Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program Holds First Graduation

BEIJING, May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sequoia China, the Yale School of Management (SOM), and the Yale Center Beijing (YCB) welcomed the graduates of the inaugural Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program at a ceremony held on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The first graduates of this pioneering program, which include more than 40 founders, CEOs and top executives from Sequoia China’s portfolio companies, received certificates to commemorate their achievements over this yearlong journey. Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia China, Professor Zhiwu Chen, Professor of Finance and Economics at the Yale SOM, renowned businessman Lun Feng, and financier Fan Bao joined the ceremony as keynote speakers and encouraged the graduates to pursue excellence, engage in lifelong learning, and build companies that last.

In keeping with its motto as the “Entrepreneurs behind the Entrepreneurs,” Sequoia China is committed to long-term value-creation through providing significant value-add to its portfolio companies’ post-investment. The desire and need for lean management skills, guidance on strategic planning, and leadership development opportunities among entrepreneurs were the driving forces behind the creation of this innovative leadership program, which was developed in collaboration with Yale University.

In his graduation address, Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia China and a Yale alumnus, noted, “We are delighted to congratulate the first graduates from the Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program. We are also thrilled to see how far Chinese entrepreneurs have come along – from being trend-followers, status quo-challengers, to path-breaking business leaders. As an integral partner to entrepreneurs and a significant value-creator for our portfolio companies, we at Sequoia China have witnessed how the highest-performing, most enduring businesses all have leaders who possess a growth mindset, a clear strategic vision, and a global perspective. Through this Program, we hope to groom a generation of exemplary, globally minded entrepreneurs to lead successful, lasting businesses in this dynamic and ever-changing marketplace.”

Jointly established by a leading VC/PE firm and a top global business school, the Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program is the first of its kind in China. With a curriculum that incorporates global and multidisciplinary insights, the Program is unique in combining intellectual inquiries into the Chinese and Western entrepreneurial experience and business practices. As a Chinese poet once wrote, “If you wish to learn the art of poetry, you need to acquire the skills and knowledge from outside of the field.” With an emphasis on equipping entrepreneurs with an overarching framework for navigating an increasingly complex business environment, the Program draws on both Yale’s and Sequoia’s wealth of resources to help the Program’s participants hone their strategic acumen, grow as leaders, and build a robust support network. Besides learning from Yale’s acclaimed faculty members such as Professor Zhiwu Chen, the Program’s participants have also had exclusive opportunities to interact with successful business and thought leaders, influential media personalities, as well as conduct in-depth visits at China’s most innovative companies. The diverse activities offered throughout the program all contribute to an exceptional learning experience that enables entrepreneurs to become world-class business leaders.

During the graduation ceremony for the Program’s inaugural class, Neil Shen was joined by Lun Feng, founder of real estate developer Vantone, Fan Bao, founder and CEO of China Renaissance and Professor Zhiwu Chen, in a lively discussion about the value of lifelong learning and transformative leadership.

“As Chairman of the Executive Council of Yale Center Beijing, Neil has provided visionary leadership and significant resources to help accelerate Yale Center Beijing’s growth and establishment as the most active foreign university center in China,” said Carol Li Rafferty, Managing Director of the Yale Center Beijing. “Since the Center opened two years ago, we have become an intellectual hub for dialogue among top leaders in politics and international affairs, health and medicine, environment and sustainability, arts and humanities, and business and entrepreneurship. The launch of the Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program and the graduation of its inaugural class mark an important step for the Center to become a platform for world-class learning opportunities for elevated leaders that transcend boundaries and disciplines. We are excited about having this group of dynamic entrepreneurs join the network of Yale alumni and friends across the globe as they work to shape the future business landscape of China and the world.”

Members of the inaugural class of the Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program were selected exclusively from the founders, CEOs and top executives of Sequoia China’s portfolio companies, with over 40 participants from a variety of sectors including TMT, Healthcare, Consumer/Service, and New Energy/Clean Tech. The second class will commence its first session this autumn.

As “The Entrepreneurs behind the Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia China focuses on four sectors: TMT, Healthcare, Consumer/Service, and New Energy/Advanced Manufacturing. To date, Sequoia China has invested in over 300 companies.

Jenny Ding
Director, Strategic Communications
FTI Consulting

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SOURCE Sequoia Capital China