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采访专栏 | 清华365体育:创业圈助力校友创业
时间:2019-05-31 16:33

摘要:助力清华校友创新创业创意链接清华圈企业家和投资者图片来源:南华早报4月27日上午,英诺天使基金创始合伙人李竹在清华同方科技大厦,接受了南华早报记者的采访。采访前,李竹刚参加了第三届清华校友三创大赛的颁奖典礼。身为清华校友和清华校友TMT协会荣誉会长,无论是在颁奖典礼上还是在采访中,李竹表示清华一直有校友帮校友

Theuniversity was tasked with training engineers in1952 and is still known for its engineering and sciences programme.

Manymembers of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy ofEngineering the two state-level institutes devoted to spearheading science andtechnology research – are Tsinghua alumni or faculty.

Among the country’suniversities, Tsinghua produced the largest number of start-up founders-192 in thepast three years – according to data compiled by IT Juzi, aresearch firm focused on the technology industry. Crosstown rival PekingUniversity had 183, with the next three universities being Shanghai Jiao TongUniversity, Zhejiang University and Fudan University, in the Yangtze RiverDelta.

Private-sectortechnology entrepreneurs who hail from Tsinghua include Wang Xing, the founderand chief executive of on-demandservice giant Meituan-Dianping;Su Hua, the chief executive of short-video streaming company Kuaishou; and ZhouGuang, a co-founder and the chief scientist of autonomous driving start-upRoadstar.ai.

Butperhaps the university’s biggest influence in the technology industry isTsinghua Holdings, which was set up as an in-house asset management company forthe university’s subsidiaries and has since become a full-fledged venturecapital firm backing investments in areas from mobile internet and cloudcomputing to nuclear energy, waste water treatment and medical services.

The company also has funds tosupport innovation and entrepreneurial education. A separate alumni-backed fundfor start-ups, Tsinghua Capital, raised 30 million yuan in its firstfundraising round in 2014 to back start-ups founded by undergraduates andalumni.

“The fund has had an everlasting impact on howTsinghua trains talent,” said Chen Jining, who was president of the universityat the time and now serves as Beijing’s mayor. “Amid changes, I believe therewill be more influential entrepreneurial talent, like a SteveJobs fromTsinghua.”

Therole that mainland universities play in producing hi-tech talent is taking oneven more importance as the country embarks on a quest to gain broadparityin technology with the United States and leadership in areas such as artificialintelligence and robotics.

Under President Xi Jinping,the development of advanced technologies, such as big data and AI, will be atthe centre of a national drive to reform the economy. The State Council haslaid out goals to build an AI industry worth nearly US$150 billion in the nextfew years and make the country an “innovation centre for AI” by 2030.

Still, the country trails theUS in every driver of AI development, namely hardware, research and algorithms,and the commercialisation of the industry, according to a study by OxfordUniversity.

Thebiggest obstacle was likely to be the production of hardware such assemiconductors, the study found.

Ashortage of qualified people was also hindering Beijing’s ambitions to becomean AI leader.

Theglobal AI talent pool numbered about 300,000 people while the industry neededmillions, according to a report by the TencentResearch Institute.

Therewere fewer than 1,000 people considered capable of steering AI research anddevelopment, according to the report.

The influence of universityalumni is well-documented. In Britain, Oxford and Cambridge produce the bulk ofthe country’s political elite, while in the US, Harvard and Wharton producebusiness leaders from the world over. In technology, it is Stanford University,which is near Silicon Valley, that has been the incubator for technologyluminaries from Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to Google’s Larry Page and SergeyBrin, as well as former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer.

Still, a strong alumninetwork does not guarantee success and aspiring start-up founders still have toearn their spurs.

“No one will give you money support justbecause you graduated from Tsinghua University,” said David Yang, who gained adegree in mathematical sciences in 2010 and set up online education company DeBaiEducation three years ago.

 

“Totell the truth, the network was not that useful at the very early stage of mybusiness. It is only when you make your business big that investors areinterested in talking.”

Lisaid Tsinghua graduates generally preferred to keep a low profile and, comparedto their peers at Stanford, were not as entrepreneurial.

Onthe mainland, there was a traditional view that “working for the government orbig firms is the best choice for a career path and Tsinghua graduates alwayshave many such offers, while superstars in US universities start their owncompanies”, Li said.

 (From Celia Chen, University angels giveflight to tech ambitions, SouthChina MorningPost,5 May 18)

 

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