What are the must-have / fundamental experiences for an aspiring hardware entrepreneur visiting Shenzen for the first time? I mean experiences that will be highly educational to a HW startup founder who is not familiar with the world of Shenzen / China manufacturing. (ie. not touristy things).
These were my top 5 went I went:
PCH - they run the table in Shenzen, try to meet with Liam and get a factory tour.
Seeed Studio - Eric Pan is a kingpin in the Maker Scene, and Shenzen is home for him.
Haxlr8r - The first hardware focused startup accelerator, based in Shenzen.
Electronics Market - Kid in a candy store?
Rapscallion Irish Pub - Best pub in China.
Agree with Zak on the Huaqiangbei market, the video doesn’t do it justice and there are so many halls to see. Here is my take on it
Also been to Seeed studio and agree its a great learning experience.
A non tech thing I did there was go to the Shenzhen convention center on the weekend, its absolutely huge and there is always something going on which gives you a real insight into how the Chinese live their lives (the Auto show was in town when I was there and it was amazing, everybody in China wants a car, probably an Audi).
I have a complete list of stuff you must have here: http://makezine.com/2013/03/08/make-it-in-china-hacking-shenzhen/
Definitely do not miss the electronics market!
I know you didn’t ask about toursity things but I highly recommend the Shenzhen Xianhu (Fairy Lake) Botanical Garden - the best place to escape the big city (you’ll need it if you spend multiple weeks there)
Get a company to manage it, or you will live in shenzhen forever babysitting manufacturers. There are good ones out there, they made the best stuff in the world. Get a company that matches your size. Don’t expect them to do everything without clear and repetitive guidance.
Founder,CEO @ M3D Inc.