MORE than 1,400 contestants have signed up for the preliminary contests in the nine contest regions in eight countries, which are serving as the subvenues of the Second International Talent Innovative & Entrepreneurial Competition, according to the contest organizer, Shenzhen Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau.
Around 100 talents and teams will bring their projects and items, which stand out in the preliminary contests in March in the nine cities - Boston, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Silicon Valley and London - to attend the final contest in Shenzhen during the Conference on International Exchange of Professionals.
By Feb. 28, the deadline for registration, the organizer had received entries for 1,460 projects, an increase of 17 percent over the previous year, indicating Shenzhen is becoming more attractive to overseas talents.
Among the registrations, 211 projects are from the Silicon Valley, followed by Toronto with 208 projects.
More than one-third of the projects come from the Internet and mobile Internet industry and 22 percent come from the biology and life science sector, followed by projects from the electronic science industry, which made up 19 percent of the total.
Among the applicants, half have doctorate degrees and more than 60 percent of them are foreign nationals.
The applicants own 727 patents and software copyrights.
The total prize for the event has been increased to 10.91 million yuan (US$1.63 million) from last year's 9.12 million yuan.
To encourage innovation and attract more international talents to start up businesses in Shenzhen, the organizer has set up awards in four categories, namely finals at the subvenues, finals at the professional contest, finals in the industry and finals at the main venue in Shenzhen. Each contestant has a chance to win the 1.4-million-yuan top prize.
The industry contest covers sectors such as the Internet, advanced manufacturing, electronic technology, biology and life science, as well as new materials and energy. For this year's event, the organizer has added the professional contest, which covers IoT, artificial intelligence and anti-cancer technologies.
Thirty-four venture capital institutions have set up a 20.9-billion-yuan pool to finance outstanding projects in the contest.
Last year's competition attracted 99 projects for the finals in the city, out of which 11 projects settled in Shenzhen.