ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon goes Shenzhen


ThingsCon is organising a research trip to Shenzhen! Join us and get to know the maker scene and the hardware ecosystem that makes Shenzhen the Silicon Valley of hardware. During our 5 day excursion, we’ll visit maker spaces, hardware markets, manufacturers, Foxconn, etc.

23 – 29



Why Shenzhen?

Any maker, product designer or hardware developer around the world knows Shenzhen. It is known for being the area where all things like smartphones are manufactured and assembled, but it is equally known for the widespread copycat practices and production of cheap knockoffs; better known as Shanzhai. There is however much more to Shenzhen then this dichotomy. Due to a vibrant maker scene and the informal open innovation culture, combined with readily available resources, capital and manufacturing capacity, the Shenzhen ecosystem is churning out innovations at an astonishing speed. (see the WIRED documentary Shenzhen the The Silicon Valley of Hardware.)

What to expect & Partners

The ThingsCon-team collaborated with the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab to compose a program that will introduce designers, engineers, researchers and entrepreneurs to the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem. We’ll visit startup accelerators, the famous Shenzhen electronics malls, maker spaces, manufacturers (including Foxconn), attend Thingscon Shenzhen, etc, etc. A lot of punch packed in a program running from April 24th – 29th, you can find the full program below.

ThingsCon Shenzhen coincides with our stay, so of course we will attend the one day conference as well. Topics announced so far for ThingsCon Shenzhen are Ethical IoT & Open innovation and Manufacturing & designers collaboration. Both topics are very relevant to the ThingsCon mission and business opportunities for the participants of this trip.



Audience & Purpose

This trip is especially interesting if you are involved with IoT or contemplating moving into making hardware. You will notice that Shenzhen is so much more than just cheap manufacturing or copying practice. The maker scene in Shenzhen thrives thanks to an abundance of resources, collaboration opportunities, access to capital and open innovation culture. During this trip, we will introduce you to potential entry points for realising your project leveraging the potential of this unique environment.

If you are a researcher, educator, or strategist, this trip will broaden your perspective on the IoT-industry to share with your students, colleagues and clients.

Cost & What is included

The costs for this trip are 1500 EUR and will include hotel, dinner, entry fees, local fixers and local transport. What is not included is your airfare, transport between Hong Kong to Shenzhen and visa.
We could recommend adding a few days before or after your trip to follow up on leads or explore the city some more, or spend some extra days in Hong Kong which is right across the border.


For Dutch participants there are possibilities to reimburse some of the travel expenses. Check out the RVO mission vouchers if your company qualifies for compensation.





Day 1. Sun Apr 23 – Travel

Travel to Shenzhen via Hong Kong

Day 2. Mon Apr 24 – Meet the network

Visit organisations in Shenzhen active in the open hardware and maker space development.
SIDA (Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Associaton)
SFDP (Sino-Finnish Design Park)
SZOIL (Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab)

Day 3. Tue Apr 25 – See how it’s made

Visit Foxconn
potentially other manufacturers, depending on schedule

Day 4. Wed Apr 26 – Meet the maker ecosystem

Visit maker spaces (Chaihuo, HuaQiangBei, Troublemakers)
Visit hardware startup accelerator (HAX)
Meet hardware startups




Day 5. Thu Apr 27 – ThingsCon Shenzhen

Visit the Thingscon Shenzhen Event. Sessions with focus on
Ethical IoT
Open innovation
Manufacturing & designers collaboration

Day 6. Fri Apr 28 – HCB & Design Week

Tour to HauQuianBei electronics malls.
Shenzhen Design Week
Visits to maker meetup

Day 7. Sat Apr 29 – Travel back

It is optional to stay longer




Register now!

If you want to join, please register here  and we’ll be in touch with you shortly! Only 3 spots left!