About us

We are a team of experienced China hands that can help your business succeed in the world’s second largest economy.

Our story

thinʞnao is a Canadian company that was first established in China in 2009. The company was initially focused on mobile education and built a number of apps that were both well-received and award-winning.

During this time it also did significant consulting work for the US State Department, advising the China EducationUSA group, on its marketing and engagement strategy for students wanting to study in America.

thinʞnao relocated to Canada in 2012 and incorporated in Ontario. The company is now focused on bringing its broad expertise to the Greater Windsor/Detroit area.

Focus & Knowledge on China

Why us?

Because we overcome problems before they bog you down!

Our value proposition is based upon over 100 years of ‘the China school of hard knocks.’ We been through the hard stuff so you won’t have to.

We also bring our years of formal education and training in both western corporate settings and institutions, in both small and large companies and projects, so that you can benefit from our know-how.

Knowing Chinese language and culture gives us an edge in navigating the complexity of doing business in China. That can lower your costs and increase your return on investment.

Our thinʞnao business advisors will apply their broad knowledge of doing business with Chinese companies to ensure you are fully aware of any risks and pitfalls that might affect your company’s business goals, even it means telling you that a Chinese business venture is the wrong way to go. We believe that good due diligence sometimes has no other option but a decision not to proceed.

When thinʞnao assists you, you have our pledge that all partner introductions are vetted by us and pass our requirements for trustworthiness, integrity and reliability.

Beginning with a thorough assessment consultation,  thinʞnao proposes a detailed action plan with specific targets, timelines, milestones and reporting schedule.

WE do more with less because we rely on a network of expert talent both in China and other countries. Marshaling the right resources shortens the path to business success.

We ensure a constant communication stream to provide key information to support key decisions. We’re at your side when you want us; we step back when you’re confident on your own.

Our Key Service Areas

We offer a service that helps move your ideas from concept to reality. We also work out problems, roadblocks, obstacles and setbacks..

Needs Assessment – A  thinʞnao needs assessment  systematically determines and addresses needs, or “gaps” between current conditions and desired conditions or “wants”. The discrepancy between the current condition and wanted condition must be measured to appropriately identify the need.

Strategic and Operational Planning – It is important to understand the difference between an “operational plan” and a “strategic plan”. The strategic plan is about setting a direction for the organisation, devising goals and objectives and identifying a range of action to pursue so that your organisation achieves its goals.

Supplier/Vendor Interface –  This covers the full range of interaction with the  people and organizations that supply you goods and services. You can interface by meeting in person, talking on the phone, using email or videoconferencing. In some situations, interfacing means connecting two computer systems or software programs.

Our Skills

Consulting and Advisory 85%
Market Entry 25%
China Business Strategy 99%
Asia business strategy 79%
Mobile apps 85%

Our directors

Time to meet our team of technology and business professionals. Making all the hard decisions keeping the delivery on time

David Van Dyke President/CEO

Harold Goldin Director

Stephen Golden Director

Terence Graham Researcher

David and Harold grew up a generation apart in the Greater Windsor/Detroit area. Their families became friends when Dave was a boy. Harold inadvertently sparked young Dave’s interest in foreign cultures when he translated Dave’s name into Chinese. David also got his name translated into several other languages. It was only natural that this led to a life travelling, living and working around the world.

His IT business career got started in sales at Bell Canada in Toronto. Later, at Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), Dave initiated multi-million dollar cross-border deals. While at HKT, he was recruited for the telecommunications and media strategy team at Deloitte Consulting. That work covered early internet and wireless projects in Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia.

As Dave’s experience and knowledge grew, he attracted the interest of Motorola, who enlisted him for their joint venture with Cisco. From his base in California’s Silicon Valley, Dave worked on a Japanese subsidiary, setting up partnerships with mobile technology startups. That was followed by assignment to Singapore, where he was instrumental in setting up Motorola’s professional services division that managed its teams of systems integrators throughout Southeast Asia.

China was next, when David traveled to Beijing to write the Motorola China team’s $4bn operations and strategic plans, which included the introduction of a new class of wireless products into Thailand and the Philippines.

Nokia then tapped Dave for their man in China, giving him P&L and operational responsibility for its software division ($120m).

When he was ready to venture into business for himself, in 2009, David started  thinʞnao in Beijing. His team’s educational game app innovations won many accolades from the Hong Kong Department of Education. They also gained a prized award of Staff Pick from Apple China stores.

After returning to Canada in 2012 and settling in Toronto, Dave incorporated  thinʞnao in Ontario. Soon after that, he and Harold resumed their friendship and became business partners.

Seeing greater opportunities in the Windsor/Detroit region, they made the decision to return “home” to Windsor and robustly develop  thinʞnao to serve Canadian and American companies seeking rewards presented by the vast China market.

Harold’s interest in China began in the 1960s, as a teenager working for his father Frank’s restaurant supply company in Windsor. While lamenting over his AR ledger, Frank often said he wished all his customers were Chinese, because they always paid their bills on time. In high school in Detroit, Harold’s American Lit teacher assigned the novel, The Good Earth, by Nobel Laureate, Pearl S. Buck. It was a story that portrayed the Chinese ideals of hard work and frugality. Later, after 4 years in the USAF, in 1971, Harold opted for Canada and earned an Asian Studies degree at the University of Windsor. After polishing his Chinese in Beijing in 1976, he moved to Harbin, Heilongjiang in 1977. That began a career working in various parts of China that ended with his retirement while in Guangzhou, Guangdong in 2010.

Following five years of formal study of Chinese, by working as a teacher, a technical translator and a manager of Canadian government-funded HR projects in China, Harold not only mastered Mandarin, but also to became literate in Modern Chinese.

Harold taught English to three generations of Chinese adult students, at universities, colleges, and business enterprises. Working as a sub-contractor to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Harold spent 8 years in Chengdu, Sichuan, overseeing Canadian investment in the China Enterprise Management Training Centre. Through his work with Canadian business teachers and consultants from Canadian business and government, he gained a broad understanding of Chinese business culture, Chinese government oversight and China’s regulation of commercial enterprise.

In 2004, Harold was engaged by KEDA Industrial Group Ltd., one of China’s biggest manufacturers of machinery used in the fabrication of ceramic tile and the processing of natural stone. His assignment was to create an effective translation department and re-write all the company’s technical documentation.

In 2007, he led a project for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Based in Guangzhou, his team provided pre-departure labour market information and employment counselling for Chinese professionals approved for immigration to Canada.

After returning to Canada in 2010, and while living in Toronto, Harold worked as a training project officer  for the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada, and then as an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) speech examiner for the Global Village Toronto Exam Centre.

After re-uniting with David in 2012, Harold was invited to become a director of  thinʞnao.  Their combined experience and expertise offer a unique resource for their clientele of dynamic companies venturing into the China market.

Stephen has had a long career as an entrepreneur and an international trader. He loves bringing together a buyer and a seller for a win-win result. Throughout his years in business he has taken pride in being decision oriented and self motivated. Steve is accustomed to challenging projects and to working effectively with people at all levels and functions of a team.

The son of an American father and a Canadian mother, he grew up in Waterford, Michigan. After high school he attended Michigan State University where he earned a BA in Mass Communication.

After completing that phase of his education he joined his family’s steel service center. Once there he made key changes in:  Credit and collection, reducing days outstanding on receivables from around 50 to 34; material throughput, which increased approximately 32 per cent; buying insurance as a result of a three-year project which reduced insurance costs about 25 per cent; managing site security by creating a security staff; the care of the company’s equipment by organizing a five member team specializing in repair and maintenance; and developing a response to the asymmetrical negotiating style of visiting Asian customers.

The company was sold in 2000, after which Steve started an international trading company Ossip Mercantile and Settlements.

Steve’s projects have included businesses in USA, India, China, Pakistan, and Inner Mongolia.

What Steve brings to the table is experience over a large canvas. He is more than ready to put that experience to work for you.

thinʞnao is a Canadian company that was first established in China in 2009. The company was initially focused on mobile education and built a number or apps that were both well-received and award-winning.

During this time it also did significant consulting work for the US State Department, advising the China EducationUSA group, on its marketing and engagement strategy for students wanting to study in America.

thinʞnao relocated to Canada in 2012 and incorporated in Ontario. The company is now focused on bringing its broad expertise to the Greater Windsor/Detroit area.

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