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May the force of entrepreneurship be with you
By Liu Yiyi ( chinadaily.com.cn )
Updated: 2015-05-06

Saying no to global corporations' offers and joining a start-up is the bravest step and "coolest thing" for young college graduates. Their choices in Zhongguancun Science Park show the innovation and bravery of youths in modern China.

Lv Yun graduated from the Software School of Beihang University and went to Florida to pursue a PhD. After refusing offers from global corporations including Apple and Groupon, Lv returned Beijing and joined an entrepreneurship team.

When asked about the life of entrepreneurship, Lv said although busy, he feels satisfied. Lv said the positive atmosphere of financing, policies, and talents were the main reason he came back to Beijing.

Lv said that an entrepreneur who does not prepare for failure is not a good entrepreneur. He has thought about difficulties, but always believes he will succeed.

Qin Xiaofei quit graduate school and joined a start-up to pursue his dream. He had launched a wechat official account when he was at school, which attracted the attention of He Bofei, CEO of Deep Glint.

Deep Glint is a computer vision and artificial intelligence company based in Zhongguancun and financed by Sequoia Capital.The corporation was founded by Zhao Yong from Google Institute in the US and He from management team of a global 500 company.

Qin worked with people who are brave enough to pursuit their dream, including Chen Xinyi, a girl who quit Princeton University, a department director of Alibaba who left the company and gave up the stock equity on the day the company was listed in the US, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate who gave up his Beijing household registration.

Reviewing all the efforts in the past ten months, Qin said, "I would not hesitate to join Deep Glint if you gave me a chance to choose again."

Lv and Qin are not alone. More and more young people think highly of entrepreneurship and choose it as a career.

In Zhongguancun, young people become the main source of entrepreneurs. In 2013, Zhongguancun Science Park had 6,785 entrepreneurs under 35, half of the total number of entrepreneurs. The number of entrepreneurs under 30 took up 22.6 percent of the total.

Universities and colleges are centers of entrepreneurship in Zhongguancun. Spaces for public entrepreneurship, such as the Peking University Entrepreneurship Training Club, Peking University 1898 Café, Tsinghua University Xlab, and Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications 01 Time Café give more meaning to life on campus.

At the Software School of Beihang University, most of the 7,000 graduate students are working or starting up a venture. More than 50 start-ups by young people have gone through the first round financing evaluation. A dozen of them are in the leading position.

According to the statistics from the Zhongguancun Guidance Entrepreneurship Project, the number of high-end entrepreneurs in Zhongguancun such as technicians and college students will reach 200,000 in 2020. The number of spaces for public entrepreneurship in Zhongguancun will reach 500.

"These young people gave the country another flood of entrepreneurship after the reform and opening up in 1978," said Ji Yang, professor at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications and founder of 01 Time Café.