The joy of helping unicorns grow healthy and strong
In recent years, China has been seeing a reverse brain drain with many talented professionals flowing back home to work or start their own businesses in China after being educated or working for years in leading companies abroad.
ToJoy Shared Holding Group Co, a franchise business accelerator platform in China, dropped a bombshell in April, announcing that the former vice president of Apple Inc, Ge Jun, had officially joined the domestic private company.
Founded in 1991, ToJoy has now become China’s largest “unicorn” company incubator, with more than 100 wholly-owned companies and holding companies in 38 cities around the world, over 6,000 employees, and no less than 700 professional investors.
It has successfully accelerated more than 40 “unicorn” companies (privately held startup companies valued at over US$1 billion) and quasi-unicorn enterprises.
Ge had occupied important positions in several of the world’s leading technology companies. From early 1996 to mid-2014, he successively served as senior legal adviser for Intel Asia Pacific, general counsel for Intel Greater China, executive director of Intel China and global vice president of Intel. He then worked in Apple Inc as global vice president from mid-2014 to the end of 2017 before acting as vice president of Nvidia.
Ge signed on as the global CEO of ToJoy Shared Holding Group, and places an emphasis on advancing the globalization strategy of the company as one of the important members of the board of directors.
“Despite the fast and robust development of a number of Chinese companies, not many local enterprises have yet successfully reached out to the global markets, while ToJoy has been paying extra attention to help them with their globalization progress,” Ge said. “Noticing that, I found ToJoy a very competitive business accelerator platform that is worth working with.”
ToJoy started planning its global expansion as early as 2016. The company established a US subsidiary in New York on November 20, 2018, marking the unicorn incubator and accelerator’s step onto the global stage.
Since then, the company has made its presence in the US, Europe, Latin America and ASEAN, established offices in key cities such as Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Vienna, and is preparing for forays into India, Japan and South Korea.
Leveraging its global business platform, ToJoy helps companies replicate their successful business models in cities across China and around the world, allowing them to rapidly enter Chinese and worldwide markets. The company also supports the international expansion of Chinese companies with successful business models, and advances the mutual success of Chinese and international enterprises.
So far, 10 US projects have received their first approval and are on the verge of entering China. Besides, 20 Chinese companies are expected to go overseas in the near future, while 20 foreign unicorn companies will step into the Chinese market.
ToJoy’s unicorn incubator is not only an accelerator for Chinese enterprises, but one for enterprises and entrepreneurs throughout the world, providing services for high-quality enterprises in their global development, Ge introduced.
“Instead of working for a single company, I find it can be more meaningful to support and offer help to thousands of enterprises with potential, especially technology companies, with my experiences from those world’s leading technology giants,” Ge said.
Meanwhile, Ge also highlighted the world’s first “Four Days, Six Hours” program launched by ToJoy which allows its employees to work only four days a week, six hours a day — the fewest working hours in the world.
“We believe that maximizing profit is only a means to an end, and that the ultimate goal is to maximize happiness. Efficiency and high job satisfaction, not long hours, can lead to better productivity,” according to ToJoy, in line with the “Happy Enterprise Theory” based on the company’s chairman Lu Junqing’s book, “Happy Companies are the Best Companies.”
Lu established ToJoy with the original intention of helping Chinese companies grow “from ants to elephants.” Over the past three years, the company has successfully incubated a batch of unicorns and quasi-unicorns including Sousoushenbian, Handbond, Zhongshanghuimin and Fkgou, providing a sharing service platform for over 500,000 enterprises and creating many jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.