the General Manager of EOLANE China, as the two entities work closely together. If case of specific needs, EOLANE provides the services of its manufacture located in Suzhou. A quarterly review is also set up with the board of shareholders.

No formal documentation is required from the startups incubated. But every month, the team of the lab records in detail their needs. The intent is to understand the requirements of the startups, and to anticipate their future challenges to bring an efficient response, and to adapt their program with the time.

Technologies & procédés mis à disposition

Impression 3D Fraisage numérique Electronique Découpe laser Postes informatiques & logiciels Outils pour le métal Etabli outillage Robotique

Services proposés

Incubation / mentorat de projets & startups Hébergement de startups & projets Missions de R&D Prototypage Espace de travail partagé Coaching & mentorat de projets Formations & ateliers pratiques

Nos pratiques inspirantes

Ce que nous faisons de particulier pour gérer notre espace collaboratif

The network of industrial partners close from the lab

What is it?

The IoT City China has built relationships with the EOLANE EMS plant and other industrial partners around Suzhou, in order to provide material and technical support to its startups.

In concrete terms?

The partnerships built with industrial partners in Suzhou areas allow any startup incubated to find rapidly a specific machine or product they need for their researches. The industrial partners can lend machines, or even provide technical support which could not be done in the incubator.

Why it’s interesting?

This level of partnership enables the startups to get an efficient and quick response to their challenges during the prototyping and Design For Manufacturing phases.


Nos projets de makers

Inspirez-vous des projets DIY de notre équipe & nos membres

Treee - a smart professional lighting system

What’s the project’s story?

Fei and Dewang are two makers from Suzhou. Already maker addict, they used to build stage lights for professional shows. “The show-business is growing very fast in China nowadays, but it is very hard to find the right qualified engineers able to manage the light system”.

Using their engineering skills in artificial intelligence, they decided to build a smart light system, that would be able to run the lighting program by itself and adjust it to the show live.

How do they interact with the workshop?

They arrived in the IOT CITY CHINA in october 2016, and are now a team of 6 members. The space provides them all tools and materials needed for their prototypes.

What’s next?

Their final product should be ready by September 2018. Their work is now done in partnership with a research program in Xi’an Jiatong Liverpool University.


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