latest news from 50 college coalition for sdgs https://opensocietyuniversitynetwork.org/ events next past

what do sdg-youth want to learn from & celebrate actionably with new york & UN & nature's borderless goals for human wellbeing? tours 10
i visited bangladesh 15 times during last 10 years of fazle abed's 50 year learning curve empowering poorest village women to build a nations sdg foundations-he rehearsed seven 5-point ways to integrate livesmatter human development deepest connections
*the 5 e's of franchising village solutions
*SHELF- to end poverty
*UNITS - to end middle income traps
*5 value chain maps from community to worldwide applied by entrepreneurial revolutionaries
*VESTY - 5 most promising human solutions for uniting nations discovered in 15 years after world war 2
*without borders adaptability of constitutions vital to being a leap ahead of each of moore laws 100 times more tech decades- eg telecommute to e-commute, telehealth to e-health, tele-edu to e-edu, tele-finance to e-finance.
*pictured right- factoring the 17 sdgs into 4 meta goals and transformation of global elite partnerships to bottom up deep data applicability-eg so tracing how to end virus values every family's front line interactions

afore ye go global with tech, value 4 humansAI system gravities

asian lives matter
abe & emperor reiwa
abed & yunus
kuan yew & ka-shing
ma & ma & mi & yuan
moza & rania
kim & ki-moon
brilliant & grant
gandhi & theresa
beyond olympics - ryo, osaka, kobe
edu as if all teens lives matter- see maps brooklyn, rest ny suburbs, rest ny state
health beyond covid with cuomohealth with bloomberg-hopkinshealth with james grant global school of vaccines and health
young scholars of us's number 1 monetary economist and philanthropist soros- economist for sdgs, global performing arts & fashions, multilingual youth ambassadors, twin city special vienna, dhaka:women's world's number 1 ngo coalition, berlin, palestine
global investment funds - soros:global board- deep data for every society and climate: bloomberg, blackstone, schwarzman
action-learning networks of ban ki-moon, jim kim, & antonio guterres
- schwab links unga with 5 hubs of industrial rev 4 - san fran, tokyo, beijing delhi, geneva as well as world economics davos winter and world innovation champions china summer and 400 global youth shapers hubsfall priority young journalism briefs- chennai bay and carribean for america's most powerful woman

Thursday, December 31, 2015

mi & bryant

we love stibel & bryant first the office of the chairman reminds us of how venture capitalism was done in 1982 when dad norman macrae published his survey of silicon valley- at that time it wasnt money chasing money but entrepreneurial revolutionaries multiplying sme networks

-this kind of new finance attitude could have been planted in hundreds of smart cities alogisde universities that valued their youths futures but thats not what spun in usa

so how did 2 new new venture capitalists come together in 2013 -one interested in brain science, one interested in what top performing sportsmen know that the big league administrators dont value at community levels wherever they are sucked into the tv age

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but above all if sportspeople are to achieve black lives mater in every community then its the dna of kobe that will need to multiply on and the picks that stibel-bryant makes in edu startups become especially interesting- not just who they pick but the networks of co-investors

read on about cindy mi as stibel bryant tell it







VIPKID is a global technology company that connects 

children with the world’s best teachers 
for real-time online English immersion learning. 
Cindy Wenjuan Mi, CEO.

VIPKID & BRYANT STIBEL

Working Together in Support of the Global Classroom







When Bryant Stibel looks at potential companies to invest in, the team is especially attracted to partners that inspire, innovate and have an ability to change the world. That’s why when the Bryant Stibel team was introduced to the founder/CEO of VIPKid, Cindy Mi, through mutual friends at Silicon Valley VC firm, Learn Capital, it was a connection that made sense. Mi, who became an English teacher at 17 and an entrepreneur was already a couple years into piloting an online program with the idea of creating “a global classroom,” where teachers from around the world would teach English to Chinese kids one-on-one.
Mi saw a major opportunity form in the online education sector in China – so she pounced. “There is a $15 billion U.S. market where parents are spending on their children to learn English,” reveals Mi of her inspiration for starting VIPKid in 2013. By recognizing that “15 percent of Chinese parents’ income goes to supplemental education,” Mi immediately noticed a fundamental problem with that equation.
“When I started VIPKid, almost every child learned offline. On weekends, they would go to a training center where they’d learn for a few hours. The way VIPKid has really grown is in providing more student value. They’ve found much better teachers and an online learning experience that is extraordinary,” says Mi of why VIPKid caught on so fast.
That’s been another extraordinary element to the company – the rapid growth. Mi launched the site in 2015 with the simple goal “to inspire and empower every child for the future” with the “best teachers around the globe.” Two years after, “We went from 200 students to 200,000, and by then, had 30,000 teachers,” Mi says of the early scale.
“From there, we just grew into where we are today.” Which is a company with almost 700,000 students from 35+ countries being taught by roughly 70,000 teachers, mostly based in the U.S. and Canada. Ultimately, VIPKid has become the world’s largest K-12 English-language online educator with “almost two out of three children in China who learn online, in a one-on-one program, now learning with VIPKid,” according to Mi.

Bringing on the Right Team
 If you’re going to succeed, it often helps to have the right partners by your side. In this regard, Mi felt the pairing of VIPKid and Bryant Stibel was a natural fit from the beginning given Bryant Stibel’s interest in the education sector and history of academic partnerships.
“We’re very fortunate that it has always been Kobe and Jeff’s vision to invest in companies that drive change,” says Mi, who was particularly taken by Kobe Bryant’s early interest and assessment of how ‘VIPKid’s platform is changing things, and how we have to look for companies that add value to society, helping kids learn and grow.’
In partnering up, both parties quickly identified that “This was something great for society and something in China, which had a high-growth trajectory,” reveals Mi of their early talks. So much so, that Mi expresses gratitude for having Bryant Stibel on their side ever since. “We’ve been enjoying the partnership so much for the past few years.”

Ringing the Bell at the NYSE
 One high point was the day Mi appeared at the New York Stock Exchange in 2016 with the Bryant Stibel team. As she recollects, that’s when a photo she took with Jeff and Kobe created buzz back home in China – the day before Bryant Stibel announced their investment in VIPKid. “Everybody’s still talking about how Kobe and Jeff announced that Bryant Stibel invested in two companies in China. If you saw that photo of the portfolio companies, the two Chinese companies, Alibaba and VIPKid, were right in the middle.”
Mi says the positive effect back home was palpable. “I think Kobe and Jeff totally stole the thunder because prior to that, no father would talk about VIPKid, because after-school tutoring is such a mom thing,” remembers Mi of that moment in time. “But then, when the news went out, everyone talked about VIPKid in the photo… because the fathers all thought Kobe works so hard. They respect him so much, the Mamba spirit and everything. The next day, they were all talking about VIPKid and now suddenly, we have support from fathers for their children to join the VIPKid program,” recalls Mi of the photo. “I think I had thousands of WeChat messages congratulating me that day.”
During that memorable day at the NYSE, Mi adds that she found it “amazing to finally meet with the entire team at Bryant Stibel” and “felt that we now had a team of partners that can give us great advice around the things that we work on.” Overall, Mi was impressed by the team’s overwhelming show of support for their company mission.
“Both Jeff and Kobe know how important learning languages is; and how important being a global kid from day one is; and how important it is to work hard and build on your skills,” Mi says of the immediate kinship. In terms of the team’s tactical approach, Mi also issues praise. “Jeff and Pete are such great strategists and they know the capital markets so well that they were able to help us think about integrating storytelling with a great business model and then how to expand globally and think very differently.”
She’s quick to add that when Bryant Stibel invested in VIPKid, they were still a “fairly small” company. But the “strategies and ideas” and “always giving such valuable advice” has created value for VIPKid by simply being “tremendously helpful along the way.”

Taking the Global Classroom Into the Future
As an entrepreneur with a vision for democratizing high-quality education, Mi has made great strides in a space that has only gotten more competitive since she joined it.
Strides evident in the fact that Mi raised $500 million in a Series D+ funding round that valued the startup at over $3 billion in 2018. Also impressive is the fact that Mi was also named a Glassdoor Top 100 CEO in 2019, one of only seven women on the list.
Along those lines, Mi answers the question to whether she thinks being a female entrepreneur has leant a unique perspective that’s fueled VIPKid’s successful mission. “Yes, because I’m a teacher myself,” confesses Mi. “I started tutoring young kids in 1998 and if we think about our teachers, over 85 percent are female. So I resonate with our teachers. I am one of them.”
It is this mission that Mi keeps her mind on with the help of partners like Bryant Stibel. Mi admits to “always thinking about how I can build the company better, so we can better support our teachers, who are mostly female, and who care and love the world and want to make the world a better place.”
Ultimately, as Mi points out, the company’s overall mission is all about students and young kids learning, growing, and evolving. “They’re the best of our world and they can be the best of themselves.” It’s a notion she says Kobe even touched on at a Wall Street Journal event where he spent some time talking about VIPKid. “I sat in the audience and Kobe said ‘Cindy is here. She’s awesome,” recalls Mi. “He spoke of our passion and mission. He shared with the world how amazing VIPKid’s global platform is and how the global classroom is helping both teachers and students. And how that mission has always been the driving force and just helps connect and unify everyone.”
One of the company’s goals is breaking down boundaries and promoting understanding between cultures, but Mi sees two key words as resonating most in her pursuit to ignite a passion for lifelong learning:  personalization and empowerment.
 “This global classroom had always been on my mind,” reveals Mi. “It should be accessible to all students. It should be affordable. It should be personalized… Generation by generation, the world will become a better place through education.”
As for working together in the future, Mi sees Bryant Stibel as an integral piece in VIPKid’s goal to continue building a global brand that inspires children and parents.
One, because “people follow leaders and Bryant Stibel is a leader, not only in the venture capital space, but also because of Kobe in the sports world and his views on bettering yourself and pushing limits.” But also by guiding VIPKid, by “motivating us” and helping to “build VIPKid, the brand, and company around adding value to society.”
Be successful at that and maybe the world will learn a thing or two along the way.






VIPKID is a global technology company that connects children with the world’s best teachers for real-time online English immersion learning. Cindy Wenjuan Mi, CEO.

CINDY
MI















Working as an English-language teacher in Beijing in 2013, Cindy Mi realized there was untapped demand from students desperate to learn the language. Her answer was VIPKid, an online platform that pairs students with tutors in North America. Today it is the world's largest K-12 English-language online educator, with over 70,000 English tutors providing lessons to over 600,000 students across over 35 countries.

CEO & Founder, Cindy Mi

Q: How did VIPKid get off the ground?
A: VIP Kid was founded in 2013. We really spent the first couple of years piloting the program with this idea of a global online classroom where teachers teach online and kids learn online. So the idea is very simple to inspire and empower every child for the future by building them this global classroom where they can learn English with the best teachers around the globe. We launched in 2015. We started with 200 students and we’ve grown to almost 700,000.  We also have around 70,000 teachers now.  Most teachers are from the US and some are from Canada.

Q: How else has VIPkid grown since it began?
A: The growth of VIPKid is a reflection of the online education sector and how the industry has grown here in China. There is a $15 billion U.S. market where parents are spending on their children to learn English. The fact is 15 percent of Chinese parents’ income goes to supplemental education. So when I started VIPKid, almost every child learned offline.  On weekends they would go to a training center where they would learn for a few hours. So the way VIPKid has grown really is to provide more student value.  They’ve found much better teachers and the online learning experience is extraordinary.  In 2017, two years after we launched, we went from 200 students, to 200,000 and by then we had 30,000 teachers. And from there we just grew into where we are today.  Almost two out of three children in China who learn online, in a one-on-one program, now learn with VIPkid.

Q: What does the VIPKid brand mean to people?
A: We have a very strong brand. Parents believe that we have the best teachers, great online learning content and the best online experience. We were very honored that Mary Meeker at the CodeCon Conference 2019 highlighted VIPKid’s growth by saying “if we look at online education remote video chat, VIPKid is one of the global leaders here with a very impressive growth trajectory.” So I think that would probably best illustrate how we’ve grown. But I think really it’s the student value we’ve created. It is so much better and more effective and efficient than it used to be in the brick and mortar world.  We are so fortunate to have so many students learn with us and we’ve created so much value for the teachers. They’re making a very decent income and they enjoy tutoring young kids here in China as a teacher.

Q: How is it that VIPKid got involved with the team at Bryant Stibel?
A: Bryant Stibel was interested in the education sector. They found us through our mutual friends at Learn Capital, who have been our long term partner–Rob Hutter and Greg Mauro– they support VIPKids so much that they’ve invested themselves, so they recommended VIPKid to Bryant Stibel. We’re very fortunate that it has always been Kobe and Jeff’s vision to invest in companies that drive change. I would quote Kobe on this. He said “VIPKid’s platform is changing things, and we have to look for companies adding value to society, helping kids learn and grow.” So I think we had the same mission. This was something great for society and something in China which had a high growth trajectory.  I think it is just great that we were able to get Bryant Stibel as our investor and we’ve been enjoying the partnership so much for the past few years. 

Q: What was it like to join the team and the other Bryant Stibel investment companies at New York Stock Exchange in 2016?
A: That was such an unforgettable and an amazing experience. It was my first time visiting the exchange and then after the event, everyone in China saw the amazing photo of Jeff, Kobe and me at the exchange. Everybody is still talking about how Kobe and Jeff announced Bryant Stibel and that they’ve invested in two companies in China. If you saw that photo of the portfolio companies, the two Chinese companies, Alibaba and VIPKid, were right in the middle.  It was also really amazing to finally meet with the entire team at Bryant Stibel. We felt that we now had a team of partners that can give us great advice around the things that we work on.
I would say the biggest surprise though came when Pete said “oh by the way Cindy, welcome to the event, we’re going to announce the investments tomorrow.” So our China team in Beijing heard of the great news happening in the morning New York time, which means it’s evening in China, so everyone on our team got up and they started to work and prepare for the big announcement. A couple of days earlier we had just announced our celebrity movie star endorsement.  I think Kobe and Jeff totally stole the thunder because prior to that, no father would talk about VIPKid, because after school tutoring is such a mom thing. But then when the news went out, everyone talked about VIPKid in the photo and then Kobe, because the fathers all thought Kobe works so hard. They respect him so much, the Mamba spirit and everything. The next day, they were all talking about VIPKid and now suddenly we have support from fathers for their children to join the VIPKid program. I think I had thousands of wechat messages congratulating me that day.

Q: How has Bryant Stibel supported VIPKid?
A: Most importantly, inspiration and mission because both Jeff and Kobe know how important learning languages is and how important being a global kid from day one is and how important it is to work hard and build on your skills.  It’s so inspirational to me and my team. 
The team at Bryant Stibel has been so helpful in support of the mission. Jeff and Pete are such great strategists and they know the capital markets so well that they were able to help us think about integrating storytelling with a great business model and then how to expand globally and think very differently. They always gave me such valuable advice. You know when Bryant Stibel invested, VIPKid was a fairly small company.  All these strategies and ideas have been tremendously helpful along the way. 
I also remember the Wall Street Journal event where Kobe talked on stage for half an hour and spent quite a few minutes on VIPKid.  I sat in the audience and Kobe said “Cindy is here. She’s awesome.” And he spoke of our passion and our mission. He shared with the world how amazing VIPKid’s global platform is and how the global classroom is helping both teachers and students. That mission has always been the driving force and it just helps connect and unify everyone. And I would just like to say thank you to Kobe, Jeff, Pete and team.

Q: Do you think that being a female entrepreneur provides a unique perspective for you in leading this education based company?
A: Yes, because I’m a teacher myself. I started tutoring young kids in 1998. And if we think about our teachers, over 85 percent are female. So I resonate with our teachers.  I am one of them. I am always thinking about how I can build the company better so we can better support our teachers who are mostly female and who care and love the world and want to make the world a better place.
Then you think about our students, young kids. They’re the best of our world and they can be the best of themselves but as they learn and grow, how can we build a platform around their needs and learning style and always have the student at the center? I think being a female has been really helpful there. But I would say on my team, it’s not about gender. Everyone joins VIPKid because of the shared value of the mission.

Q: What is the long-term vision of VIP kid in your mind?
A: The long-term vision is to build a global classroom that, as our mission states, empowers and inspires every child for the future.  It empowers teachers and students through more personalized learning driven by technology and connects cultures across the world, and as a result, ignites a passion for lifelong learning. Two key words would be personalization and empowerment. This global classroom had always been on my mind. It should be accessible to all students. It should be affordable. It should be personalized. And this I think would make the world a better place.  Generation by generation the world will become a better place through education.

Q: How can the team at Bryant Stibel help the VIPKid in the future? 
A: One way is to help us to build a global brand that inspires more children and their parents. People follow leaders and Bryant Stibel is a leader, not only in the venture capital space but also Kobe in the sports world and his views on bettering yourself and pushing limits. And secondly would be to continue motivating us with the mission that we should build VIPKid, the brand, the company around adding value to society and continue to guide us on ways we can do that. 






Working Together in Support of the Global Classroom







If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry.