Shlomo: Start Up Noodle
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to China, etc.
My name is Shlomo Freund, I come from Israel and moved to China on December 2011. I'm an entrepreneur, and part of the startup and entrepreneurship community in Beijing. I'm consulting tech companies on their strategy and product. Helping startups establish themselves and flourish.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
On April 2012 I decided I want to start a blog (But it took till July 2012, that it was officially launched) that would help other entrepreneurs who want to arrive to China. I did the leap myself and felt confident enough to give more of my knowledge. Meanwhile the blog has evolved and grown to be about entrepreneurship in general as well. I do talk to many entrepreneurs around the world advising them.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Yes, it's the one that I posted on the day the blog was officially launched. It's called "Welcome hidden entrepreneurs" and it represents for me how I want to help with this blog, it's also the most tweeted post on my blog.
The other one I like is "Why skritter makes me spend $518.49?"
I like it because I really expected them to have an android app and this was my way of saying how much people really need it. It's a way to make a change, even small one…
Tell us about the ways your new life in China differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Fortunately I didn't experience culture shock, I actually expected the culture change, I liked it! I liked and still like to discover new things about China on general and small things around where I live (sometimes, it's just understanding a new street sign). Life in Israel is more anticipated than life in China, but this is what makes China so exciting.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in China? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
No, I think we were fully prepared on what we could.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
It's not necessarily a hilarious one, but more of one I remember very well. It's the moment we bought our electric scooter "Bing". I took a test drive and was so happy with the freedom feeling it brought. Also, from then on I’m a real "Beijing ren", part of the 2 wheel traffic and chaos. I love it!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in China?
- Cliché but true: learn Chinese. It's brutly hard but worth it. You'll have a whole new world open up.
- Get ready to be frustrated and know that this is how it is in China.
- Get a good visa to enter, that will save you a lot of hassle later.
How is the expat community in China? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
We like the expats community very much. We didn't have a hard time finding people and have friends here. Still we feel that sometimes we need to expend our circles even more, so we work on that. I’m part of the tech and startup community so that brings many encounters and friendships for me.
How would you summarize your expat life in China in a single, catchy sentence?
Open your mind for a (good) mind twist!