Who I am:
What’s up guys! My name is Robert Yuen, a Junior studying Economics and minoring in Finance. I spent half my time in the US and China growing up. Traveling and adapting to new environments has allowed me to gain a more worldly view. Spending my early years in the beautiful cities of Hong Kong and Beijing allowed me to witness Chinese culture as well as an incredible technological revolution. I attended an international school in Hong Kong where my classmates were made of Americans, Canadians and Europeans. Then, I was admitted to a public school in Beijing, where my peers became Beijing natives who didn’t speak any English. While not having used a computer up until middle school, I was the first one to receive a smartphone in my 7th grade class. At the time, the LG phone was called the ‘O phone’, an obvious rip off of the Iphone 3. In the process, not only did I become popular in the class for having acquired a cell phone, but I also became one of the earlier users of Wechat, an app that has a billion users as of today.
After returning to the US for high school, I discovered the TV show Shark Tank. I learned the culture of entrepreneurship in the US, and its unique role it plays in the American Dream. A family friend even entered the show, pitching a bug trap. The show taught me how startup aren’t about the most fanciest technology, but the experience it brings to its customers through innovation.
Involvement at BC:
At BC, I’m an analyst of Heights Capital Corporation and VP of the BC Cryptocurrency Club for next semester. Being an analyst for Heights Capital opened my interest to non-tech industries, as I was able to use course material to formulate investment pitches. In the BC Cryptocurrency Club, I’ve been responsible for bringing speakers in the blockchain field to BC. I’ve also brought a Partner from Zhenfund to speak to student on the Chinese entrepreneurship culture. Zhenfund is an angel investment firm which was an early arm of Sequoia.
During the speaker event, I realized that some of the greatest startup investors all once ran startups themselves. It became a reoccurring pattern as I looked at more bios of VC investors.
Emerging technology and startups have always caught my attention. I became obsessed with blockchain technology earlier last year, and spent most of my spare time reading up on the technology and industry. At BC, I spent time with the founder of the BC Crypto Club, some of who are Tech Trek alumni. I became so interested in the industry that I worked at a cryptocurrency decentralized exchange, DDEX, in Beijing last summer. The startup was funded by prominent figures such as Alexis Ohanian and a partner at Y Combinator.
The experience was phenomenal. The founders who graduated from US colleges were welcoming as they brought me to blockchain meetups all around Beijing. I got to meet some of the brightest minds and most prestigious projects at the time. There were projects that handled the high volatility of tokens, a cross platform gaming token with developers working on a new mobile gaming platform, and a token that incorporated AI technology.
My summer internship gave a macro perspective on the industry, which I look forward to sharing with the class.
I first heard of Tech Trek when I took Computers In Management as a sophomore. The course gave me a general overview of a lot of technologies, and a thirst to learn more. Therefore, applying to Tech Trek became a no brainer.
One of the most exciting things about this trip is that we get to go to the West Coast. I can’t wait to see the West Coast for the first time! I look forward to learning about new emerging technologies, the criteria for success of tech startups, the history of Silicon Valley, and factors that determine a successful VC. I also am excited to see how the actual entrepreneur culture on the West Coast compares to how its portrayed in pop culture.
Over the last summer Peppa Pig has become my spirit animal. Peppa Pig is a huge part of China’s pop culture, and definitely spiked my interest during my time in Beijing.