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My Journey Entering China’s Community of Tech Entrepreneurs

Alina Luk (Class of 2017) is from the United States and received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. Read about her experience in Beijing here: 

Through a recent panel I moderated at Schwarzman College, I’ve been able to dive into China’s fast-paced community of Entrepreneurs here in Beijing. The panel, our first career-focused talk, focused on entrepreneurship, and was a one hour conversation followed by an intimate dinner with our panelists including, a venture capitalist, an angel investor, and entreprenuers in the tech, food and nonprofit NGO spaces. During the conversation, we discussed everything from how to found a company in China successfully if one isn't Chinese, to key things that we should know about the starting a business, running a business, or investing in businesses here in China that may be different from the rest of the world.

The experience of moderating the panel was incredible in itself, but little did I know that it was simply the beginning of a series of far more rewarding experiences to come. The first of those were when one of the panelists recommended me to become a Entrepreneur in Residence at ZhenFund,(which I later found out was the world's largest angel fund based in Beijing). My experience in residency was one of the best learning experiences that I've had in Beijing thus far. While being in residency, I not only got to spend time with the two founders of Zhenfund but meet some of China's most successful entrepreneurs, visit some of fastest Chinese growing startups, receive personal seminars on how to start a company in China, and meet a cohort of amazing fellow entrepreneurs that flew in from around the world.

The opportunities from the panel still didn't end there. In one of the meetings during my residency, I visited a startup that had a mission and product that aligned perfect with my personal vision and goal. From there, I was offered the opportunity be a product manager during my time here in Beijing. As someone who will be returning to become a product manager at Facebook, one of my main goals during my time here in China was to work on a Chinese product, with a Chinese team for the Chinese market. Now, I will be managing a team of fifteen Chinese software engineers and designers to continue building a line of Chinese products in the sharing economy for the startup.

In short, the opportunity to moderate the entrepreneurship panel has been very representative of my time at Schwarzman so far - a seemingly small invitation to moderate a one hour conversation leading to a seemingly unending series of amazing opportunities from becoming an Entrepreuner in Residence at the world's biggest angel fund, to access to an incredible network, to a full time internship in the space I've always wanted to work in. All of which are experiences that have come to shape my time in Beijing thus far!