Shenzhen, the capital of the world for makers. No need to spend more than 1 day in Huaqiangbei to understand the immensity of this place. You can literally find anything you need to develop a hardware product. It might take you a lot more time to understand how to navigate in this world. Especially if you are foreigner and non-Chinese speaker. That is why fablab SZOIL was created to help makers to navigate through Shenzhen.
Shenzhen has a strong innovation and manufacturing culture, due to its history. But its true potential is not easily accessible to foreign companies.
Launched in June 2015, fablab SZOIL helps overseas startups to integrate the Shenzhen ecosystem at early stage, right after their first prototype. It focuses on promoting the open hardware, to lower the development costs for startups looking to manufacture a few hundreds of units as a first batch. Also SZOIL aims to promote the maker spirit to the youth in China, and focuses on developing education courses for high schools and universities.
For 2 years, the lab is helping startups to be connected with the Shenzhen ecosystem of designers, suppliers, manufacturers. The lab also delivers workshops based on the fabacademy programs. SZOIL finally is one of the key events organizers in Shenzhen related to makers, like the Shenzhen Maker Week or Shenzhen Maker at World.
The observation of SZOIL is that concrete innovation is related to speed and creativity, rather than putting too much time on reinventing the wheel and spending too much money on protection. They are building an inventive model that could seduce many makers.