ChinaTravelNews has learned that Ctrip has upgraded its internal incubation program after Spring Festival this year. Noted for its Baby Tiger Program in the past, the incubation program has been expanded to become the Oasis Lab and provide incubation for online consumption sector, with the goal of identifying the rising stars of the industry.
Bo Sun, senior vice president of Ctrip, has taken over the leadership of the program, while Yue Feng, with investment experience at Silicon Valley, has been appointed as the head of innovation businesses.
The original incubation program was first announced in June 2016 internally by Jane Jie Sun, who was then the co-president of Ctrip, while Gordon Chen, Ctrip’s vice president at the time, was appointed as the director. The program was designed on the basis of existing mechanisms like Small Business Unit and Entrepreneurship Unit, and aimed at transforming new ideas into innovative products
In two years of operation, only 5% of all incubated projects had become viable. Airport parking, baggage delivery, local tours, European train tickets and overseas activities were some successful examples.
Yue Feng told ChinaTravelNews that the innovative projects selected for incubation typically complemented the major businesses areas of Ctrip.
The upgraded Oasis Lab, by contrast, would be more inclusive.
To begin with, Oasis Lab will admit projects jointly invested by Ctrip, and the operational team will consist of capital and team members in and outside Ctrip.
In project investment, for example, the lab will work with Ctrip's investment department. Oasis Lab favors early-stage and angel-round investment projects, and focuses on future growth potential, the proposition of the team and the sustainability of business models, as well as synergy with Ctrip.
In addition, Oasis Lab eyes an even broader scope of projects – from the supply-end to the demand-end, and from online platforms to offline initiatives.
“Local consumption, offline innovation and foreign innovation projects are all fields that we are interested in,” said Mr. Sun, adding that the lab is currently examining projects that were previously not on Ctrip’s radar.
Moreover, Oasis Lab discards the KPI-driven evaluation system of other platforms, and puts the emphasis on rapid incubation and robust growth of startup companies, and the establishment of a project from start to finish.
Mr. Sun explained that the development potential of the projects will become critical indicators, as the evaluation of a project will no longer be based on numbers. "We have different assessment criteria for various projects, but what matters most is a project’s stable growth capability and its ability to achieve expectations in a period of one year or one and a half years.”
Oasis Lab provides a wide range of resources, including strategic, legal, financial, international resources, as well as other vertical resources for entrepreneurial projects. This will help them integrate diversified teams, build rapport with leading companies in the market, and obtain offices for startup companies in different countries.