Early intervention is the key to promoting a more diverse field of entrepreneurs, according to a panel of female VCs at TechCrunch Shanghai on Monday. Ruby Lu, General Partner of DCM and Jenny Lee, Managing Partner of GGV both stressed the need for code education to improve equality as well as standardized examination in the computer sciences.
“People say there is a disadvantage in China when it comes to technology,” Lu said. “However, we can change this status by doing these two things. First, having the technology to intervene earlier in the child’s education. We should teach coding to middle, high school students and even introduce coding as standardized exam.”
“Second, parents should open their minds and encourage their children to get exposed to automobile and engineering if they like, regardless of the child’s gender.”
One-Child Policy And Future Entrepreneurs
According to Jenny Lee, China’s one child policy also played a part in changing the dynamic of post-90’s innovation, raising children who have greater access to more concentrated resources within the home.
“The younger group grew up in the new China, where resource is more abundant. Moreover, due to the one-child policy, parents have spent their resource to encourage their only child to become what he or she wants to become in the future.”
Women in China lead consumption across many fields, including some of the most important tech verticals.
“Diversity is always good. Among the top three startups I invested in, one of them had woman entrepreneur, who was great since she knew what women want,” Lu said. “Consumer demand will evolve and we need to interact with a changing environment by embracing different perspectives. We also look for a founder who can encompass the diversity within the team.”
Lee and Lu gave advice to young entrepreneurs on diversity and chasing investment. “I look for an entrepreneur’s strong personality. In our investment team, not any one of us come from a privileged background,” Lu said. “We need innate leadership to take the team to a long term business. It’s like a marathon and the founder should take the team all the way to the promised land.” “As for product, we look for a product that is differentiated.”
“We also look at the passion in entrepreneurs, so the founders need the ability to set the team and provide niche and a competitive edge on their product. Uniqueness is what matters since only the no.1 will get attention” Lee added.
Image Source: TC Shanghai 2015