Arm Innovator Tour: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen

The first Arm Innovator Tour took place across parts of Asia (China, Japan and Taiwan) throughout June 2018. Our goal? To learn about the amazing work being done by developers on Arm technology, connect with our ecosystem and find 10 new talented technical leaders to join the Arm Innovator Program. This blog is part of a series detailing our experience running the first Arm Innovator Tour. 

Having visited Taipei and Tokyo, the Arm Innovator Program geared up for the final leg of our tour: Three back-to-back events in one week in three very different cities. In this blog, I will cover our experiences stopping in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Third stop: Microsoft Garage, Beijing

Microsoft Garage

The third stop of the Arm Innovator Tour was hosted at the brand new Microsoft Garage Beijing location. We want to give thanks to Microsoft Garage and the Microsoft Accelerator for hosting our event and providing us with such a great venue.

At the event, we had an excellent line up of speakers as well as open-mic talks, which included the following:

  • Keynote Speakers:
    • Biao Cheng - Director of Microsoft Incubation and Garage, Microsoft
    • Lims Wang - CTO, Microsoft Accelerator
    • Kitty Yeung - Creative Technologist + Sr. Program Manager, Microsoft Garage
  • Rex St. John - Sr. Manager of IoT Ecosystem, Arm
  • Charlie Jiang - General Manager, Arm Accelerator (Beijing)
  • Honggang Li - Co-founder, Maker Collider, Arm Innovator
  • Glen Lu - Sr. FAE, Silicon Labs
  • Jinger Zeng - Business Operations, Auterion
  • Alex Glow - Developer Advocate,

Rex St John, Senior Ecosystem Manager, Arm

Rex St. John, Sr. Manager, IoT Ecosystem at Arm

I took to the stage first and provided an overview of the Arm Innovator Program. I covered Arm's efforts in AI (Project Trillium, CMSIS-NN, Compute Library and more) as well as an overview of the Innovator ProgramPlatform Security Architecture and DesignStart.) community evangelist, Alex Glow joined us once again with her magical blue owl Archimedes. community evangelist, Alex Glow joined us once again with her magical blue owl Archimedes.

Dr. Biao Cheng - Director of Microsoft Incubation and Garage, Microsoft

Dr. Biao Cheng - Director of Microsoft Incubation and Garage, Microsoft

One of our keynote speakers, Dr. Biao Cheng gave the audience an introduction to Microsoft Garage and start-up accelerator activities in the China ecosystem.

 Kitty Yeung speaks to the audience from San Francisco

Kitty Yeung speaks to the audience from San Francisco

Following Dr. Biao Cheng, we heard from Lims Wang (CTO of Microsoft Accelerator, China) and were joined by a very special remote guest, Kitty Yeung (Sr. Program Manager and Creative Technologist for Microsoft Garage). Kitty spoke about her work in technology fashion design.

Beijing Meetup Attendees

Thanks to everyone who showed up to speak and support our Beijing tour and a big thanks to Microsoft!

Next stop: DFRobot and the Mushroom Cloud Makerspace in Shanghai

For our next stop, we flew into Shanghai and got a tour of the DFRobot offices and their Mushroom Cloud Makerspace and educational facility. If you are not familiar with DFRobot, they are a group of passionate robotics and education professionals who create many educational kits and materials. CEO, Ricky Ye founded DFRobot with the mission of making robotics more accessible to a wider audience and they have since grown tremendously to support this mission.

The Arm team visits DFRobot

The Arm team visits DFRobot

DFRobot business development manager, Rachel Zhang gave us a tour of DFRobot, where we learnt about all the great educational products and developer kits being built in their main offices. As mentioned previously, DFRobot are excited about education and, as part of their mission, have founded a large makerspace and educational facility nearby in Shanghai called the Mushroom Cloud Makerspace.

Students from local schools stop by the Mushroom Cloud Maker Space to receive training in robots, deep learning and electronics

Students from local schools stop by the Mushroom Cloud Makerspace to receive training in robots, deep learning and electronics

After arriving at the venue and setting up the room, we began a very lively evening of keynote talks and open-mic sessions, including several talks given by some of DFRobot’s students. Talks included:

  • Keynote: Ricky Ye - Founder and CEO, DFRobot
  • Lauren Pan - CTO, DFRobot
  • Tian Li - CEO, Morpx
  • Alessandro Grande - Developer Advocate, Arm
  • Neil Tan - Developer Evangelist, Arm
  • Maxim Zhao - Sr. FAE, Silicon Labs
  • Jinger Zeng - Business Operations, Auterion
  • Alex Glow - Developer Advocate,

Ricky Ye, CEO DFRobot

Ricky Ye, CEO of DFRobot speaks to the audience in the Mushroom Cloud Makerspace

Our keynote speaker, Ricky Ye gave an overview of DFRobot and their mission to help more people (and kids) learn about robots and lower the difficulty of using electronics.

Neil Tan, Arm

Neil Tan - Developer Evangelist, Arm

Arm technical evangelist, Neil Tan gave an overview of uTensor, his framework for deep learning on low-energy microcontrollers on the edge.

Lauren Pan, CTO and Product Manager, DFRobot

Lauren Pan, CTO and Product Manager, DFRobot

DFRobot CTO and Product Manager, Lauren Pan presented and talked about the single board computers that he is building for DFRobot, including the LattePanda and LattePanda Delta, among others.

Students presenting at the open mic session

Students from the Mushroom Cloud Makerspace presented their deep learning projects

Arm ecosystem team with DFRobot at the Mushroom Cloud maker space

Thanks to DFRobot for hosting us and speaking at our event. We highly recommend anyone traveling to Shanghai (or interested in robotics) to visit DFRobot and the Mushroom Cloud Makerspace!

Interested to see more? Take a look at our event photo stream from Shanghai.

Final (Fifth) stop: Seeed Studio and HAX accelerator, Shenzhen

Seeed logo

After visiting Beijing and Shanghai, we were ready to end with a bang. Shenzhen has a reputation for being the “hardware capital of the world” and we all expected a great result - we were not disappointed! The Shenzhen startup and innovator community showed up in force to hear about the Arm Innovator Program as well as talks from Seeed Studio's CEO, Eric Pan and HAX Program Director, Ji Ke.

Before I go into the event details, I wanted to spend a moment talking about our gracious keynote speakers, Seeed Studio and the wonderful work they have done to improve the lives of developers and hardware startups around the world, and in Shenzhen.

One of the highlights of the tour for me personally was being given a tour of the Chaihuo Maker Space and x.factory, an advanced underground facility located in Shenzhen, and founded by Seeed Studio to help accelerate and encourage hardware innovation in the region. We got to take a look at the facilities and learn about all the amazing projects underway there. I would highly recommended a visit if you make the trip to China!

xfactory maker designs

x.factory maker designs

x factory maker workshop

x.factory workshop

After the visit to Seeed Studio, the x.factory and a tour of the HAX accelerator, we proceeded to the HAX venue to set-up our event. We were overwhelmed by the interest and had a hard time keeping track of everyone streaming in the door to hear from Seeed Studio's CEO, Eric Pan, our keynote speaker.

Our speaker lineup included the following:

  • Keynote: Eric Pan - Founder and CEO, Seeed Studio
  • Li Yong Tai - Hardware Specialist, Alibaba AI Smart Labs
  • Alessandro Grande - Developer Advocate, Arm
  • Ji Ke - Program Director, HAX
  • Tina Zhu - GM of Arm Accelerator Shenzhen
  • Neil Tan - Developer Evangelist, Arm
  • Jinger Zeng - Business Operations, Auterion
  • Lawrence Liu - Sales Manager, Silicon Labs
  • Alex Glow - Developer Advocate,

Jessica Tangeman

Jessica Tangeman,

Jessica Tangeman from kicked off and MC'd the event. She is a fantastic speaker and organizer who worked with us throughout the Arm Innovator Program to plan and organize our tour, as well as handing out many custom-branded socks and PCBs!

Alessandro Grande, Developer Advocate, Arm

Alessandro Grande, Developer Advocate, Arm 

Arm Developer Advocate, Alessandro Grande took the reins to speak about the Arm Innovator Program, Project Trillium, Platform Security Architecture and DesignStart.

Eric Pan

Eric Pan, CEO, Seeed Studio

Seeed Studio's CEO Eric Pan, one of the key technical leaders of Shenzhen's thriving hardware ecosystem provided the keynote presentation and discussed several of his organization's ongoing projects.

Tina Zhu

Tina Zhu, GM of Arm Accelerator Shenzhen

Arm Accelerator GM, Tina Zhu gave a presentation on the efforts to grow and launch hardware start-ups based on Arm technology in China. The Arm Accelerator has many physical locations and has helped numerous local start-ups launch and grow.

Seth Welday

Seth Welday, open mic session

Seeed Studio's technical evangelist, Seth Welday covered one of the open-mic sessions to discuss his project work at Seeed.

Interested to see more? Take a look at our event photo stream from the Shenzen event here.

After a very busy and crowded Shenzhen stop, we wrapped up our tour through China. After five events in five cities with massive crowds, tons of great speakers, hundreds of talented developers and many open-mic sessions we called it wrap. What a trip!

Closing Thoughts

Six months ago, the Arm Innovator Tour throughout Asia was only an idea on a whiteboard. Thanks to and all of our partners, speakers and open-mic sessions, we were able to make this event series a reality. We met many interesting people building many amazing projects and we are looking forward to our next steps: Introducing 10 new Arm Innovators from Taipei, Tokyo and China! Stay tuned.

Before wrapping up I want to include a shout-out to all of our open-mic presenters. The ingenuity, creativity, passion and hard work of our community are what have made the Arm ecosystem great, and our tour was as much about them as it was about Arm and our partners.

Arm Innovator Tour China open mic speakers

A few of our open-mic presenters, developers building amazing solutions on Arm technologies

If you’re interested to learn more about the Innovator Program, or if you’d like to share your innovation based on Arm technologies, click on the link below. 

Sign up to hear more from the Arm Innovator Program