For finding the winners in China's tech scene
Jenny Lee is a managing partner at GGV Capital, where she invests in U.S. and Chinese tech companies. Lee has a track record of success: She made savvy early investments in Xiaomi, and social networking platform YY.com, which went public in 2012, and also invested in Uber rival Didi Kuaidi. With GGV recently committing another $250 million to its Discovery Fund—with 80% earmarked for Chinese tech investments—Lee is focused on the next generation of tech (robots, drones, self-driving cars) like her investment in Ehang, the drone maker that debuted an autonomous, human-carrying drone (a possible future transportation solution) at CES in January 2016. Lee first figured out that she wanted to be a venture capitalist when she was an electrical engineering student at Cornell University. Because she was on a federal scholarship from her native Singapore, she had to return home after graduation to work for the government—so she spent five years at the country’s aerospace agency, working on fighter jets in the electronic warfare division. She later returned to the U.S. to receive her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and in 2001 headed to China to begin her investing career. Her investment process includes careful due diligence—she sometimes even meets with founders’ families—and she carries three smartphones at all times, so she can test out startups’ products on different devices. Still, she makes sure to get off the grid every year or two; she’s been camping everywhere from Patagonia to Russia to Kilimanjaro in Africa.