NHK Documentary About Shenzhen Feat. HAX

Benjamin Joffe
2 min readJan 15, 2017
Welcome to HAX!

A few months ago, NHK (Japan’s largest public TV channel) approached us for a documentary about China and innovation. The result has just been broadcast under the exciting title「チャイナマネーが見る夢~中国ベンチャービジネス最前線」which loosely translates as ‘The Dream Of Chinese Money — The Frontline of China’s Venture Business’.

Until it gets taken down it is visible online here (Japanese only, I’m investigating if NHK will allow subtitling).

While the WIRED documentary (whose aerial drone shots are spectacular) focused on Shenzhen as an ecosystem, the NHK piece is more about the groundswell of tech innovation and investment that is sweeping China.

The main story follows a female investor studying Makeblock, a successful startup that sells robotic kits for STEM education, to decide whether or not to put about $15 million into it. Makeblock wants to spread its wings in China with robot contests, and has ambitions to go global with a US office and more. It also shows there is a LOT of investment money in China.

HAX appears from the minute 28, where my colleague Duncan (Managing Director at HAX) explains briefly what we do, and from the minute 45 during a VIP presentation of our latest group of startups (trailer here). One of the startups highlighted is Flash Robotics, which makes education robots.

Last, stylistically, while the filming is good it does not have the awe of the WIRED documentary with the electronica music and drone shots — maybe they should have used more material from our resident visual master Vitaly V. Vyazovsky. Maybe it’s the NHK style, I don’t know, but it feels a bit old school, while we’re talking about some new industrial revolution here.

Anyway, always good to spread the message — I hope you enjoy it too!



Benjamin Joffe

Partner @ SOSV — Deep Tech VC w/ $1B AUM | Digital Naturalist | Keynote Speaker | Angel Investor | Mediocre chess player, worse at Jiu-jitsu