Steve Bell is managing director of Trilogy VC. And they specialized in funding startups found by Chinese university students.
“When I went to major universities in China and asked the students which IT companies they most admire. Several names always come on top. They are Google, Facebook, Microsoft,” said Steve, “and all of them were founded by university students.
Steve believed people are most creative when they are still in university. After they graduate, the reality of daily life will frustrate the young minds and let they believe many things are impossible.
“We believe the next game changing company will be founded by university students in China,” said Steve.
Moreover, in term of cost, team of university students are also less expensive. “In the university, they used to living on several hundred RMB a month,” said Steve, “Once they graduate and get used to be paid Rmb 10,000 a month, they cannot give up the life style anymore.”
Trilogy typically invest into the seed round of a startup and give the team funding enough for 2 years of operation. On average, this is about Rmb 500,000. It has invested over 10 projects so far and Steve plan to invested 15 more each year.
Some of them have already been quite successful. Hangzhou based Droidhen, a mobile game studio, is making over Rmb 1 million a month. It is founded by three students from Zhejiang University.
Another one, jiathis, grew into one of the largest content sharing platform in China in nine months. It has over 150,000 websites in China, using its button to share content to popular social networks, such as Renren, Kaixin, Sina Weibo, QQ, etc. Jiathis has already secured another round of funding from a U.S. based fund, for about US$2 million.