Yale SOM-Sequoia China Leadership Program welcomes second class

The Yale School of Management (SOM), Sequoia China, and Yale Center Beijing (YCB) welcomed the 2017 cohort of the Yale SOM-Sequoia Leadership Program, held Oct. 28-31.

The program — launched in 2016 as a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a world-renowned university and a global leading venture capital/private equity firm — aims to groom China’s next generation of business leaders by providing insights into both Chinese and global entrepreneurship and business practices.

The 2017 class of 44 participants included founders, CEOs, and top executives from Sequoia China’s portfolio companies and early-stage startups funded by ZhenFund and SourceCode Capital.

Group photo of participants in the second Yale SOM-Sequoia Leadership Program.
The 2017 class of 44 participants included founders, CEOs, and top executives from Sequoia China’s portfolio companies and early-stage startups funded by ZhenFund and SourceCode Capital.

Sequoia China, in keeping its motto as the ‘Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs,’ has been at the forefront of innovation and an avid supporter of pioneers who are transforming industries through technology,” said Neil Shen ’92 M.A., founding and managing partner of Sequoia China. “We believe that curiosity, imagination, and the ability to embrace the unknown constitute the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit, and our hope is that the new and future cohorts of entrepreneurs, like the inaugural class, would take advantage of this year-long program to grow and cultivate that spirit.”

Like those in the inaugural program, this year’s participants were taught by Yale faculty as well as global leaders in business, arts and humanities, media, technology, and other fields. Speakers at the 2017 program’s opening ceremony included Shen; Bob Xiaoping Xu, founder of ZhenFund; Hongyi Zhou, chair and CEO of 360 Group; Lan Yang, chair of Sun Media Group and Her Village Academy; and Zhiwu Chen, a long-time faculty member at Yale University. Chen taught the program’s first module on the logic of business, finance, and technology, and Richard Foster, former executive-in-residence at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, also a Yale alumnus, gave a lecture pertaining to his book “Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market — And How to Successfully Transform Them.”

Neil Shen and Bob Xiaoping Xu, Yale Center Beijing’s Executive Council chair and vice chair, have been instrumental in instilling an entrepreneurial spirit at the Center since its very beginning,” says Carol Li Rafferty, YCB’s inaugural director. “The Yale SOM-Sequoia Leadership Program has raised the center’s profile as an intellectual hub for driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and developing future leaders, and we are delighted to be welcoming a second cohort to the program after its successful launch a year ago.”

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