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Feng He ’03 — China

Starter of Startups

Feng He ’03 wanted to see “more creativity, more ideas coming from a younger generation of Chinese.” So he co-founded, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding website in China, conceptualized as a platform to help individuals raise money for passion projects.

“I was very interested in startups,” says He, who majored in math at Swarthmore and earned an MBA from Stanford University. “We just felt there was a lot of energy among young Chinese to want to invent or create things, and there wasn’t a good outlet or source of funding for them. We were trying to solve that problem.”

Since selling the company in 2013, He now works on a different Beijing-based startup,, connecting users with psychotherapists. He made a point while at Swarthmore of taking classes in as many disciplines as possible, including English, history, linguistics, psychology, and studio art.

“Both my education and my experience at Swarthmore gave me confidence when faced with something very new, something I’ve never done before,” he says. “I have this confidence that no matter how hard it seems, I can probably learn it very quickly. It goes back to Swarthmore. It was challenging for me to acquire knowledge in all these different disciplines, but also Swarthmore gave me a very well-rounded foundation. My education gave me an appreciation for art, for the humanities, and a pretty good understanding of technology.”

With startups, there are new challenges every day, He says. One example: “You need to do marketing, and it’s just you and two other guys; they have no idea and you just need to figure it out.”

“But I have some basic understanding of human psychology,” He adds. “I can recognize that I’m seeing something beautiful, so I can create a marketing campaign that will speak to people.”

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