Erik Walenza-Slabe first came to China after graduating from the University of Oregon in 2005 as part of a trip to see the world.
He returned in 2010, and today is a co-founder of the Shanghai-based startup IoT ONE as well as director of the Shanghai chapter of Startup Grind, an independent community that connects one million entrepreneurs in 98 countries through events and media.
Startup Grind helps entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and talent, obtain capital and reach new users. I talked to Erik recently about his path to China and Startup Grind’s aims in Shanghai. Excerpts follow.