Shenzhen Innovation Tour — by ACIC & Shape Prototype

shape prototype workshop tour

Another innovation day happened in Shenzhen

Just before the winter came by the end of last year, ACIC (Australia China Innovation Centre ) and us (Shape Prototype) co-hosted a manufacturing 101 session for a number of Australian local startup teams, who specifically flew to Shenzhen to learn about the innovation initiative this city offers, and seek for potential partnership within Shenzhen ecosystem. The day started with a sit-down session in the meeting room. The topics included Shape Prototype’s experiences of working with startups worldwide, what we do and what are the pitfalls for startups to search product resources in China. After the 2-hour meeting in the board room, we started the in- house factory tour, which is a tooling and injection molding factory.

The art of tooling and molding

The process of making a tool can be extremely complex. As a manufacturer who has worked with more than 300 startups worldwide, we believe that it’s crucial for a hardware startup to understand the basic know-how of how manufacturing industry works in China, so one is able to communicate with the local supply chain without being seen ignorant.

During the touring session, our goal is to make it as simple as possible to briefly explain how the tool/mold is made and assembled, followed by deburring for surface finish and lastly mounding it onto the machine to start the molding. The tool-making process starts by sourcing the right type of steel, carving the mold of the material with different types of machining practices (CNC, milling, grinding and EDM ) which we walked through the machines one by one with the teams. The surface finishing procedure will also follow. Once each component of the tools is made, the tool assembly team will start assembling the mold according to the drawing.

 The 5th China-Australis Startup Road Show

Just a day before the factory tour, the Australian startups had a demo day pitching their projects to potential VCs and partners in Shenzhen’s technology park. The cohort ranged from consumer electronics (bop industries), sports training equipment(Wylas Timing) as well as software products (CODEBOTS) and health tech product.

It was a great couple of days spent with these startups that ACIC brought, we have learned the new technology from each startup as well as the mission of ACIC onwards.


*Appreciated ACIC’s report:


Are you or your organization looking to have an innovation tour in Shenzhen? Shenzhen is a city that never stops changing and improving. Contact us at and for more factory tour activities.

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